Google is one of the few companies of its size willing to commit to trying out new ideas on a large scale. While these projects are often killed off without restraint, it's still fun to see what new software is released from its labs each year. In its latest experiment, Google is launching some new WebXR apps for Chrome, designed to combine AR and VR to add new context to the world around you. From scannable social distancing to a virtual gallery of your memories, these new "XR experiences" are pretty wild.
Since late last year, Google Photos has been using a streamlined, but powerful algorithm to generate bunches of themed slideshows from users' libraries of photos and videos — including some back-of-the-catalog deep cuts. These collections of so-called Memories have been popping up from time to time and we've been keeping track of them as they've appeared.
Google's Nest Hub makes it easy to display all of those photos sitting unseen on your phone. It takes digital photo frames to a whole new level, especially considering the enhancements Google Photos can bring to your collection. Photo sharing from any Nest Hub device has been possible for years, but a new interface is coming soon that streamlines the experience.
Google continues to expand its auto-generated Memories section in Photos at a breakneck pace. Just last week the "Cheers!" section started appearing for more people, and now "In the spotlight" is also showing up, auto-populating with collections of your existing images.
Ever press a button without knowing what it exactly does? Maybe some of the icons aren't exactly self-explanatory. Google Photos has had a few of those for a while. Well, the cavalry's just come in and they're bringing in labels.
The Google Lens tool is fantastic for quickly grabbing relevant info from photos. Now it's getting a little easier to use if you're a Google Photos devotee. Our readers have spotted a few new tools when you tap the Lens icon while viewing a single item in the official Google Photos app, or when you scroll down to use the more expanded photo info panel. It's hard to pin down when these features went live, but it appears to be within the last couple of weeks.
If you've used an iPhone, you probably know it's very easy to automatically backup your content using iCloud. However, if you decide to switch to another service, things aren't necessarily easy. Thankfully, Apple just made this a lot easier by providing a tool that lets you natively export your iCloud photos and videos to Google Photos.
Nostalgia can be a powerful marketing tool, and it looks like the folks behind Google Photos have caught onto this. Following some of the earlier customized collections of memories the app has been offering up for users, Google Photos is picking up a few new stories focusing on scenic sunsets and bar games: "The magic hour," "Let's play," and "What's cookin'?."