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photos

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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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Photos on Google+ receive the machine learning treatment to help save on bandwidth usage

Machine learning is such a buzzword, or words, these days. Perhaps one of the biggest advocates of this technology, the almighty Google has been applying it to many of its services over the past few months. Now photographs on Google+ are getting some love with the addition of RAISR, which allows for low-resolution images to receive massive bumps in quality while saving on bandwidth.

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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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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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Google announces PhotoScan app to digitize your old photos and improved editing tools in Google Photos

Google is big into machine learning, and one of the product areas that's benefiting from that is photography. You may recall Google said it would use math to fix lens flare on the Pixel, and now it's rolling out a photo scanning app that seems to do something similar. The new PhotoScan app will let you turn your old printed photos into digital ones with the power of computational photography. Plus, the editing tools in Photos are getting better. It's weird that PhotoScan isn't just part of Photos, but Google loves multiple apps.

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Microsoft Selfie is a fast and easy way to enhance your own selfies, i.e. not Microsoft's

Microsoft Selfie has been available on iOS since last December. What took it this long to reach Android is anyone's guess, especially considering the company's very prolific releases on our beloved platform, but it's not like anyone of us was heartbroken over the delay of the app or spending sleepless nights tossing and turning in bed just wishing for Microsoft to come and save them from selfie mediocrity.

Regardless, the app is now available on the Play Store. Microsoft Selfie, unlike its name suggests, is not an app where you can browse selfies of Microsoft's logos, past and current execs, employees, buildings, or any other Microsoft property.

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Google Maps v9.40 beta adds a dedicated space for photos from business owners and prepares for phone number verifications [APK Download + Teardown]

There's a new version of Google Maps rolling out to users on the beta channel. This one doesn't seem to be stacked full of big features, but there's at least one new addition to the photo browser. There are also some clues about upcoming features from a teardown. This release is a beta, so you won't get it through the Play Store (right now) if you aren't already signed up to receive early updates. As always, there's a link to download this release from APK Mirror at the bottom.

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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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