Yesterday, Google Photos' product lead, David Lieb, took to Twitter to ask users for direct feedback about the app. The goal, as he said, was to be made aware of outstanding bugs, possible performance improvements, and most importantly feature requests. The conversation lasted for many hours, during which David replied to many of the messages sent, confirmed a few features are coming, and heard what everyone had to say.
Topping the upcoming features is the ability to manually tag a face, which is said to be on the roadmap. Right now, you can only remove photos when they're tagged wrong, but you can't select photos to be added to a face if Photos hasn't picked them. That has frustrated me a lot as I saw Rafael Nadal play a few months ago and Google Photos just won't recognize any of his photos, even though it has no problem with Djokovic, Thiem, or Anderson.
Also coming soon, possibly even live for some, is the search parameter for recently uploaded photos. This search already exists on the web, but it hasn't been available on mobile. The benefit is to easily see and edit any photo you just uploaded, even if dates back several years. And another feature that will carry over from the web is the option to edit timestamps. This has been live for three years on the web and is even there on iOS, but not on Android.
Pet owners will also be happy to know that pet photo sharing is coming to partner libraries, so you'll be able to tell Photos to automatically send all your puppy and kitty pics to your partner.
David also confirmed that the team is working on letting you delete photos from your library while browsing albums as well as favorite an item in a shared album (in addition to liking it). These two are needed for feature parity, as the options you get now when you open a photo are different depending on whether you accessed it directly from your library or from an album or from a shared album. It shouldn't be like this, and the interface should be the same regardless.
For those of your with Samsung phones, the team is also aware of the issue with screenshots being backed up to Photos (because Samsung saves them in the DCIM folder and not the Pictures folder). There's no word that they're working on providing the option to exclude that folder, but at least they're discussing it.
Several other equally important features were mentioned enough times that I hope David and the Photos team took notes:
- see photos on a map — like Photo Map but natively
- remove duplicates — oh please, both my S7 Edge and Pixel 2 XL have gone rogue at one point or another and decided to re-upload hundreds of photos for no reason, so I have dupes I can't get easily get rid of
- improve the Sharing tab — because it's a mess and everyone knows that
- re-upload photos in full res even if you already have them in high quality — perfect if you had limited storage then paid for a Google One plan
- Google Drive sync — we know it's gone, but some of us (read: Artem) are still mourning its loss
- print photos locally
- show image descriptions in slideshows
- granular controls over Assistant creations — because maybe you don't like the Color Pop ones, or the stylized photos, or the collages
- go from a photo in an album to its place in the timeline — great for finding photos taken around the same time/place
- back up some photos without them ever showing in the gallery — so you wouldn't need to go and archive them later, they're immediately archived
- YouTube-like video playback controls
- use OCR to help timestamp older photos — the date timestamp that's in all your older photos could be handy for one thing
- suggest deleting blurry pics and other random things
There's no confirmation on whether any of these last features would ever see the light of day, but at least the team is now aware of a few popular requests. As for the ones mentioned earlier, all we know is that they're coming, but we don't know if that'll be in a couple of weeks or years.