Google Photos memories are becoming much more cinematic and shareable

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Google Photos may no longer offer free storage, but it’s still one of the best options, if not the best option, for organizing your personal photos and videos in the cloud. Google continues to innovate in the area, and nearly three years after it first launched its Instagram Stories-like Memories, it has the biggest update in store for the feature, with more cinematic creations, editing options, and better sharing capabilities.

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As a refresher, Memories are the auto-curated carousels of photos from past years and events that appear at the top of Google Photos and sometimes grace the notification shade as well. In them, you can find collections of recent highlights, the best photos from a year or two or three or more ago, and some themed collections like Christmas, summer or autumn, but also themes like “Spotlight on xyz”, “rides and sun ” or “artistic cravings.” Google even proactively edits some images, making them “cinematic,” black-and-white, or collages.

The latest update to the feature puts much more emphasis on videos. While Google has long added some videos to Memories, it now says it will include many more of the best longer video clips, which Photos automatically selects and trims. Looks like Google first began testing this capability in Marchsince we covered video snippets the first time back then.

Still photos are also getting a more “dynamic” overhaul, with Google saying they’ll get “a subtle zoom that brings movement to your memories.” And starting next month, the company will also be adding instrumental music to many more Memories. A look at the animation below makes it clear what this will look like in action. It’s basically an automated version of those vacation photo slideshows you used to create in Windows Movie Maker as a kid. (Was it just me? Okay.)

Google will also launch some new types of memory starting today. The so-called Full Cinematic Memories will include many more cinematic photos in one batch. It’s those kinds of photos where a subject is lifted from the background for a more video-like look. From what we understand, these new memories will consist solely of cinematographic images, which gives the format the prominence it deserves. People have routinely complained about how infrequently they are shown cinematic photos.

Another big change is the improved sharing option. Google says it’s rolling out the option to share entire memories with friends and family, giving them the option to view images and videos just as you see them in your memory carousel. This can be achieved by tapping the share button in the bottom right corner when viewing the memory. You can share it within Photos and as a link with people you’re not connected with on the platform. In the Photos app, shared memories will live in the Share tab. Sharing is only available on Android for now and will come to iOS and the web at a later date.

Google shared with us that it is also working on a new navigation system for Memories. You’ll still be able to tap on the left or right edge of the screen to go to the next or previous image, but instead of swiping left and right to go to the next collection of memories, you’ll now have to swipe up and down. down. . It feels like an odd change, given that the swipe-up gesture is currently reserved for the context menu, so we wonder where that functionality will live in the future. It’s also quite useful to have this menu easily accessible, because it allows you to quickly get more images from the same day.

There is also a new collage editor. When selecting multiple images from your library, you can press the button Add to create a collage and use some of the backgrounds you know from some of the automatic collages in Memories, a clear improvement that gives you much more control over your content. Google has also added some new backgrounds in collaboration with artists like Lisa Congdon and Shantell Martin. Note that some of these are only for Google One subscribers or Pixel owners.

Google has added a lot of features with this round of updates, but you may still have too many images in your library to navigate easily. We have some tips and tricks on how to tame your Google Photos collection if this is a problem you run into.

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