June 28, 2017

Google unveils physical photo albums, Android O features and augmented reality app

19 May 2017, 05:55 | Marie Dunn

Updates to Google Photos ensure you'll actually see those party photos you're in

Google Photos gets a trio of new sharing features, thanks to the magic of machine learning

The tech giant is now using their smart image searches and artificial intelligence to identify people in pictures so it can automatically share that photo with that person.

Lastly, they're introducing a new service called Photo Books, where you can print the best photos from a recent trip or a memorable party. Guess what? We look like awful sons because it was so hard to put together a photo book from our separate libraries using the Photos app on iOS and MacOS that we still haven't done it. Google is getting into the Photo Books game.

Photo Books are now available in USA only, for the web version of Google Photos.

With it set up, any time you take a photo of your kids, it appears in a library in your partner's Photos app.

Oh! And if you want to make your own physical photo albums, you can do that from within the app as well.

Following Pichai was Anil Sabharwal, Google's vice president of photos, who spoke about the future of Google Photos.

As announced at Google I/O 2017 developer conference, the wildly popular Google Photos app has amassed more than 500 million monthly active users.

Suggested Sharing will be rolling out soon to Android, iOS and the Web. According to David Lieb, product director for Google Photos, the company wants to make sure this feature is ideal before opening it up to more people.

In a nod to traditionalists, Google Photos is also adding the option to have one's imagers turned into a photo book. Sure, having your photographs in the cloud entails some privacy concerns, but looking exclusively at efficiency, Google Photos arguably usurps any photo backup tool out there. With Suggested Sharing, users are notified to share photos with other users, with Photos automatically picking out the best shots taken at that event. You can pick someone (best friend, significant other, sibling, anyone) and Google will automatically share photos into their library. 7-inch softcover books start from $9.99, have 20 pages, and cost $0.35 for each additional page, while 20-page 9-inch hardcover books, which are also 20-pages long, cost $0.65 for each additional page. You can also set the date from which the photos are shared. For example, you might be able to identify a certain flower visually, then bring up info on it from Google's knowledge graph. At present it is only available in USA, in future this feature will be rolled out in other countries very soon. The company didn't say where it would roll this feature out, but it seems likely to get built into Google Photos.

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