Starting today, Memories on Google Photos is getting some cinematic changes that make Google “the biggest update… since [the feature’s] launch”.
Memories can be considered Google’s answer to Snapchat stories; short videos created from photos on your Photos account, although they don’t disappear. For the update, the focus is on encouraging creativity among users by giving them tools to create more dynamic works with their own photos. There is a greater emphasis on creating videos and adding graphics to images to make them stand out. Google is also making it easier to share users’ creations with friends and family without having to rummage through the Settings menu.
Considering that Memories is one of Google Photos’s most popular features (according to the company) and that it’s been over a year last major update (opens in new tab)these changes are long overdue.
The first set of changes comes from Google re-adjusting the behavior of certain features in Memories. You will find more videos as “Automatically select and crop photos” from uploaded files. These snippets will subtly zoom in to make static images more dynamic. And in October, Google will add instrumental music to some memories. The entire music library is largely unknown, apart from a light-hearted whistling tune and an ambient melody that can be heard in some of the sample videos.
Cinematic Memories, an upgrade to cinematic photos released in 2020 (opens in new tab), will merge multiple still images to create a kind of fake video, complete with music. You see the camera pan over a subject to produce a 3D-like effect meant to simulate movement. The 2020 version was more of a subtle zoom in, but is now more dynamic.
For the aforementioned graphics, they come through the new Styles feature. According to Google, there will be several artworks available at launch that can be added to Memories, giving photos a colorful bloom. Some designs are made by famous artists Shantell Martin (opens in new tab) and Lisa Congdon (opens in new tab)although they will only be available for a limited time.
Sharing reminders becomes easier as a new Share icon appears in the roll. All a user has to do is tap the icon and select the recipient to send them. This change will come to Android devices first before rolling out “soon” to Google Photos on iOS and web browsers.
The latest change is a new collage editing tool that lets you put together your favorite photos via drag and drop. Some collage designs were also created by Shantell Martin and Lisa Congdon. Within the editor you have access to various tools to adjust the brightness of images or apply filters. Pixel owners and Google One members have access to exclusive features such as the ability to add portrait lighting and HDR to collages, plus 30 unique designs.
The collage editor is coming to both Android and iOS devices, but it looks like the web browser version of Google Photos won’t get it. We have asked Google for clarification on this matter. We’ll update this story if we hear anything.
Google Photos is one of the most widely used image storage services out there, but some are disappointed with its limited editing tools. If you’re curious, we recommend checking out TechRadar’s list of the best alternatives to Google Photos.