Table of Contents
When sharing an image in Google Photos, a “Sharing image” sheet slides up the screen. “Modify” in the top-right corner lets you select more images to share using a grid.
The first section shows a preview of the selected picture(s) with the pencil icon in the corner launching the Markup tool to quickly crop, add text, draw, and highlight. The carousel below it links to various Google Photos actions, which is what Android 14 makes possible: Create Link, Send in Photos, Add to album, and Create album.
Direct Share targets — which use more signals from apps to improve relevance — appear next, along with frequently used apps. Nearby Share might appear in the first position. Scrolling up takes you to the full grid.
We’re seeing this new share sheet rolled out with version 5.65 of Google Photos today on Android 14 Pixel phones. It’s not yet appearing on large-screen (Pixel Tablet) devices that we checked this afternoon. The share sheet will presumably remain unchanged on Android 13 and earlier.
This follows Chrome, which was a big holdout, also dropping its custom implementation for Android 14 in August.
Google Photos redesign with new Memories feed rolls out
Last August 2023, Google announced a redesign to Photos that revamps the Memories feature, tweaks the bottom bar, and makes other changes. It’s now seeing wider availability in the US.
This redesign starts by moving the “Google Photos” wordmark to the left, while the Print store, Sharing, and your account avatar are at the right.
Sharing in the bottom bar makes way for “Memories,” with Library next and Search being the final tab. (This will certainly disrupt muscle memory.) A similar reorganization is live on tablets, while the “Utilities” tab has been removed from the navigation rail.
The most significant change is the Memories feed with its scrapbook-like timeline — which is not particularly well-optimized for tablets, as padding is just applied to the left and right — that uses AI for automatic curation and organization. Google aims to let you “easily relive, customize and share your most memorable trips, celebrations and daily moments with your loved ones.”
Users can create memories, which are pseudo albums from an editing and sharing perspective, from a rather tiny FAB (floating action button) that only appears when you scroll down. Meanwhile, generative AI is used to offer “customized title suggestions.” “Help me title” slides up a sheet that lets you add a “hint” to guide the generation.
Google started rolling this out in mid-August, but the revamp is only now seeing wide availability with version 6.54. If it’s not yet live on your device, try using the “Force stop” option on Google Photos from App info. It does not appear to be live on iOS yet.
This Google Photos redesign and Memories feed is coming first to the US and is set for global availability in the “coming months.”
Google Photos gets updated upload UI on the web
A small tweak to the Google Photos website in recent days modernizes the interface for uploading images and videos.
Like before, you can start uploading by dragging files into the window, or by tapping “Upload” in the top-right corner and selecting “Computer” to get a system file picker. Google Drive (pre-Workspace logo) is also still listed, but that’s now joined by “Add from other places,” which can also be found in the mobile app:
- Transfer from photo collections: Facebook, iCloud
- Transfer from photography services: Pixieset, Pic-Time, image.canon
- Digitize physical photos: Photomyne, Capture, CVS
- Back up from your computer: Google Drive for desktop
- Scan photos with your phone: PhotoScan
The more notable change today is to the bottom-left corner progress UI. When uploading, you’ll get an estimate of how much longer it will take with a blue “Stop” button to end the process. “Show more” will expand this UI to provide a list of what’s in the queue.
Once complete, you just get “Add to album” as the available action, with “Saved album” removed. Overall, the UI is smaller than before.
Meanwhile, the redesigned Google Photos app on Android and iOS has yet to widely launch.
Google Photos Locked Folder sync starts rolling out
Announced at the end of August 2023, the ability to sync the Google Photos Locked Folder across devices signed in to your Google Account is rolling out more widely.
As of this morning, we’re seeing a prompt to “Back up Locked Folder” at the top of Google Photos. (Try Force stop from App info if it doesn’t appear, but this is not fully launched yet.) That takes you to a screen that explains how “Backing up Locked Folder keeps your hidden photos & videos safe when you change devices or delete the app.”
You have the option to “Turn on backup” or “Do not back up,” which keeps the feature unchanged from today. The Locked Folder grid will show a cloud icon in the top-right corner. That menu will let you disable sync at any time.
After turning it on, everything will start uploading to the cloud. Locked Folder can be enabled on a per-device basis. In this case, it appears that previously synced photos will appear on a disabled device, but any additions won’t. A cloud icon appears in the bottom-right corner of image previews in those cases.
Meanwhile, “Locked Folder” appears in the photos.google.com sidebar just above “Trash.” To access, you will have to sign in to your account, including 2-Step Verification (2FA).
This is getting a wider rollout today — photos.google.com/lockedfolder — but it’s not yet fully available. We’re also now seeing Locked Folder with sync in Google Photos for iOS today. Meanwhile, the broader bottom bar redesign and AI-powered Memories is not yet seeing broad availability.