Google announced two new updates for its Google Photos app today: a faster way to share photos to all your friends, even those who don't have the app installed, and smart-themed movies.
Users can now ignore the familiar roadblock when it comes to sharing content cross-platform. Often, we shift from app to app in order to push content to other people because people use different apps for viewing photos.
"Sharing photos with friends and family isn't super easy — everyone uses different apps, and it's hard to keep track of who is using what," said Kedar Kanitkar, tech lead for the Google Photos Sharing project.
In a blog post Monday, the company announced a new update to Photos that attempts to ease that woe. Users can now select the photos they want to share to their friends, and the app will automatically bring up a list of contacts regardless if they have the app installed, making it easier to share content to anyone seamlessly.
"This update is all about making it simpler to get photos, videos, and albums to the right people," said Kanitkar.
Users you share it to will get a notification if they have the app installed, while users who don't will get a link to Google Photos via email or SMS. It's an ingenious effort from Google to synergize the photo-sharing experience.
Another new feature brings smarter video montages, which selects photos similar in theme and stitches them together to automatically create a "movie concept," as Google terms it, though it's more of a slideshow. This was already a feature on the previous version of the app, only this time the photos are centered around a particular theme or logic. Here's hoping the app won't mirror this bizarre car accident montage made by Facebook's similar app called Moments.
For now, only the "They Grow Up So Fast" concept is available, with more to come in the coming weeks. Google plans to add "Summer of Smiles," a collection of moments culled from a longer stretch of time like summer, and "Special Day," a collection of photos taken during more ephemeral moments like a birthday party, a wedding or something similar.
"You can imagine where this goes," said Tim Novikoff, founder of Fly Labs, acquired by Google in November 2015 to join its Google Photos team. "Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Little League highlights, dance recitals. All the things that people do, we can make special movies around them."
In just a year, Google Photos has already achieved 200 million monthly active users, and it's no surprise. With features previously mentioned along with the option to free up storage space by putting photos in the cloud, thereby enabling accessibility, the app is slowly becoming the grab-bag solution to every photo storage and sharing dilemma.