Google Photos won’t be storing your images for free much longer, but Google is still working on new ways to keep people interested in using the app.

One of these ways is with Memories, which gives you a way to look back at your photos from years past. Google realized that most photos we take never get viewed, data shows that most of the four trillion photos stored in Google Photos are never viewed again.

Improved Memories

While Memories is nothing new in the Google Photos app, it’s about to get smarter. Later this summer, Memories will be able to resurface images based on more than just themes, it will also begin to highlight photos that share the same shapes or colors.

When testing this out, Google’s engineers made some funny discoveries, such as one who always goes traveling using an orange backpack. He found Google Photos created an album full of photos from his journeys with his trusty backpack, helping him relive the memories of his trips.

Along with this, Memories will also begin to show moments from holidays including Diwali, Lunar New Year, and Hanukkah later this year. While Memories categories such as Best of Month Memories and Trip highlights have already begun to roll out.

More Control

Google Photos is not only ramping up what types of Memories you see, but it is also giving you better control over them. Since the launch of Memories, Google has heard feedback from users about how some photos can bring back painful feelings. For example, photos of lost loved ones or of your ex. Specifically, Google has heard the voices of the transgender community and how certain photos can be harmful.

That’s why Google has been working with GLAAD and listening to its users to make it easier to find the controls to hide photos of certain people or time periods. More granular controls are coming to Memories as well.

starting today, you’ll be able to rename a Trip highlight, or remove it completely. And coming soon, you’ll be able to remove a single photo from a Memory, remove Best of Month Memories and rename or remove Memories based on the moments you celebrate.

Cinematic Moments

Google is also looking at ways to help you enjoy your favorite snaps with improvements to Cinematic photos, a feature that rolled out last December and turns static images into 3D versions.

Now, going a step further, Google Photos will begin using multiple photos of the same scene–and some machine learning magic–to create frames in between the images piecing it together into a short video called Cinematic moments.

This is perfect, because I’m sure if you’re anything like me, you capture multiple images of the same thing every time, just to make sure you get a good one. Google will now be able to use all of these images to create something one of a kind for you and your family.

Locked Folders

A way to hide personal and private images has been something Google Photos has needed for a long time. Well, now it’s finally coming. The new feature was announced yesterday at Google I/O 2021 and unfortunately, it will roll out to Pixel smartphones first. However, Google did say that Locked Folder will “arrive on more Android devices throughout the year.”

When it does finally reach your device, you’ll have a special Locked Folder within Google Photos that hides images and videos behind a passcode. After being added to the Locked Folder, it will no longer show up in your library or any other apps on your device. Making sure your private photos stay private.

Pixel users will also be able to save photos and videos directly to the Locked Folder directly from the camera app. Something we probably won’t see on other Android devices since they don’t use the Google Camera app.

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