Google Photos is undoubtedly one of Google’s most successful apps. Like Gmail and Google Maps before it Google Photos has unequivocally changed how millions of people interact with owning a photo library. Now five years after it’s launch Google is rolling out it’s latest redesign and introducing some new but expected features that centre around a new three tab layout.
Right upfront Google Photos is getting a new Logo, the smoother rounder logo is still based on the pinwheel, but for us somehow feels more iOS like and less Googly. In the end it’s an icon, so we’ll get over it.
As you would expect your main stream of photos stays front and centre, with the ability to customise which photos on your device are uploaded remaining in settings. The layout remains the same but each thumbnail is now bigger and videos get a live preview right in the stream view.
Search is the second tab and includes the same Machine Learning powered searching capabilities that has made Google Photos truly outstanding. Google has added an interactive map to the search tab finally launching the rumoured search via map functionality. This will allow you to explore your photos based on geo-location.
The third tab is Library which houses many of Photo’s features including Albums, Favourites, Trash, Archive and more. For those in USA and Canada Library will also provide a short cut to the Print Store to order real world copies of your photos, something we really wish would launch down under.
In the top left of the UI is a new ‘Conversations icon, this will launch you into your shared content utilising Googles new chat stream based UI. Can we now count this as another Google Messaging app?
Map Search quick look
The major change to the search functionality in the new Google Maps is the map based interactive search. The map works in one of two ways. Either you can search around the mad and find images from that location, or you can scroll through your photos and have the location of those images displayed on the map.
Of course for this to work you have to have enabled location tagging when the image was taken, and as always you can edit the meta data of the photo including the geo-location if it needs adjusting or removing. With Google’s new automatic labelling of location based on photo content the map UI may soon be even more useful.
Following the roll out of memories last year Google is adding a few more tricks into the nostalgia engine that is Memories. From today you’ll see more types of memories including best pictures of you and your closest friends and family over the years, trips, and even just the highlights from last week.
Memories will also contain all of the images that used to appear in the old “For You” tab now that the tab has been removed.
The main app update will be rolling out the next week on Android and iOS. If you’re interested in a stylised video of the history of Google Photos check it out below.