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sharing

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Google Photos v3.20 prepares to launch suggested actions and may hint at locking photos with a fingerprint [APK Teardown]

While new information keeps rolling out of Google I/O, some of the recently announced things are creeping out in various forms. After the keynote, we've been expecting some enhancements to Google Photos, and the latest update contains new text that makes it look pretty likely that we'll be getting them soon. There's also a subtle clue that may suggest we'll soon get to lock up some of our photos or albums and access them with a fingerprint.

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Google, please fix Android's slow, bloated share UI

Sharing from one app to another has been a mainstay of Android for years and years. It was one of the features that first drew me to Android: no more copying and pasting, no more having to open Twitter or WhatsApp to send a picture I just saw in my Gallery. Apps could talk to each other and the experience felt cohesive and seamless.

But with time, the Share UI in Android has languished, stuck with the same features and problems. It switched from a vertical list to a grid, it added direct share in Android 6.0 and app pinning in Android 7.0, yet these felt like putting lipstick on a pig: the Share UI remains slow, bloated, convoluted, and if you pay close attention to it, one of the most inconsistent experiences on Android to date.

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Google Photos gets new sharing previews for users who don't have the app installed

Towards the end of 2016, Google introduced an API called App Preview Messaging. It debuted with Allo, where it lets you message anyone regardless of whether they have the app installed. They receive a preview message, handled by Google Play Services, which they can respond to as though they do have the app.

Duo recently added support for this, too, so you could receive and answer a video call from a contact even if you've never heard of the app. Next to add the feature is Google Photos, which now lets you share media with friends or family members who don't have the app via their phone number.

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Google Photos v3.13 adds search filter for Motion Photos, notifications for Photo Books, and a shortcut to set up reciprocal sharing [APK Download]

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.

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Instagram now supports Android's direct share menu

Android's direct share feature debuted on Marshmallow and makes it easy to share links or media from any app on your phone. You can use it with most popular messaging services, email clients, and even note-taking apps like Keep. To be able to share directly to an app, the maker of that app needs to implement direct share, so there are still some apps it doesn't work with. Instagram was on that list until pretty recently, but not anymore.

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Facebook Messenger now lets you share photos at 4K resolution

Until now, the default resolution for images sent and received on Facebook Messenger was 2K. That's quite small in terms of megapixels, and anything higher you tried to send someone would be compressed by Messenger before sending. Facebook has just bumped the default image size up to 4K (up to just over 16MP) so you can now send photos of much higher quality to friends and family.

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Google Photos 3.6 makes video sharing way faster

When your bandwidth doesn't oblige, sharing videos via Google Photos can be a bit frustrating. Videos are, well, large. And uploading large files can take a while, especially if you're in a congested area, on a throttled connection, or traveling. But now Google Photos has cut down the wait by uploading low-resolution copies for sharing first. And don't worry, your friends won't be stuck with blurry potatoes, those videos are later replaced with high-quality versions. 

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Suggested Sharing and Shared Libraries are rolling out in Google Photos today

Google announced a few cool things were coming to Google Photos back at I/O, but there was no date for the rollout. Apparently today is the day. Both Suggested Sharing and Shared Libraries are rolling out to all devices, employing Google's machine learning muscle to make it easier to share photos with friends and family.

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Some Google Photos users are getting a new sharing UI with photo selection and a button for sharing to family groups

Sharing photos with friends and family is one of the best social things you can do with your phone, so it only makes sense that it should be as seamless as possible. Google has been putting a lot of work into the sharing experience in its Photos for the last year, and the latest evolution of the interface just started appearing for some users today. If you try sharing one or more photos, you may be greeted by a new screen with a carousel-like photo picker.

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Google family groups make it easy to share photos, calendars, Keep, YouTube TV, and more

Google has added a number of family-oriented features in recent years, and now it's bringing it all together under "family groups." This feature plugs into family sharing for YouTube TV, Google Play Family Library, and adds easy family sharing to a few other Google services. Setting up a family group is easy, but there are a few restrictions.

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