Google Photos rolls out shared albums to spread memories more easily

At its Nexus press conference in September, Google announced that shared albums will be coming later in the year to the well-received Google Photos app. The feature is rolling out now and as the name suggests, it allows users to add friends and family to their photos in a particular album.

But it’s not limited to just adding friends and family to an album. The new feature makes taking photos at events more collaborative. For example, if you threw a party and everyone was collectively taking photos and videos, you could create an album and each person would be able to add their own media. Members in the album get notifications when new pictures are added.

“Sharing photos and videos between friends and family after your birthday bash or holiday gathering shouldn’t be difficult,” James Gallagher, engineering lead for Google Photos, said in the blog post announcement. “But between the great shots your brother has buried on his iPhone and that friend who keeps forgetting to email you her pics, you’re often left reliving the event through just the photos and videos you took yourself.”

Another example Google Photos director Anil Sabharwal demoed on-stage at the September event involved his ability to share an album with his mother to keep her in the loop about what’s happening with her grandchildren. It’s very similar to photo-sharing in Apple’s iCloud, but Google Photos isn’t exclusive and is available on a variety of devices.

To make a shared album, select photos from the sidebar, hit the plus button to make an album, and then send the link to whomever you wish to add. Google says the feature works with whatever device your family and friends are using — whether tablet, laptop, Android or iPhone. If someone is added as a contributor, they need a Google account to participate, but anyone with the link can view the album and download photos. The album owner decides who can add their own content to the album.

The photos are saved in chronological order based on when they were taken, not added, but shared album images can be rearranged by the album owner. Sadly, you can’t yet comment, caption, or like any of the photos or videos. The collaborative albums are not automatically saved into your Google Photos library, but the update brings the option to add them.

Dave Lieb, product lead for Google Photos, said to The Verge that comments and likes will be added to shared albums in a staged approach. Lieb also said that shared albums are private unless the user explicitly shares them with someone.

The feature is rolling out today on Android, iOS and the Web. 

Wearables

The Tacs Nato-Lens is a watch for those who live life through a camera lens

Not all watches have to be round, or connect to your phone. The Tacs Nato-Lens is a stylish piece of wristwear with a design inspired by classic SLR cameras, making it a geeky timepiece for the camera and watch fan.
Mobile

Flex your thumbs (and your brain) with these fun texting games

Gaming consoles keep getting more advanced, but you can still have fun with the good old Latin alphabet. Here are our picks for the best texting games, so you can make the most fun out of that limited data plan or basic cell phone.
Mobile

Wring the most out of iOS with the best commands for Siri

You may not know all the things you can say to Siri -- after all, Apple never released an official list of commands for its virtual assistant. Thankfully, we've compiled a list of the best Siri commands to help you out.
Mobile

24 must-have apps for rooted Android phones and tablets

Rooting your Android device opens up a world of possibilities, along with a few apps. Here are 24 of our favorites, so you can make the most of your rooted device and unleash the true power of Android.
Photography

Looking to keep prying eyes at bay? Here's how to hide photos on your iPhone

People take tons of photos using their smartphones, but not all are meant to be shared or seen. Luckily, hiding photos on your iOS device is easy, whether you want to use built-in utilities or apps with added security.
Mobile

This is the easiest way to save your iPhone data to your computer

Living in fear of losing your contacts, photos, messages, and notes on your iPhone? Fear no more -- in this guide, we'll break down exactly how to back up your iPhone to your computer using Apple's iTunes or to the cloud with iCloud.
Product Review

The new iPad Mini isn’t a beauty, but it performs like a beast

Apple’s new iPad Mini has beastly performance, fluid iOS 12 software, and good battery life. It also looks like it came straight out of 2015, because the design hasn’t been changed. Here's our review of Apple’s 7.9-inch tablet.
Mobile

HMD Global admits Nokia 7 Plus handsets sent user data to China

Nokia could be in some hot water. According to recent reports, Nokia 7 models may be secretly sending data to China without the user knowing about it. Nokia says that the issue was a software bug and that it has been fixed.
Mobile

Here are the best iPad Pro keyboard cases to pick up with your new tablet

The iPad Pro range can double as laptops, but they do need proper keyboards to fill in effectively. Thankfully, there are loads to choose from and we rounded up the best iPad Pro keyboard cases right here.
Computing

Breeze through security with these checkpoint-friendly laptop bags

Getting through airport security is a drag, but your laptop bag shouldn’t be. Thankfully, these checkpoint-friendly laptop bags will get you and your gear to your destination with ease.
Wearables

Alpina makes its AlpinerX smartwatch even more attractive with new colors

Alpina has introduced four new colors to its AlpinerX smartwatch range, breaking the usually sporty watch out into a more everyday casual design, and given the tech a slight makeover too.
Mobile

New gold finish makes Frederique Constant’s hybrid smartwatch flashier than ever

Frederique Constant has found considerable success with its luxury hybrid smartwatch, the Hybrid Manufacture, and has launched several new color schemes to help bring it even more attention.
Wearables

Tag Heuer’s Golf Edition smartwatch is a lot more than just a flash of new color

Tag Heuer's Golf Edition Connected Modular 45 smartwatch has a lot more going for it than just a flashy new color scheme. From the titanium body and black PVD coating to the new Golf app, this is a true special edition.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robotic companions and computer-aided karaoke

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!