Google Photos is getting some incredible new features

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Google Assistant may have just
made its way to iPhone
, but it’s not even close to the
most exciting thing to come out of Google I/O today.

That would be all
of the incredible new features coming to Google Photos,
including new sharing options, stunning Photo Books you
can build in just a few taps, intelligent photo editing, and
Google Lens integration.

Google Photos now boasts over 500 million users across Android
and iOS, and it is stepping up its game in an effort to
become your primary photo backup and sharing service. Some if
its new features simply bring it in line with rival services,
but others will blow you away.


Let’s start
with the basics.

Suggested Sharing

Google
says we don’t share photos enough. We take some spectacular
images, then we leave them to sit in our camera rolls. We might
put them in an album and look back at them later, but we forget
to share them with our friends and loved ones. Suggested
Sharing hopes to change that.


Using its
machine learning technology, Google can identify the faces in
your shots then suggest who those photos should be shared with.
So if you have some great photos of your kids from your
last vacation, it will suggest you share them with your spouse,
and it takes just one tap.


Under the
new Sharing tab, you’ll see all your sharing activity and
suggestions you might have missed.

Shared Libraries

Google Photos sharingSharing have
never been easier.
Photo: Google

If you want to make sharing automatic, you can create Shared
Libraries. As the name suggests, these are galleries that you
can invite others to enjoy and contribute to. Those with access
will automatically get to see all the images you add to the
album, and they’ll be able to add their own with your
permission.

“You can give them access to your full photo library or, if you
prefer, only photos of certain people or from a certain date
forward,” Google explains.

“And when they share their library with you, you can
automatically save the photos you want so they also show up in
search and in the movies, collages and other fun creations
Google Photos makes for you. Gone are the days of begging your
partner for those special pictures only stored on their phone.”

Photo Books

Google Photo BooksBeautiful books
in just a few taps.
Photo: Google

Still have a thing for physical photos, or want to share some
stellar snaps with someone who doesn’t use a smartphone? That’s
where Photo Books comes in.

Photo Books are physical books available in soft and hard cover
variants starting at $9.99. Creating them is as simple as
selecting an album or a bunch of images in Google Photos.

Machine learning will
automatically choose the best images for you, so you can create
an entire book in just a few taps, without having to worry
about accidentally including blurry shots or duplicates.

“They’re beautiful, high quality, with a clean and modern
design. And thanks to our powerful search technology, your
photos are already organized by the people, places, or things
that matter,” Google says.

Later on, Google Photos will even suggest Photo Books for you.
The service is only available in the U.S. for now, but Google
promises that Photo Books will come to more markets soon.

Intelligent editing

Another great way Google is putting machine learning to good
use is with intelligent editing. It can intelligently identify
noise and distractions in the foreground of your photos and
edit them out. It takes just one tap and requires zero manual
effort.

In its demo during I/O, Google showed a picture of a boy taken
at a baseball game. The photo looked great, but a chain-link
fence could be seen in the foreground. Google Photos was able
to identify this as an unnecessary object and remove it,
without the user having to highlight it.

Google Lens

Finally, Google Photos is getting Google Lens, a new feature
that is becoming a part of the Google Assistant. Lens can
identify objects in the real world, just like Samsung’s new
Bixby assistant– only it’s even better.

You can use Lens to
identify buildings and landmarks in your shots, then fetch
useful information about them. Take a picture of a restaurant
and in just one tap, you can find its location, opening times,
and contact details, and book a table.

Lens can also identify text and numbers within an image. If you
have a screenshot from the web, Lens will pull out things like
email addresses and phone numbers and allow you to interact
with them.

Coming soon to Android and iOS

All of these features are coming soon to Google Photos on
Android and iOS. Suggested Sharing, Shared Photos, and Photo
Books will be available next week Google says, but we’ll have
to wait a bit longer for the rest.