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All the New Things You Can Do With Google Photos

Dave Parrack 19-05-2017

Google is adding a bunch of new features to Google Photos. All of which should help make Google Photos even more of an essential app than it is already. From improved sharing options to physical photo books, with a little bit of Google Lens on the side, Google Photos is evolving.


When Google killed Picasa Picasa Is Going Away: 5 Reasons You Should Be Disappointed Picasa will be discontinued on 15th March, and there are good reasons to be disappointed that its long run is ending. Here are five reasons why you should be upset. Read More , many people were disappointed. Here was their favorite photo app being euthanized, and for what? It turns out Google had bigger plans, and has since integrated many of Picasa’s best features into Google Photos. And now Google Photos is getting even better.

Google Photos’ New Features

At Google I/O 2017, Google announced a slew of new features coming to Google Photos. They are:

Suggested Sharing uses Google’s artificial intelligence to choose your best photos, figure out who’s in them, and suggest who you should share them with. You can share via Google Photos itself, or, if sharing with people who don’t have Google Photos, via email or SMS instead.

Shared Libraries lets you share photos automatically with a significant other. You can share all of your photos, subsets of photos based on the people in them, or photos taken after a certain date. This will be particularly useful after a vacation with your significant other, as one example.

Photo Books are physical books filled with photos you’ve taken on your smartphone. Google’s AI will suggest photos that belong together and offer them up as a photo book. You then edit the book as you see fit, and place your order. Prices start at $19.99 for a hardcover, and $9.99 for soft.


Google Lens is being integrated into Google Photos. Lens will identify important elements of your photos, and let you interact with them in some way. A phone number in a photo would become clickable, for example. Lens will also be able to identify the places or products in your photos.

Some of these features are available now, while others will be introduced in the coming weeks.

Google Photos Surpasses Picasa

Some users are still bitter over Google’s culling of Picasa. However, Google Photos has, in many ways, surpassed its predecessor. These new features are all extremely useful, and, in the case of Photo Books, add a whole new way for budding smartphone photographers 10 Simple Tricks to Boost Your Smartphone Photography There are a few tips that are especially useful when you're taking shots with your phone; they'll help you take your pictures from "blah" to "fantastic" in no time! Read More to explore their craft.

Do you currently use Google Photos? Is it your default photo manager or do you prefer a different product? Are you excited about the features Google is adding to Google Photos? Are they enough to make you switch allegiance? Please let us know in the comments below!

Image Credit: Greyloch via Flickr

Related topics: Google, Google Photos, Photo Album, Photo Sharing, Smartphone Photography.

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  1. Paul Davis
    October 17, 2017 at 6:38 am

    Google photos can do things no others can - except label the f*****g thing! Wth google? I seriously can't add a freaking label or name but your amazing AI can identify pet faces now? Wow what a massive fail.

  2. Cindy Horton
    May 21, 2017 at 2:24 am

    heck ya im happy bout the new features on google photos. I usr google photo alot and its now going to b better. !! Now i do have question ,y is it that when i use a random pic app on playstore and when on the app i cant pull up google photos albums !? I didnt have the option and it sucked cuz thats where all my pics r !! Please fix this soon if possible !thk u google

  3. Peggy Young
    May 20, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    I want to be able to send pictures to Walgreens from Google photos.

  4. Arla Howell
    May 20, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    I love Google photos. I only it had a feature to remove duplicates.

    • Jane
      May 20, 2017 at 7:06 pm


  5. Len Willis
    May 20, 2017 at 1:58 pm

    Google photos could not adequately transfer my photographs from Picasa and those that were transferred were minus the captions that had been inserted on Picasa. It's rubbish compared with Picasa. Another example of "If it's not broken, don't fix it"

    • William J Brown
      May 20, 2017 at 9:29 pm

      I completely agree.

      I had SEVEN YEARS invested in my 2,000+ Picasa albums. I have tens of thousands of photos already sorted ny Picasa that I now lack a stable desktop program to further sort, edit and refine.

      That Google couldn't give a s*** and didn't at least uodate and fix the "code bugs" in Picasa before ceasing support of it is INDEFENSIBLE. A completely preventable FAIL to burn long-time Google promoters like me.

  6. Robin P
    May 20, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    These new features seem to neglect what Google photos is majorly missing. No one is interested in being able to buy products that you may accidentally have taken pictures of being able to click on a phone number in a picture. Users wants more tools to organize their photos. Finding orphaned photos that haven't been put in an album yet. Photos that are in more than one album. Being able to put albums within albums. Users also want more tools to edit their media, like GPS tags, rotating videos, reduce file size, locating duplicates, blurred photos, bad photos, adding titles. Users also want better search functions. Being able to search the words used in a picture's tag. Search for duplicates and search for large files. In general I want more control of my files, not more automation.

    • Ronny
      May 22, 2017 at 12:03 pm

      ^^^^ Indeed! ^^^^

    • Domo
      May 22, 2017 at 8:56 pm


  7. Robin P
    May 20, 2017 at 1:31 pm

    I'll be pissed if Google integrate these grand new stupid features and neglects to fix all the other issues that makes Google photos annoying to use. I have tens of thousands of photos that don't belong to any album, but it's impossible to know which photos are orphaned. It makes it impossible to organize photos. Google photos also don't look at the time stamp of when photos and videos were taken so they are not showing up in chronological order. Major suck points! Google needs many more features to manage pictures and videos. Being able to reduce size of videos would be nice. Rotating videos (I have many videos on the side). Editing GPS tags. Same editing functions on app as on web. Being able to delete videos in the app. Being able to have joint custody over an account, meaning two people should be able to upload pics to the same account. Google should be be smart enough to locate duplicates, blurred pictures, bad pictures. Being able to put albums inside of albums. Uploading massive amounts of files is a major head ache because Chrome crashes so frequently. The list is long. I love Google and I have faith in Google, but we don't need to be able to click on phone numbers in photos. We just want to be able to manage our photos in the easiest way possible.

  8. J.T. MARTIN
    May 20, 2017 at 10:36 am

    The problem with Google plus it's very difficult to find a photo album id to use in an embedded website slides how. It's been one of the biggest complaints since picasa shut down

  9. Alan Bragg
    May 20, 2017 at 10:03 am

    Google uploaded multiple copies of my photos and there is no easy way to delete them. Location information cannot be added to a photo. You would think Google would know how to find duplicate photos.
    There is no way to search for an album without scrolling through the entire list.

  10. Ray Perkins
    May 20, 2017 at 10:01 am

    Aside from Google Photos crashing all the time on my decent tablet, it has created multiple copies of images that I can't get rid of easily (as there are thousands of them). Surely Google can delete files with identical names. Example:

  11. James Randall
    May 20, 2017 at 6:42 am

    I am loving the new features in Google photos, the sharing all with my family so we all have them for posterity is not an obvious feature. Is it the and can it be a simple click to do. Thanks

  12. Deepak Gahlowt
    May 20, 2017 at 5:51 am

    The article is obviously by someone that has not really used Picassa, or is just being paid by Google.. To say "It turns out Google had bigger plans, and has since integrated many of Picasa’s best features into Google Photos. And now Google Photos is getting even better." is completely untrue. Google photos, other than being an online storage drive for photos, remains useless and is no-where close to Picassa..

  13. Suzi Love
    May 20, 2017 at 1:18 am

    I agree that there are still features we loved in Picasa missing from Google Photos but hopefully they'll add them all soon eg labelling photos, borders, retouching etc.

  14. Mathew
    May 19, 2017 at 9:33 pm

    With the increasing number of photos, the need to add a title to a photo or change the file name is becoming increasingly imperative, as is the need to be able to search for a specific photos based on the name given.
    It's extremely annoying to have to browse 1000s of photos in search of the one we need.
    If only I could search based on names/tags that I had saved it with.
    With all the fancy artificial intelligence like Google lens etc, I can't figure out why Google doesn't offer the simple but significant feature to name and search photos.
    What a bummer !!!

  15. Picasa Power User
    May 19, 2017 at 9:17 pm

    Google photos still does not have a number of great and important features that Picasa so great, including: The ability retouch, add text to photos, tint color schemes, and long list of options to control collages, borders, and transparencies. It is also frustrating that one can not make photo movies from a laptop, but only the phone app!

  16. Picasa Power User
    May 19, 2017 at 9:14 pm

    Picasa still had a number of photo editing features not yet available on Google. These include: Retouching, adding text, Color tints and a number of different options to control collages, transparencies and borders. It is also frustrating that you can't make movies on Google Photos from your laptop and only your phone app...

  17. Nancy Shields
    May 19, 2017 at 9:00 pm

    Picassa allowed me to label or write a description of a photo which I could see without clicking the i and turning the photo over. I would like to see the description as I am looking at the photo.
    Picassa also allowed me to organize the dates the album. Google has screwed up some of the dates so the photo albums are not in order.

    • Mike Williams
      May 19, 2017 at 9:46 pm

      Yes, Google Photos thinks that photos and videos taken in the same session are from different days.
      Its AI is hopeless, presenting me with ugly touchups and albums of image fragments or images that are 90 degrees off vertical

  18. Nasir Ali
    May 19, 2017 at 7:29 pm

    Please allow us to build a family tree by identifying the members of our family and allocating their positions in the family tree

    Google can then use artificial intelligence to suggest upcoming events where the presence of all the related members may be required and to suggest suitable reunions

  19. traveller
    May 19, 2017 at 5:42 pm

    Picasa allowed us to name every person in our library of photos allowing us to search easily for them. Google Photos does not. There is a maximum of 300 or so. In a long life that is too few. Do hope this changes.