New Google Photos Update Debuts Video Caching And More

September 3, 2017 - Written By Dominik Bosnjak

Google on Friday started rolling out a new update for Google Photos, bringing its popular Android app to version 3.4. The latest stable build of Google Photos should already be available for download from the Google Play Store in all parts of the world, with its most notable addition coming in the form of a video caching option. According to Google’s own changelog, the app is now capable of automatically caching any video you watched in order to allow you to replay it whenever you want without using additional mobile data. Limited testing reveals that replaying videos you watched following the Google Photos 3.4 update is now nearly instantaneous, suggesting that the app is truly capable of caching video files. On the other hand, the update doesn’t introduce any user interface changes to accompany this functionality and there’s currently no way to manage the app’s cache, save for deleting all of it from the system Settings app on your smartphone or tablet.

Google’s changelog doesn’t detail whether the company implemented some kind of a cache management solution which automatically deletes older videos in an effort to preserve local storage, though that seems like a probable scenario given how the newly added feature could otherwise quickly fill up your internal memory. Likewise, the current stable version of Google Photos doesn’t come with a setting that would allow you to turn off this video caching solution and there’s currently no indication that the Mountain View, California-based tech giant is working on adding one in the future.

The Google Photos version 3.4 update also introduces some “performance improvements,” as revealed by its Play Store changelog which doesn’t go into any more details on the matter. Furthermore, initial reports suggest that smartphones and tablets running Android 7.1 Nougat and later builds of the mobile operating system have lost the “Free up space” and “I’m feeling lucky” app shortcuts following the 3.4 update, though it’s currently unclear why the Alphabet-owned company removed this particular feature from its photo management solution. Google Photos is expected to soon receive the ability to generate coming-of-age movies from your photo library, which is a functionality that its creators have been working on for at least several weeks now.

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