Cloud storage is probably the greatest thing to happen to casual photography since manufacturers started putting decent shooters into smartphones. There's nothing like snapping a couple of group shots and throwing them up on Google Photos without the hassle of hooking a computer to a phone just to move them over first. The catch is that most of us choose not to sync pictures over cellular, instead waiting to get back within reach of Wi-Fi so our data plans don't feel too much abuse. However, there are times you still need to back up a few shots right away, and that's where the latest Google Photos update comes in.
It sometimes may feel like the Google Photos web app gets a little left behind in the wake of its Android brethren, but today is the day: a post on Google+ from the Photos team has detailed the latest update, which brings improvements in the upload procedure and all-new keyboard shortcuts.
Photos can now be uploaded directly to an album, instead of having to upload photos and then add them to an album after they've uploaded. This should make it much easier to upload large batches of photos from a DSLR or other camera which doesn't connect to Google Photos. The keyboard shortcuts, meanwhile, will hopefully make navigation through the web interface more efficient, making it easier to move through photos or perform actions on an individual photo, such as editing or deleting.
An update to the Google Photos app just rolled out, bringing the current version number up to v1.17. This release is pretty straightforward with just one notable change: photos can now be edited in a non-destructive fashion. In other words, you can make changes to a picture and still return to the original version if you like. That feature alone is certainly enough to make this a worthy upgrade, but a teardown provides some good clues about features that are probably coming in the next couple of releases, assuming they're not already here.
Google Photos already has some "smart" features that try to make your photos easier to manage, and today it's getting another one. Google is rolling out "smarter albums" to the app. From now on, when you take pictures while on a trip or attending an event, Google Photos will automatically assemble your best shots into albums for easy sharing.
The ever-evolving Google Photos has another new feature hidden in the recent 1.16 update: the app will now share slow-motion videos to other apps, such as Dropbox, Google Drive, or Evernote and not mess up the timing. Videos have of course been exportable and shareable through Photos since the start, but this marks the first time a video with slow-mo frames can be exported without the whole video being converted into slow-motion, rather than just a section. In the same way, you have long been able to edit a video to slow either a portion of the video, or the entire thing, down to 120 frames-per-second, the standard slow-motion video framerate.
Google is rolling out a new version of Photos today, and it's a pretty significant update. There's a new navigation paradigm you might remember from a different Google app, and the strangely named "Collections" section is no more. It's now called Albums. As usual, we have the new APK available for download.
The Google Photos app had some cool sharing features when it was released back in May, but now it's getting even better at sharing. Google has announced the addition of shared albums to Photos (announced a few months ago), and it's available today on Android, iOS, and web.
As announced yesterday, Google Photos is now ready to offer you an option to downgrade your photos and reclaim some storage space in your account. The option has gone live on https://photos.google.com/settings and will let you convert all photos you had uploaded in Original quality to High Quality (maximum 16MP). Given that the latter don't count toward your Google storage and the former do, this will allow you to save whatever space you had lost on photos while still keeping them stored in your account. Better yet, in our previous review of Google Photos, Alex had concluded that there is no detectable quality loss when switching to High Quality uploads, so you're not likely going to lose anything by activating the conversion.
Google gives you a choice when you back up your images to Google Photos: do you save them at their original size or do you let Google store a compressed "high quality" version? The former counts against your storage space, while the latter doesn't. Unfortunately when you choose one, you're kind of stuck with the decision. You can opt to change how you save future photos, but you can't go back to compress those shots you previously saved at their original quality.
This is about to change. Tomorrow, Google will introduce the option to downgrade those previously uploaded images.