Google Photos updates make it easier to share and sift through your pictures

Google Photos' first big update adds simple, yet powerful tools designed to make searching and sharing your images even easier.

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Google’s big event on Tuesday wasn’t all about hardware. The software company also announced a number of new features for Google Photos, all designed to make it easier to share your pictures with your friends and family.

The most notable new feature is shared albums, which rides on the back of Photos’ existing sharing functionality. After you share an album with someone else, they can press a Join button to follow updates to the album, or add pictures of their own by simply clicking on the + button in the upper-right corner of the album. Whenever somebody adds new pictures to an album you’re following, you’ll receive a notification saying so.

google photos shared libraries

Albums can even be shared between Android and iOS devices. 

Plus, Google Photos supports shared albums between both iOS and Android devices, so your entire network of friends and family could share content regardless of what device ecosystem they’re locked in to. Look for shared albums to arrive in Google Photos later this fall.

google photos

A search for “Maggie hiking.”

Perhaps more interesting is Photos’ powerful new name label capabilities, which are rolling out to Android users this week and other platforms later. You can now label people with specific names, and then use those names to conduct powerful semantic searches thanks to Google’s cloud-based machine learning. For example, if you tell Photos that your pal Phil’s name is Phil, you could then conduct searches like “Phil skiing” to surface Photos of—you guessed it—Phil skiing. You can also conduct searches using multiple tagged people, such as a search for “Phil and Mary hiking.” Cool!

Finally, Google Photos is also gaining Chromecast support, so you can beam your pictures to the big screen.

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