Google Photos is making it easier to reminisce about the past with three new features launching in the app: Memories, an Instagram Stories-style service, Canvas Prints, and Photo Prints.
The new Memories feature sits at the top of the Google Photos app and looks exactly like Instagram Stories and Facebook Stories. Except these aren’t for the world to see — they’re private and for your eyes only.
Each circle represents a year and so you can see photo memories from a year ago, two years ago, three years ago, and so on. These memories are a collection of photos from the same week you’re currently in but during previous years, so there is always some relevancy. Google said it also uses machine learning to pick the best photos, so you won’t see mundane photos or things like receipts.
Just like Instagram Stories, they are a collection of images and you can tap on the right to move through each photo. Swipe to the left to switch to another year. Tap the share button to send these photos to social media, friends, or family.
What if there’s an ex you don’t want to see in your Memories? Open the slide-out menu, tap Settings, and go to Memories. There’s a Hide from Memories option that lets you filter out people and pets.
If you don’t want to use Memories, there is a toggle to turn it off.
Google already lets you bring these photos into the real world in the form of Photo Books, which it launched two years ago, but now there are two more options to choose from.
Canvas Prints lets you pick a photo and place it on a canvas, ranging from 8 x 8, 11 x 14, and 16 x 20-inch sizes. You can have the image stretch past the borders, or add white or black sides, and these canvases will be shipped straight to your door.
The 8 x 8 canvas costs $20, the 11 x 14 is $30, and the 16 x 20 is $45.
In a similar fashion, you can now print standard 4 x 6-inch photos, but you can’t deliver them to your house. Instead, you can pick them up from one of the 11,000 CVS or Walmart locations around the country. A map pops up to help you choose a location, and you can see an estimated time to pick up your photo, along with directions and hours of operation for the store. You’ll get a notification when your photo order is ready.
The photo prints start at 25 cents per photo.
That’s not all that’s new in Google Photos. Now, when you share photos with other Google Photos users, you’ll be able to have a conversation right there without needing to go to a different messaging app.
It’s not intended to be a messaging app though, which is why there’s an option called All Photos you can tap on here to strip away all the text and just see the Photos shared with the person.
The new features are rolling out on the web, as well as to the iOS and Android apps today. It’s a gradual update on Android, so you might not see it immediately. The messaging feature is arriving in “the coming months.”
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