The Google Photos Android app surpassed one billion downloads several days ago, as evidenced by its Google Play Store listing. The mobile photo management tool is Google's 22nd app to hit this major milestone, though its number of active users is significantly smaller than that. As recently revealed by Google Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai, Google Photos currently boasts around 500 million users on Android and iOS combined that are active on a monthly basis and are uploading 1.2 billion photos to the service each day. Pichai disclosed that figure at the latest iteration of the Google I/O developer conference that took place last month, indicating that the Mountain View, California-based Internet giant is looking to maintain that traction going forward.
While Google Photos is far from an only photo management solution on the Google Play Store, its popularity is largely driven by the service's free cloud storage that allows each individual user to upload a significant volume of photos at no charge. This backup solution proved to be well-received among consumers and the Alphabet-owned company is now designing many of its new features and changes to complement that core functionality. Google Photos is also a part of the firm's services that come pre-installed on a majority of devices running the Android operating system as per its license agreement that original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are required to sign, though it's currently unclear to what exact degree did that privileged status help push the app into the hands of hundreds of millions of users.
Google Photos has been a major talking point at the aforementioned Google I/O 2017, with the tech giant stating that the app will be ennobled with many new technologies going forward. Google's artificial intelligence (AI) endeavors led to some of those technologies that are currently enabling Google Photos to make archiving suggestions, recognize individual people, and automatically create slideshows and galleries. The latest update to the app that started rolling out last week also introduced the ability to quickly create and print photo books, in addition to debuting a simple archiving functionality. While it's still unclear how is Google planning to monetize its app in the long term, more information on its efforts to do so may follow shortly.