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Latest “Then and Now” Card update of Google Photos

Google Photos, Then and Now card automatically merges past and present snaps

Then and Now is a recent aspect of Google Photos which appears from time to time in its Assistant tab.

Like the animations, collages, and stylised photos you might have seen appear there previously, this is an automatic feature, but it works a little differently to the other collage function.

Rather than splicing a number of recent pictures from the same scene together, the Then and Now card takes an old photo and places it alongside a recent one.

This news arrives via Android Updated and, judging by the comments surrounding it, it seems like the Google algorithm is doing its best to make this collage using two images from a similar location or scenario. In other words, it’s unlikely just to pull a past and present picture together at random, and may only trigger when a certain criterion is met. Maybe try wearing that same holiday sweater from 2014 again this year to see if it pops up? One user also said that this card made a collage with their dog, so it may not just be restricted to people (it might not even be restricted to living things).

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Recent updates

Suggested Sharing and Shared Libraries

June 28: Suggested Sharing and Shared Libraries will begin rolling out to Google Photos on Android, iOS, and the web starting today.

Suggested Sharing uses machine learning to automatically identify photos and suggest people in your contacts who you might want to share with. In the Sharing tab of the Photos app, you’ll be able to see all your sharing activity, including photos sent to you and ones you’ve sent to others.

This new menu will show your personal suggestions at the top based on your sharing habits and the people in the photos.

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Plus, if your friends or family were with you at a particular event and happen to use Google Photos, the app will send them reminders to upload their photos to the album. You’ll then receive a notification when new photos are added. Shared Libraries, meanwhile, will allow you to share full photo libraries with another user.

Father’s Day movies

June 15: Google Photos wants to help you celebrate Father’s Day with some homemade movies. Similar to the Mother’s Day video feature it rolled out earlier in the year, the Google Photos Father’s Day function helps you pool together family snaps to create a compilation video. Head to photos.google.com/fathersday and sign in and get started. Once you’re logged in, you can select an image of your father from your pictures (Google doesn’t discriminate here, you can select anybody that you have a photo of), and then select the photos of children which will appear alongside him in the video. Next, click the “Go to Assistant” button to render the video.

Auto archive photo

June 5: In the previous update, Google added the option of archiving images in Photos, which removes them from the main image feed. The feature just got a lot smarter, as Assistant is now capable of suggesting the images it thinks you might be interested in archiving.

The feature mostly focuses on documents found in your photo library, which you probably don’t look at every day. A notification will pop up when Assistant finds appropriate images in the gallery, which you can then review. If there are any images included that you don’t want to archive, you can simply unselect them and they will stay in the main image feed. The final step is to just tap on the archive button and the images that are selected will be moved to the Archive folder you can access from the navigation panel.

Archive photos

May 25: This update added the option of removing pictures from the main Photos tab without deleting them. It’s a useful feature to have and very simple to use, as all you have to do is tap and hold on an image and select the “Archive” option that appears in the top right corner. You can then access all the images from the new Archive menu option that’s in the navigation panel.

Video stabilization

April 13: In version 2.13, Google Photos introduced an impressive video stabilization feature that makes your shaky videos a little bit nicer to watch. The feature is available in the Videos tab of the Albums section. For any given video, tap on the pencil icon to edit it and then pick the Stabilize option. There are some warping and other artifacts in some cases, but the video stabilization is actually quite good, so make sure to give it a try.


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