Google Photos Gets Easier To Use With A New Carousel Menu Refresh

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Google Photos has a new look on Android devices, following a recently spotted server-side update that changes how users will navigate the app's photo menu. For clarity, that's the menu that typically appears after selecting a photo.

Prior to the update, users were presented with a bottom row of icons and a three-dot menu at the top-right hand side. The former of those rows contain a sharing, photo editor, Google Lens, and Delete icon. The three-dot menu housed options for accessing Info, a Slideshow, managing albums, and more. That's almost all intact after the update.

The exception is that now users can access those options more easily. Users only need to tap on the three-dot menu or perform a slide gesture from the bottom of the screen. In either case, the app then presents a prominent Material Design card UI, with approximately the top quarter of the display still dedicated to a scaled-down version of the photo.

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On the card, users will see a new icon carousel. That holds icons to add the photo in question to an album, move it to the archive, save it to the device, or order a print of the photo.

Sliding from right-to-left on that reveals an option to "Use" the photo as a wallpaper or contact photo. To the right of that are an icon for the "Slideshow" option and another to print the photo.

Below the carousel, Google has included the date and time the photo was taken and a space to add or edit its description. Any geotagging data is located just below that, including a map of exactly where that is. Any other details about the device and camera responsible for the photo are also visible toward the bottom of the card.

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Another late arrival amid an influx of menu and UI changes

This latest change to the Google Photos app menu and UI is just the latest in a string of updates. Among the most recent of those prior to the Material design look, Google rolled out a dark theme to the app back in June.

That change was no less dramatic, making the app easier on the eyes and less battery intensive to use. The new UI, of course, works with both dark and light themes.

But this is also another instance where Google has managed to roll out its update for Android a bit late. While Android is just now receiving the update on a widespread basis, iOS users have already had access to the new UI for some time now. So the change isn't entirely "new."

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Regardless, the change brings the app in line with Google's push to eliminate and declutter overflow menus. The hamburger menu at the top-left-hand side will likely be next to go. That's yet another change recently spotted on the way as per a recent app teardown.

How to get the update

As noted earlier, this update to Google's photo management and sharing app seems to be happening on the server-side. That's because it has been spotted in several app versions as opposed to arriving with just one. So it should be slightly faster in arriving for everybody since there's no update to download to get the app. Those who want to check just to be sure will need to navigate to the app's page on the Google Play store.

Google Photos - Play Store

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Junior Editor

Daniel has been writing for AndroidHeadlines since 2016. As a Senior Staff Writer for the site, Daniel specializes in reviewing a diverse range of technology products and covering topics related to Chrome OS and Chromebooks. Daniel holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Software Engineering and has a background in Writing and Graphics Design that drives his passion for Android, Google products, the science behind the technology, and the direction it's heading. Contact him at [email protected]

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