New features for Google Photos debuted at Google I/O 2017

Google Photos is already two years old and has been polished and improved during this time, being born from the old Google+ Photo service. Today, over 500 million people are using the Google Photos service and over 1.2 billion photographs and videos are backed up every single day. 

Google today announced a slew of new features at the Google I/O 2017 developer conference. These improvements will make it easier to share your photos with selected loved ones.

The first improvement to Google Photos that Google is launching is the ‘Photo Books’ service. This sees the company offering customers the chance to produce and print their own books containing high-quality photographs that have been uploaded to Google Photos. The Photo Books service ties in with Google Photos’ clever search and machine learning software, meaning that a book can easily be generated by selecting people, places, or things that matter. Google Photos will select images, filtering out duplicates and poor quality shots, leaving the customer to make some final adjustments and order a copy. There’s no need for a separate website or additional app, as everything can be done right within the Google Photos application. When the app recognizes a bunch of images, if may even suggest that you create a Photo Book, automatically.

A 20-page soft cover book will cost $9.99 with a hardcover book at $19.99. The service launches today in the United States and will arrive to the Android and iOS applications as well as photos.google.com next week. Google will release the same service elsewhere around the world in the coming weeks but did not specify when, exactly, this would happen.

The next feature is that of ‘Shared Libraries’, whereby with an initial set-up, Google Photos can automatically share photographs with that special somebody, such as a spouse, partner or best friend. Google’s example given is how Google Photos Shared Libraries can always share pictures of the kids with a spouse, silently and automatically in the background. The feature can be used to either give somebody access to the entire photo library or selected images, based on either date or who is in the shot. Better yet, images in Shared Libraries are automatically considered during Google Photos’ movie, collages and other creations.

If you forget about those images from the last trip, the app will even remind you to share what it recognizes to be only the best photos, and even suggest who to share them with based on who it detects in the images by face. Reminders can be in the form of SMS or email, according to Google, only if you have given access to the information. If you share with an end-user who doesn’t have the app installed, they’ll still have the chance to save each of the photos in full resolution.

One other neat little feature has been implemented into Google Photos that we thought we should mention. If you’ve ever had something obstructing a photo such as a fence, Google will detect it using computer vision and wipe it away. Best of all, it’s done automatically. See what we mean in the animated GIF above.

The main purpose of this update is to allow people to enjoy the memories without having to worry who’s saving them. The feature will be available via a sharing tab and will be available “in the coming weeks.”

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About David Steele 234 Articles
David has been using smartphones since the start of the industry but found his home with Android back in 2011 using an early Dell Stream device. Today, he uses the Nexus 5X and Sony Xperia Z Tablet as primary devices, but you'll also see him with his coffee cup and Chromebook.