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.
As an Android user, you are forgiven for not knowing who or what Fly Labs is. The company's video editing suite of applications is only available on iOS so your exposure to its products may have been non-existent. But you're about to hear more about Fly Labs or at least its products' features since it has just been acquired by Google.
The company announced the acquisition on its site and Google Photos' product lead David Lieb reiterated the news, dubbing Fly Labs as the "creators of the world's best video editing apps." I don't know about the world's best, but Fly Labs has some very interesting products under its name. Clips puts fragments of videos together, reorders them, and tags music or voice recordings on top of them. Tempo edits slow-motion, fast-forwarded clips, and time-lapse videos. Fly uses gestures to edit videos, apply cuts and transitions, integrate picture-in-picture, or split the screen.
Google held a press event last month and talked about a few of the interesting new features planned for the Photos app. We're still waiting for collaborative albums to be turned on, but we've already seen other features come to life, like Chromecast support and setting labels for matched faces. This version doesn't appear to unlock collaborative albums – that may be waiting for a server-side switch – but it does add another feature to the facial matching feature: the ability to hide somebody.
Google Photos' decoupling from Google+ dates back to May, which means five months have now passed since. In this time, Google Photos has received several updates and gained essential features like Chromecast support and albums for adding and reordering images. Now the Photos team is ready to reflect on these five months and share with us a few stats about the app and service's use.
Photos now counts 100 Million active monthly users, but how that number is tallied I couldn't tell you. Does a single search or view count, or did they require uploads for users to be marked as active? I'm not sure. 15 Million animations and collages have been created, either manually or through Assistant.
Google announced a few notable additions to the Photos app at its Nexus event yesterday, and a new version of the app is already rolling out. Photos v1.6 adds Google Cast support for photos and custom people labels. There's still no sign of shared albums, but that's probably a server-side switch.
Raise your hand if you've heard this one before. No? Come on, I know Cody doesn't pore over every line of code in every update of Google's apps for nothing. I'm pretty sure you remember what he came across just last week when he tore down Google Photos 1.5. That was a very popular post too — almost 1500 social shares. Ah see, now you know what I'm talking about.
Yes, Google Photos, the app that broke free of Google+'s shackles and is now basking in the glory of untethered updates and improvements, is getting ready for a big bump. How big?