Google Photos has plenty of excellent features, and now live previews of videos can be added into that mix as Google seems to have recently rolled this out to the application on Android devices. This only seems to be active in the main photos tab of the application which is essentially the home screen of the app UI, so whether or not Google plans to expand on this and push it into other areas of the app, like specific folders which house only videos, is still unknown.
While live previews are currently only available in the main photos tab of the app the previews aren’t limited to just the videos which have been recorded with your phone’s camera. The preview will actually work with any video that can be found on the photos tab, which means videos you’ve saved or created using other apps will have previews as well as long as they’re able to be viewed from this main screen.
If you’ve spent any amount of time in the YouTube app on your Android device than you might be familiar with the live preview. This is also present on the desktop version of YouTube, and if you tap on or scroll over certain videos you will end up with a small preview clip of the video’s content which loops, so it’ll play a few seconds of the video (without audio) and then stop, and loop back to replay the same preview.
This is exactly how the live preview of videos works inside of Google Photos except that it plays back all of the video in its entirety instead of just a few seconds. Though audio is still missing so if you want the full experience then you will need to open the video as you would normally if you were planning to watch it.
Why would you want to preview the entire video without the audio? In most you cases you probably wouldn’t, but if you have multiple videos which appear to be the same this feature can be helpful in figuring out which video is the one you’re actually looking for without having to open each and every single one. You can simply preview each clip then once you find something that denotes it as the one you’re looking for you can open just the one video.
This is probably a very niche case, sure, but it’s sure to pop up for some and it’s a nice touch for the app that gives it some extra polish. Worth mentioning is that live previews of videos will only stop playing in one of two ways. Either if you scroll past the video on the page or if you let it play through all the way before it stops for a moment to pause, only to loop back and restart the preview.
Live preview should be available in the app for any user as the rollout appears to be wide spread. Users can also look forward to additional new feature for the app in the future as David Leib who is the product lead for Photos says the team is open minded about adding new features and has asked for feedback from users.