We're getting a new version of Google Photos today, and breaking from the recent theme, this one actually has a few changes, though most of them don't stand out all that much. It's now easy to search for Motion Photos with a convenient search category. There are new notifications related to Photos Books, plus the settings to turn them off. And if anybody is auto-sharing photos with you, there's now a shortcut for setting up the same arrangement with them.

What's New

Unofficial Changelog: (the stuff we found)

  • New Photo Book notifications
  • Search for Motion Photos
  • Shortcut to set up auto-sharing with a partner

Motion Photos in search

Back in November, Google launched Motion Photos, a direct competitor to Apple's Live Photos. The obvious place to look at the events you've captured happens to be the Google Photos app, but you would have had to know when those Motion Photos were recorded if you wanted to find them again. However, the latest update solves that little issue by adding a search that specifically seeks out Motion Photos for you.

In case you've never stumbled onto it before, the way to use a category search is to simply tap on the search bar, then hit the "show more" button in the group of categories. You'll be able to find Motion Photos at the bottom of the list.

New notifications

Left: v3.12. Right: v3.13.

It looks like the latest version of Photos will try to be more chatty than before. Maybe 'chatty' is the wrong word, but Photos is definitely going to seek more attention than it used to. Three new notification settings have been added, each with some connection to Photo Books. One will let you know about special pricing and promotions for purchasing printed books, another will post reminders about unfinished drafts, and the last will let you know when there's a suggestion for a new photo book.

If you're not interested in getting a photo book printed, you might want to open Settings -> Notifications and turn off these toggles at some point. They probably won't be too noisy, but you're probably going to at least get the promotional notifications once some of them start to pop up.

Reciprocal auto-sharing

If somebody is sharing a photo stream with you, you'll now find a new option in the overflow menu to 'share back' to them. It's not exactly a big change, but the command basically sets up a similar automatic sharing arrangement and fills in the address of the person you would be sharing photos with. It's a pretty simple addition, but makes it a little more convenient to organize sharing with another person.


The APK is signed by Google and upgrades your existing app. The cryptographic signature guarantees that the file is safe to install and was not tampered with in any way. Rather than wait for Google to push this download to your devices, which can take days, download and install it just like any other APK.


Google Photos
Google Photos
Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free