Google Photos update adds navigation bar, other visual tricks

Collections are now called Albums and include a scrolling carousel to more quickly find your favorite moments from the past.

google photos
Derek Walter

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It should be easier to find all those pictures of your cute kids thanks to changes in Google Photos.

The 1.5 update adds a persistent navigation bar to the bottom of the screen so you can quickly switch between your albums, photo scroll, and the assistant.

google photos 1.5

The new navigation bar gives you a more visual queue of where other areas are located in the app. 

Albums is the new name for what was previously called Collections. The purpose is the same: it’s the catch-all section where you can see people, places, and other groupings of similar images. You can swipe through to see shared albums or past trips summarized by location.

The Assistant is redesigned with four handy buttons to create an album, collage, animation, or movie from your existing images. There are bound to be other hidden gems, so grab it and play around to see what’s there.

Google says the app is doing the usual rollout to the Play Store. If version 1.5 isn’t live for you yet, there’s always the good people of APK Mirror.

The impact on you: Google Photos is terrific, though it’s not without a few quirks. I highly recommend it to anyone who has a large photo collection as Google will automatically organize people with facial recognition and spit out some nifty summaries of your trips. The unsung feature is how it will free up space on your phone by deleting local copies but keeping them in your cloud storage, which can be very handy if you don’t have a lot of space to spare.

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