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. Read More
Google announced yesterday on their Lat Long Blog that the Local Guides program would be receiving one of the largest updates since its inception. Local Guides is a global community of people who love to contribute to Google Maps. These contributions come in the form of writing reviews, uploading photos, adding new places, answering questions, and fixing data about businesses. Millions of people around the world rely on information in Google Maps every day to navigate to their destination or choose where they want to eat dinner, so having more information at their disposal can only be a good thing. Becoming a Local Guide is as easy as visiting this sign-up page. Read More
The Galaxy View is Samsung's biggest tablet, and the company is positioning it as a sort of all-purpose, general-use device for an entire household rather than a conventional mobile device. To that end they've released another exclusive app for the 18.4-inch tablet, Family Square. According to the description in the Play Store, it's meant to be a digital bulletin board, allowing multiple users to post photos to the app which are then displayed on the screen.
The setup is... unique. Instead of simply pulling photos from Facebook or Google+ accounts, Family Square needs to connect to individual phones, presumably over the local Wi-Fi network. Read More
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's changelog is up
Google posted an official changelog for Photos v1.8:
- Now in more countries: Finding the perfect photo of your best friend or family member just got easier.
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. Read More
Remember when the camera on Nexus phones was sort of terrible? Yeah, it looks like that's about to change.
Google is betting big on photography this year. The Nexus 5X and the Nexus 6P include significant enhancements to both the front and rear camera modules. On the back of both phones is a 12.3 megapixel Sony sensor with impressively large 1.55 micron pixels, an f/2.0 lens, laser autofocus, and dual LED flash. The front-facing camera module now sports an 8 megapixel sensor with HDR+, "so you can get the world's best selfies" on your Nexus phone.
To match the new hardware, Google has also announced updates to the camera app as well. Read More
I've been taking "selfies" for more than a decade. Back in 2005, we just called them photos, except we pointed the camera at ourselves instead of the world, and we felt a small but appropriate surge of vanity doing so. It was just fun. Then selfies became a thing, and now you can't take a photo of yourself without feeling like a self-centered 12 year old teenager bragging about his/her latest hairdo on Instagram. It's impossible to walk down the streets of some cities without seeing someone trying to lend you a selfie stick for a few bucks, or to go to a restaurant or pub without seeing a group of friends taking selfies together, or really to engage in any activity without having someone suggest taking a selfie... Read More
Google Photos may have started as a part of Google+, but since splitting into a standalone product, it has to move quickly to introduce new features and improvements to keep users engaged. The latest update to v1.5 didn't bring any visible changes to the app, but it does include evidence of some interesting changes we can look forward to in upcoming releases. Read More
On the last episode of Android Police Teardowns, Google's plans for Smart Burst were revealed. Soon, Creations are going to become an innate part of the Camera app, giving users their own collages, animations, group pictures with the best possible smiles, and even pictures styled as if they were taken in a photo booth. Many questions remain. Will Google finally make the most out of the Camera 2 API? Will there be slow motion and HDR modes? And will readers get that this intro is just a goofy bit modeled after old TV shows that awkwardly explain the whole previous episode in 30 seconds before continuing with the story? Read More
We're just two weeks away from the anticipated launch date for Android 6.0, up to two Nexus phones, and possibly many other surprises. As we all know, secrets are rarely well-kept as the clock counts down on big new products, and that means bits and pieces occasionally escape. We've got an early look at the resources belonging to Google Camera v3.0, which we expect to see included with the upcoming Nexus handsets and rolling out to the Play Store.
Teardowns are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete evidence. It's possible that the guesses made here are totally and completely wrong.