Google Photos is now more intelligent, but will it nag incessantly?
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Google believes you don’t share your photos enough. Which is exactly why the latest update for the Photos app does the hard work of identifying your friends in your photos, and urges you to share the pictures with them. Google Photos, including the app for Android and iOS, will now have three new features—Suggested Sharing, Shared Libraries and Photo Books.
In Suggested Sharing, as the name suggests, the Photos app relies on artificial intelligence to detect faces in pictures, and will then suggest you share these pictures with the friend in question. You may call it a gentle nudge, a simple push or annoying nagging, Google Photos will not let you leave a photo you’ve clicked just sit in the library, without giving it due consideration. However, this will remain a suggestion, and Google Photos will not automatically share these pictures with anyone without your consent.
The Shared Libraries feature also focuses on, as the name suggests, sharing. This is a bit more complex. First, the user will select a pool of other users to share certain photos with—photos of your children can be automatically configured to be shared with their grandparents, for example. This is where the artificial intelligence bit will come into the picture (quite literally), and will automatically add the concerned photo to the shared library. This pool of photos will also show up in the main library.
In what is essentially a rabbit out of the hat sort of a moment, Google has added the Photo Books service to the Photos app. Using machine learning, the app will help you select a genre of photos that you choose, and then order a real-life paper and ink photo album for you. Each photo album will cost $9.99. At present, this service is limited to the US, but Google says it will launch this in more countries soon.
And that is not all. The Google Lens integration with Photos is now complete, and you’ll get the AI to identify objects, places and locations from photographs, and pull out contextual information based on the data detected in a screenshot.
The new Photos app for Android and iOS will be rolled out gradually over the next few weeks.