With Google Photos limiting the free storage, it was obvious that Google will bring smarter features to justify paid subscriptions. At the Google I/O 2021 event, Google has done exactly that. Unlike Android 12 and Wear OS, Photos gets more of a smarter upgrade with AI based features to make you feel more nostalgic. There’s more focus on Memories this year than ever.

Google is using AI to bring attention to almost 4 trillion photos that most users often miss out on later in their lives. Photos will now resurface meaningful moments from your gallery and use advanced features to bring some of them to life. There’s also new stuff related to protection and privacy.

Some of these updates will start rolling out shortly whereas others will be initially coming to Pixel devices.

Google Photos goes all nostalgic

– Google is focusing on improving the quality of Memories, or Photos’ version of Instagram stories, using AI tools. A tool called “Little Patterns” identifies not so obvious moments and creates stories based on image objects with similar shapes or colours.

In layman’s English, that means that Memories will now create stories from your photos of a trip in order to convey a story. For example, Photos can now identify your backpack in a group of photos and arrange them is a way to tell you a story of your trip.

Google Photos

– It is possible that Photos might pick up some irrelevant photos in a story and may cause you pain. Hence, Memories will allow you to remove a certain photo from a story on your wish. Additionally, the shortcut will also let you remove the picture entirely or hide from plain view.

– Photos will create more relevant stories based on popular occasions. For example, it can shuffle through your images to create a story based on the collection of Diwali photos, or other popular festival photos. “Later this year, you’ll also see new types of Memories of the moments you celebrate, whether that’s Diwali, Lunar New Year,  Hanukkah — which my family celebrates — or something else. These Memories will show up as you scroll through your photo grid, along with new Best of Month Memories and Trip highlights, which are starting to roll out today,” says Google.

Cinematic Moments

Cinematic Photos came out last year as Google’s way to create 3D version of photos. Now, Google is bringing Cinematic Moments that tries to create live pictures using data from two or more photos.

Google is using neural networks to analyse the data and synthesize the movement between two photo frames by creating extra frames, predicting what happens next. This will result in a still photo that looks animated. The results shown at the I/O 2021 seemed to make photos come alive with this feature.

Locked Folder

Google Photos gets a new Locked Folder this year to protect your sensitive photos and videos. As the sane suggests, you can secure your important photos and videos inside a password-locked folder. Photos stored in the Locked Folder won’t up while scrolling the feed.

Locked Folder will be initially available on Pixel devices and will roll out later to other phones. Pixel users will also be able to shoot a photo and directly store in the Locked Folder.

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