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Google makes a witty and endearing Google Photos ad for the Oscars

The world is all eyes and ears today for one of the most important events that take place each year. Oh, you think I'm talking about MWC in Barcelona? Ha, neeeeerd! No, I'm talking about the 89th Academy Awards ceremony which celebrates the best in film for the past year. But for Google, the real award belongs to you and your shots and creations.

El Goog has started its Oscars campaign with a couple of tweets (1 and 2) saying that regardless of who's the big winner in the ceremony, the award for Best Picture belongs to you. That was followed up with a 1-minute video ad for Google Photos already posted on YouTube and likely to be aired during the ceremony tonight, but maybe only in its shorter version.

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Google removed casting from Google Photos 2.8, but has added it back in 2.8.1 [APK Download]

You may not have noticed - we didn't - but it seems that, a couple days ago, Google removed casting from the Google Photos Android app on a temporary basis. This was due to "stability reasons," according to Photos community manager Ben; however, as of v2.8.1, the feature seems to have returned, with multiple Android Police team members seeing this on their personal devices.

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Google Photos 2.7 tidies up the navigation drawer, adds a loving Easter egg, and sets up for timestamp editing [APK Teardown + Download]

A new version of Google Photos hit late yesterday, bringing the current version to 2.7. At first glance, it's hard not to notice there are fewer items in the navigation drawer, but not much else seems to have changed for regular use of the app. Digging a bit deeper reveals a neat Easter egg that's all about the love, and a hint that Photos will soon allow users to edit the timestamp on a photo. As usual, you can hit the download link at the bottom to get the latest version if it hasn't already rolled out to your device.

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Google Photos on Android allows users to select different cover images for detected faces

The face detection feature in Google Photos is exceptionally good at picking people out of crowds and identifying known faces in very low resolution pictures. There are even some pretty killer algorithms for selecting pictures to use in collages and animations, but when it comes to choosing cover photos for those detected faces, it's not always perfect. Fortunately, Google Photos now allows users to select a different "feature photo" for contacts in face detection.

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PhotoScan 1.1 raises maximum resolution of scans on some phones

After being released a month ago, one of the main criticisms of PhotoScan, the new simple-but-clever photo scanning app by Google, was that the pixel resolution of the final scan was too low: it was capped to 2000 pixels on the long side. The maximum pixel count was 4 megapixels, but most people were seeing lower quality than that because, Instagram and copycats aside, most pictures are not square.

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Netflix and Google Photos integration with Google Home is now official—here's how to enable it

Google Home launched with the ability to cast YouTube videos to your Chromecast devices, but other types of media were off limits. That's changing today with the official launch of Netflix and Google Photos support on Home. You'll need the latest versions of some apps, but Home itself is ready to go as soon as you are.

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Google Photos v2.4 adds in-album detection to people pages, dynamic filters and enhanced editing controls, and RAW support [APK Download + Teardown]

Google Photos is progressively building out its feature set. Version 2.4 began rolling out last week and it can now show which albums certain people appear in. This follows the addition of some newly enhanced editing controls and dynamic filters added with version 2.3 a couple of weeks ago, which will also be discussed in this post. All of this can be topped with with a couple of interesting hints at future additions found during a teardown, including initial support for RAW images.

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Weekend poll: Do you use Google Photos cloud backup?

Google Photos' unlimited cloud backup is one of the best things Google's done with an app product in a while, if you ask me. Unlimited storage of intelligently compressed (or original quality for some phones) photos and videos means you can keep every moment your smartphone (or other camera) captures without ever [realistically] worrying about storage space. It's great. But other photo backup services do exist, and some people just don't like to use (or trust) the cloud for backing up their personal data.

So, do you use Google Photos cloud backup feature? If not, why not?

Do you use Google Photos cloud backup?

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Google Photos now has albums included in search results

Google Photos is great (speaking personally, it's one of my favorite Google products), but there's always been one thing wrong with it: albums were not included in search results. Say I search for "cats" (I have a lot of photos of my cats). The photos in the albums would be included, as well as items found by object recognition, but the album with my cat photos would not be included. Google has now fixed this anomaly, causing the album itself to be included.

After force closing the Photos app and clearing data, this comes up on my Nexus 6P. It's pretty much that - if you search, Google will bring up relevant albums as well as relevant photos.

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Google Photos v2.2 comes with more auto-generated highlight cards, prepares to create time-lapses and upgrade the video player [APK Teardown + Download]

An update to Google Photos began rolling out yesterday, and alongside it came a promising blog post about new assistant cards highlighting memories and suggesting rotations for sideways photos. Regular users may recognize that some of these aren't totally new, at least not with this version. However, there are some under-the-hood changes that speak to some interesting things for the future. A teardown shows that the video play may be getting an overhaul and Photos might soon auto-generate time-lapse videos for us.

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