Lenovo's Moto Z and Moto Z Force were announced yesterday to a lot of skeptical criticism from fans of the old Motorola brand. Personally, I think they look nice and I like the Mod approach as opposed to LG's, but only time will tell whether they end up being a disappointment or not. For now, all we have to go on is David's quick hands-on and his impressions were mitigated.
If you're interested in the Moto Z and Moto Z Force, there might be some good news to sway your decision even more in favor of the phone. The Droid Edition, which will be exclusive to Verizon whenever it launches this summer, will come with 2 years of "original quality" storage on Google Photos for free. Read More
Google's Goggles is all but abandoned now. We've seen Google resurrect apps from the dead and update them after years of neglect, but it's hard to imagine the company putting a fresh coat of paint on Goggles at this point. If only because the app has been superseded by others from Google, with its functionality cut off into little pieces and moved to various places inside the ecosystem.
But that doesn't take away from the fascination and respect that Goggles deserves. It could recognize landmarks before Google Photos, read and translate text before Google Translate, use OCR on images before Now on Tap, and even solve sudoku puzzles, scan and add contacts from a business card, and find and suggest similar products — all options that have yet to be transplanted into any other Google app. Read More
Google really wants the snapshots you take to have as much contextual information associated with them as possible. So much, in fact, the the Google Photos app can dip into your phone's location history (not just the GPS or other location data supplied by the camera app at the time of the shot) to tag it. At least one Android Police reader noticed that some of his photos had been amended with location data, despite the fact that he says he never turned the Save Location option on in the camera app. Read More
Google I/O has taken its toll. At least that's the way it looks based on the fairly quiet week we've seen for app updates thus far. The biggest update to arrive was for Snapseed, which gained some fairly useful improvements for editing. The focus on images continued with an update to the Photos app, but it didn't appear to bring any notable new features, rather just a bug fix. However, a teardown of the app reveals quite a bit more. Google is lining up some cool improvements to the app, including new sorting methods for albums, new editing controls, and a pretty amazing promo for Nexus devices. Read More
Google Photos is constantly improving and quickly becoming one of my favorite Google services. From shared albums to automatic labeling of people and things, to an exhaustive search function, it's so easy to just upload thousands of photos and let Google take care of managing and organizing them for me. The big annoyance that I kept facing was that plenty of my old photos were tagged with the wrong date and time because they were taken with a standalone camera on which I'd never bothered to adjust the time settings. This resulted in hundreds of photos showing up in the years 1969 (this is not a pun, I swear) and 1980 for some random reason, even though I wasn't even born then. Read More
Everyone's favorite online Photo management tool, Google Photos, is pretty popular. At the company's annual developer conference, I/O, Google just announced that Photos has over 200 million monthly active users, with over 2 trillion labels automatically applied to a variety of different photos. CEO Sundar Pichai said a lot of these were labelling selfies, which is mind-boggling when you think just how many selfies must be taken every day.
These usage statistics are pretty cool, especially for a product which only launched at last year's I/O. I personally use Google Photos for all my photo management, and can attest to how well thought out I find the entire product. Read More
Cody found evidence of an improved smartburst for Google Photos in his v1.16 teardown, and on the v1.17 official changelog it listed 'Improved burst photo support' as one of the points. Now, just after the v1.19 update, it seems the new Smartburst is finally starting to rollout to general users via a server-side update. Read More
Update Wednesday went by a bit quietly with relatively few rollouts. However, the tail end of the day brought a bump to the Photos app with a lot of unusual and interesting changes. There are plenty of visual tweaks throughout the app, not to mention a couple of new features. Auto-generated movies now support custom music and there are some improvements to folder management and SD card support, such as it is. As always, hit the bottom of the post for download links.
Official Changelog: (summarized from Google's post)
- Provide your own music for automatically generated movies
- Folder renaming and partial SD card support
- Replaced the FAB that launched Search with a search bar
- New search interface
- Many other small visual tweaks
Substitute Your Own Music in Generated Movies
Photos, like many other apps and services that have cropped up over recent years, is pretty awesome at stitching together short videos from our pictures and movies, then adding background music to give them some extra punch. Read More
Cloud storage is probably the greatest thing to happen to casual photography since manufacturers started putting decent shooters into smartphones. There's nothing like snapping a couple of group shots and throwing them up on Google Photos without the hassle of hooking a computer to a phone just to move them over first. The catch is that most of us choose not to sync pictures over cellular, instead waiting to get back within reach of Wi-Fi so our data plans don't feel too much abuse. However, there are times you still need to back up a few shots right away, and that's where the latest Google Photos update comes in. Read More