It’s not every day that mobile users are asked what they want to see from a product or service, but a Google Photos lead has asked Android users what Google Photos can do for them next.
“Hi Twitter! It’s no-meetings week @googlephotos and I’ve got a couple hours free. Tell me what you want to see next from Google Photos! New features, bug fixes, performance improvements, you name it. (No promises but very open minds!)” wrote Google Photos product lead David Lieb a few days ago.
A number of responses came pouring in. Among the responses Lieb seemed to confirm were in the pipeline, some were hinted at: the ability to search for a text within a photo and find the one you want, to delete photos from an album on Android, to re-upload high-quality photos into original quality (say, from Full HD to Quad HD) once you upgrade your Google One cloud storage, easy access to recently added photos from the Google Photos mobile app, and pet photo sharing in Partner Sharing.
Finding a photo based on the text within it is a much-needed feature for Photos; what is the point of taking photos with text in them (say, a restaurant sign) if you have to manually tag it to find it? This is a feature fit for Google Assistant.
As for re-uploading photos in original image quality after upgrading your Google One cloud storage, there should be an automatic way to upgrade them (an auto upgrade feature) without having to re-upload them to Google Photos.
There’s also a color filter for black-and-white photos that appears to be on the way, though it hasn’t arrived on Photos just yet.
One other request that Lieb says he discussed with an engineer leader concerns being able to navigate to a photo in one’s main library from the photo album in question. One tap could take you from the photo in your Photo Album to where it is in your endless sea of photos.
Other features Lieb confirmed as coming to Photos in the future include manually tagging faces. Right now, Photos does its own auto-tagging of faces; while you can remove faces, you can’t add faces to names. There’s also a search function for recently added photos that’ll let you search the latest photos to find that one photo you want to show your family and friends about your latest vacation, for example.
As for when these new Photos features will roll out, we don’t know. David Lieb told commenters to “stay tuned,” but that’s all that can be known for now.
Google Photos is already getting smarter. This year alone, Google has added cropping capabilities to documents in Google Photos. Last month, the search engine giant rolled out its much-anticipated Dark Theme for Google Photos. Google has a systemwide Dark Mode in the works for all of Android in its upcoming Android 10.0 Q system update that will land first on its upcoming Pixel 4 and Pixel 4XL smartphones to be announced this Fall.
The Googe Photos Android app surpassed 1 billion downloads back in the summer of 2017, making it Google’s 22nd app to hit such a major milestone. According to Google CEO Sundar Pichai that year, Google Photos boasts a combined user base between Android and iOS of 500 million users with 1.2 billion photos uploaded to the service each day.