Today, at Google’s I/O developer conference, the company announced a number of updates for Google Photos — with shared libraries, suggested sharing, photo books, and an integration with Google Lens being the biggest announcements.
The app — which currently boasts 500 million users just two years after its launch — offers photo storage and management for iOS, Android, and the web, and allows users to upload unlimited images (though the size of the individual photos is capped if you don’t have a Pixel) for free. The app also leverages Google’s AI technology to recognize faces, images, and places, so that users can search their libraries things like “Mom,” “lakes,” or, as demonstrated by Google VP of photos Anil Sabharwal during the I/O keynote, “Anil pineapple Hawaii.”
Suggested Sharing will use Google’s artificial intelligence to pick your best photos, determine who’s in them, and then suggest you share them with those people. After you’ve shared the photos, the app will identify related photos, whether that’s by the location where they were taken or the people in them, for you to continue sharing.
With shared libraries, you can now share a library with another Google user, and have photos with certain people in them automatically uploaded to the new library. Onstage, Sabharwal created a new album with his wife and set it up so that photos from each of their libraries of her and their kids to would upload to the shared collection.
He took a selfie with a cardboard cutout of his kids, which Google Photos recognized to add an image to the library. The feature resembles the Shared Albums feature within Apple’s iOS Photos app, but Apple’s version does not identify people within the photos and doesn’t enable automatic sharing.
Google announced a shopping update to Google Photos that resembles the service Shutterfly: you can now buy physical books — hardcover for $19.99 or soft for $9.99 — within Google Photos. The app can select photos for a possible book in the same way that the Suggested Sharing feature identifies the best photos from your collection and offers them to you.
Finally, Google’s AI-powered touchup feature Google Lens will now integrate with Google Photos, allowing you to enhance the photos in your library remove obstructing objects from them.