Google rolled out a small but useful update to its Google Photos service today, which will allow the creation of what Google calls “smarter albums.” These are photo albums automatically created on users’ behalf, following an event or a trip, and will include a curated selection of your best shots, along with details like how far you traveled, or location pins to help you remember where you went.
If this feature sounds familiar, it should – Google Photos previously offered something similar through its “Assistant” option, which is what automates the creations of things like animated, GIF-like images and other photo montages and stories. The new albums are meant to replace the earlier Stories, and will see Google Photos picking out the best images using various machine learning techniques to identify the images that should be included. The new feature also takes advantage of the system’s ability to identify a photo’s content, like landmarks. That aids in locating where a photo was taken, along with geotagging metadata.
After the albums are created, Google will suggest them to users, who can then customize them further by way of text-based captions, for example.
You’ll also be able to add others to the album to collaborate with you, by adding their own photos. Collaborative albums are something rival Facebook is today succeeding with, thanks to its Moments mobile application which replaced the social network’s photo syncing service in December.
In addition, says Google, users can make their own albums from scratch in the event that one is not built for you. To do so, you can take any existing album, then add things like maps, text and location pins, and share with friends.
The updated albums are rolling out beginning today on Android, iOS and the web.