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The New Google Photos App Will Automatically Group Your Images By Faces And Recognized Objects Like Cars, Skylines, And Food

Google's current Photos app uses some image processing smarts to piece together auto-awesome compilations and Stories, but the new Photos experience pushes the limits of computer vision. Not only does it pick out and identify faces, it recognizes objects like cars and food. It's not perfect, but it's sometimes creepily accurate.

Screenshot_2015-05-24-17-13-57 Screenshot_2015-05-24-17-14-11 2015-05-25 17.26.24 2015-05-25 17.23.00

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In The New Google Photos App, Autoawesome Becomes 'Assistant,' And Allows For More Manual Creations

We've already taken a brief look at Google's upcoming Photos app and discussed how it will be able to employ link sharing, but there are still other details worth looking at a little closer. One of those is "Assistant," a new screen in the Photos app that seems to replace "Autoawesome" from the app's current iteration. This screen is where users will find automatically-generated stories, animations, movies, and collages, but - happily - users will no longer have to wait and hope for those autoawesome goodies.

In the current Photos app, users can create movies, animations, and mixes (collages), but not stories or albums, two new options added in the upcoming app.

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The New Google Photos App Will Include Photo And Video Link Sharing With Privacy Controls

We gave you an overview of the new Google Photos app earlier today, but there's a lot more to see than can be covered in a single post. We're breaking some of the new features out so we can go over them in detail. First up, the new link sharing component of Google Photos. Not only can you share photos or videos in a snap, you can preserve some of your privacy while doing it.

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An Exclusive Early Look At The New Google Photos App

We've been hearing for a very long time - virtually ever since Vic Gundotra left Google+, with more rumors springing up recently - that Photos would be splitting off from Google's social/sign-in platform. We've heard vague rumblings, and even seen some baby steps toward this split, but now we have something a bit more substantial to go on - an exclusive early look at Google's new Photos app, separate from Google+ and improved in a number of ways.

We won't be treating this as a normal rumor post, because we are certain that what we have seen is the real deal.

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Google Play Books Still Has An Alarming Number Of Scammy Book Listings

A couple of months ago, we published a story about the scam problem in Google Play Books, and we haven't been alone in criticism of the store's issues.

The gist is this: Google's Play Books store was plagued by scammy "guide" books that, for a few dollars, promised access to cracked APKs, but in reality provided nothing but scams and malware.

Two of the publishers we mentioned in the post - Monster Guides Editor Pro and leon Master - were removed from the Play Store, but plenty remain, still distributing links to pirated apps and malicious sites, or outright selling the work of legitimate authors.

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The Google Live Case 'Shortcut Button' Looks Familiar - Workshop May Still Be Alive After All

Way back in August of 2014, we got a peek at a service Google was experimenting with, at the time called "Workshop." The service would allow users to create customized cases for their Nexus 5, featuring either photos or map imagery of their choice. The cases would come with a special live wallpaper, also customized around the user's preferences.

After that post, though, everything was quiet. We didn't hear or see any new motion on Workshop until last month, when a customized Google Maps case popped up on a Googler's Google+ profile. The case was on a Nexus 6, and looked really similar to the cases we'd seen before.

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[Update: Changelog] Chromecast App Updated With Backdrop History And Layout Tweaks [APK Download]

Most updates to the Chromecast app don't warrant a full post around here, but holy crap, you guys. This one has backdrop history, finally. The app will now let you page through the last few images displayed on your Chromecast so you can find out what they were.

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[Bug Watch] Google Maps Fails To Load Directions When Prompted From Search

If you're looking for a nearby place to eat and want directions on how to get there, open Google Maps first. If you try using the Google Search app or the web, you probably won't get the results you want.

You see, Search is currently having a hard time giving out directions. If you tap the icon underneath a restaurant, it will open up Google Maps, but after that... nothing.

Maps1 Maps2

Yup, as you can see, I'm somewhere in Virginia. As for the nearest pizza place, it's presumably somewhere along the East Coast.

This bug is pretty easy to replicate. Search for something nearby in the Google Search app or the web.

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Google Appears To Be Testing A New Design For Mobile Image Results

Google is no stranger to testing new features or design tweaks on its live products, and search has been receiving quite a bit of attention lately. It doesn't necessarily come as a surprise, then, to see new design tweaks appearing for some users in Google's image search results.

The new design, which so far appears to be in very limited testing, offers a brighter layout for individual images - the background is a light #eeeeee as opposed to the solid black seen in its current iteration, and there's a relocated "close" button along with a new way to show image details.

In the current layout (as you'll see below), details are behind an overflow button.

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