Google recently announced a new design for the Google Photos app filled with all-new features and a streamlined look. The redesign is slowly rolling out now for Android and iOS, and some users may already have the new layout and features — including one that will help you keep track of your copious pet pictures.
You can try updating your Google Photos app through Google Play or the App Store to see if the new version is waiting to be installed for you — if not, it’ll probably hit your device soon. You’ll know you have it when the app icon changes to the new, rounded look. Let’s take a look at what’s new in this iteration of the app.
Google Photos now has a simplified main menu at the top of the app that includes a “Chat” button on the left for sending messages and media to other users. On the right, there’s a shortcut to your profile that takes you to your account and app settings.
Everything in else has been streamlined in three different tabs — Photos, Search and Library — selectable from a menu from the bottom of the app’s UI. Here’s what each tab contains:
Google Photo’s main tab is now called “Photos,” and is the default screen you’ll see when you load up the app. At the top of the tab is a “Memories” section, which replaces the “For You” tab from the old UI. Memories are an Instagram or Snapchat-like story slideshow of photos that are automatically curated by the app. Everything in the Memories archive is entirely private and doesn’t show up on your public Google Photos profile or shared collections. The Photos tab also has sections for recent pictures, as well as “favourites” which are presumably pictures you open or share often.
Naturally, the Search tab has a bunch of filters and management tools you can use to organise your collection.
The top of the Search tab shows a list of people and pets — yes, pets — that you often take photos of. The new “Things” view creates filtered photo collections based on objects or activities you often photograph. For example, if you often take pictures of your own art, Google Photos may create a “Drawings” tab for you.
The Seach tab also has a “Places view” that includes a Google Maps-like charting of everywhere you’ve taken a photo or recorded a video. Tap “View all” to see a list of locations. Selecting a place opens a new screen with a map of the area filled with smaller “hotspots” of specific locations where a photo was snapped, and below the map is a scrolling list of thumbnails for all the photos/videos featuring that spot.
The library tab is exactly what it sounds like — it lists all of your photo collections, including a trash section with recently deleted photos that haven’t been permanently removed yet (something you can do manually if you don’t want to wait for them to be removed from your account automatically after a set amount of time). It’s also the catch-all location for any miscellaneous features that didn’t sit elsewhere, like Google’s Photos’ built-in print ordering, photo scanning, and animation creation tools.