Google has updated Google Photos, its photo and video storage and sharing service, with four fun and useful features that utilize its machine learning technology.
A small but time-saving new feature automatically corrects the orientation of photos in users' collections. When images are uploaded to Google Photos, the app immediately goes through them and looks for any that are sideways. Once the app has all the photos that it thinks should be flipped, these are gathered into a card that is then presented to the user for approval. The user can then rotate the images with one click or tap.
Another feature makes use of Google Photos' facial recognition technology to rediscover old memories of the people in a user's most recent photos. Using this technology, Google Photos looks at the people in newly uploaded images and draws up old photos in which these people also appear. According to Google, which announced the new features in a blog post on Wednesday, Oct. 12, they hope that this new feature makes it easy for users to look back at their fondest memories.
The third feature also utilizes the facial recognition technology to allow users to look over recent highlights of particular subjects. For example, if a user takes a lot of photos of a particular person (e.g. a child or a significant other), Google Photos will occasionally offer a card showing the highlights of that person from the previous month.
Tech Radar notes that this feature is particularly useful because it only pulls up photos of people users have recently taken photos of. This means that unlike services such as Facebook's On This Day notifications, users don't have to find themselves looking at a photo they'd rather not see ever again.
Finally, the most notable new Google Photos feature is the app's ability to automatically generate animations from videos uploaded by users. According to Google, Photos does this by scanning uploaded videos for "segments that capture activity" and then turning these into short animations that can be easily shared. This is similar to the app's ability to stitch together photos to make shareable GIFs.
Google notes that all of these new features are powered by its machine learning technology, which means that Google Photos users don't have to do a thing - Cards will simply appear in Photos' Assistant tab when they are ready.
The new Google Photos features are now available on iOS, Android, and the web.