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Google Photos adds long-requested quality of life change … kind of

Google Photos is a great online tool for those looking to store digital photo albums and the company has made it even better with a small, albeit long-overdue, change. Now, Android owners using the Google Photos app on their devices are able to delete photos in-app. While not a revolutionary update by any measure, the change is a welcome one that seems a little bewildering considering how long it took to be added.

Previously, Google Photos users were only able to trash unwanted photos when using a browser version, but thankfully Google silently added the missing feature to the Android app. While it would be nice to say that the in-app photo deletion problem was solved entirely by the fix, that, unfortunately, isn’t the case.

The Google Photos app shown on a smartphone.
Digital Trends

Android app users are only able to delete photos from private albums meaning that any photos shared between multiple accounts can’t be deleted without jumping through some hoops. In order to delete shared pictures in-app, the image needs to be taken out of the shared album and put into a private one. From there, users can delete them, but it feels like an unnecessary complication for what seems like should be a simple function.

Google Photos has been praised for its general ease of access for crucial services like backing up photos and videos that are oftentimes a pain to do when using other platforms, so a persisting issue like this feels like a misstep. Unfortunately, deleting images from shared folders will continue frustrating Android app users until it becomes as simple as Google Photos’ other services. If you’re waiting on a fix, however, be prepared to wait a while.

The Google Photos Android app problem has been a widely accepted part of the app’s experience for years and Google itself knew about the issue. As pointed out by Android Police, the Google Photos product lead David Lieb responded to a Tweet about the issue back in 2019, saying that the team behind the app was working on a fix. Nearly three years later, the fix has finally gone live, but the issue still remains.

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