Google Drive may be the new backup solution for all your pictures, usurping Google+ Photos for automatically saving all your smartphone’s images and videos.
That’s what Android Police uncovered while digging into the APK for Google Drive 2.2. The update enables you to organize your Drive by dragging and dropping files and tweaks to the slide-out navigation menu. But as is often the case with Google’s Android apps, there are nuggets hidden in the code that hint of future plans.
Several strings indicate that Drive will get some type of Google Photos folder, which will take over the photo and video backup duties currently handled by Google+.
We had a hint something like this was coming. Recently Google’s David Horowitz announced he would be taking over the social network, which will be reorganized into Google Streams and Photos. The Photo backup and editing tools in Google+ have been one of the few bright spots for the service, which never met the goal of becoming an alternative to Facebook.
This could change how you access photos from a Mac or PC. On the desktop, you currently have to go to Google+ Photos to get to your images and download them if you want a copy on your hard drive. If photos are backed up directly to Drive they could be synced to your computer if you have the Google Drive app installed, which would make it far more convenient to access.
The other key discovery from the APK teardown was Chromecast support for audio and video saved in Drive. This could allow you to stream an album or batch of songs saved in your Drive without uploading them to Google Play Music or another Chromecast-supported music application.
The impact on you: If you use Google+ Photos as your image backup solution, be on the lookout for things to change. An ideal time for Google to launch this would be at its Google I/O conference in May, when it tends to unleash a flood of new products and enhancements to its current services.