Google Photos 3.14 Teardown Shows Tweaks To Sharing & More

A new teardown of Google's dedicated photo backup and sharing application - Google Photos - has now been performed, providing hints at new features that Google is working to incorporate into the app in the future. Among those features are further tweaks to how photos and albums are grouped and shared, as well as at least one new editing tool. Beyond that, a Favorites category for viewing images may soon be added to allow even more control over how images are stored and rediscovered. Beginning with the photo editing feature, that may or may not be directly tied in with Google's own Pixel 2 handsets and their highly-lauded Portrait Mode. Unfortunately, that would mean that other Android users would not see the feature unless an enterprising developer manages to make them available via a mod. However, it isn't immediately clear whether that's how the feature is going to work since the code simply refers to them as "photoeditor_adjustments." The feature wouldn't necessarily be exceptional in its range of use either. Each of the strings appears to be associated solely with effects related to lens blurring.

Moving beyond that, the biggest change the search giant appears to be working on pertains to how photos are saved and shared with others through the Google Photos partner sharing feature. For starters, now that the app's built-in machine learning and facial recognition has been adjusted to include pets and other animals, the "people" heading appears to be getting reworked to "faces." That's highlighted by strings which, in the previous version, asked users to select "people" and other similar strings, but which now ask users to select "faces." In another, apparently related change, Google also appears to be changing how pets are either included or not when it comes to sharing in the partnered albums features. Where the app already allows a user to choose to share them through a toggle switch in grouping settings, the company seems to be ready to incorporate a new option to hide pets entirely from all shared libraries. Further digging into the APK's code also suggests that Photos uploaded to Google Drive will soon be able to be included in those shared libraries - with new warning messages being added to the app's inactive code that alert users that enabling the feature will share photos in Drive with other users.

Last but not least, it seems as though Google is finally preparing to fully include a new album category dedicated to favorites. The APK for version 3.14 of Google Photos now includes code for an introductory prompt to inform the user about the new album and its functionality. That includes new strings which alert a user, confirming any additions to that album. Whether or not any of these features actually makes their way into the final, user-ready version of Google Photos remains to be seen. The company is constantly working to improve each of its apps but APK teardowns are just as likely to show features that the company is testing and those don't always become finalized.

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