Google has now updated its Photos application on Android with sorting features that allow users to search uploaded shots by how recently they were added. The feature has already been in place on the web app since last year. So it isn't entirely new and should be familiar to those who have used Google Photos in Chrome or another browser. But it should be more than welcome all the same.
Reports indicate that this feature is appearing in version 5.0 or newer of the Google Photos app on Android. And that it appears to have some server-side change requirements as well. So it may take a bit longer than usual for everybody to see a difference.
Does this Google Photos sorting feature actually fix anything on Android?
Now, sorting photos by when they were uploaded in the Google-built Android app is not necessarily something that most people would consider groundbreaking. But it's going to have more impact than might be initially assumed.
The app sorts photos by default based on when they were taken. Photos bases that figure on EXIF data associated with the images. And that means that photos sometimes go missing immediately after being uploaded. With the default sorting, Google Photos automatically sorts older shots further down in the UI.
So, if users have uploaded hundreds or even thousands of photos, older photos can quickly become lost. Especially for users who upload a lot of images.
Now, it's easy enough to work around that by sorting via date — if that's known. Or by sorting by the title — if that's known. But more often than not, those two things aren't known. That's because, generally speaking, the camera software determines the title. And, often enough, that's adjusted again when it's uploaded to a computer to prevent overwriting. Additionally, users sometimes want to upload much older images.
All of that, in conjunction, makes finding those photos again difficult.
How to sort by recently uploaded?
With this change in place, users can simply navigate to the Google Photos application. After opening that up, tapping on the Search tab will reveal the "Recently Added" option under the "Your Activity" subheading. Clicking that opens up a new view for uploaded photos, sorting them in Google's newly-updated Android app based on when they were uploaded.