All the way back in 2019, Google announced that it was deploying its machine learning technology to organize Google Photos for ius all. Memories — collections of previously captured photos and videos — have been arriving ever since, giving us a chance to relive old content. This week, Google is doubling down on Memories, debuting a new section within the Photos app for viewing content curated by AI.
Google describes the new Memories view as a “scrapbook-like timeline.” Upon launching the Photos on your mobile device, you’ll notice a new Memories shortcut in the navigation bar. Here, you’ll find Memories that have been generated by AI and created to only show content you likely want to see. This means that duplicate images, for example, are not the focus of Memories carousels. Instead, you’ll see content featuring people or events you’ve captured from a specific time period.
There’s always the option to hide certain people or time periods, if you choose, or turn off the feature altogether. Individual AI-generated Memories can be saved to the Memories view, along with any Memories you have created. Additionally, specific photos and videos can be removed from Memories.
A new experimental feature — only available to select Google account holders in the US for the time being — is also allowing users to utilize generative AI to organize photos. While renaming Memories, you can click the “Help me title” button to receive AI-generated suggestions. If none of the options suit the carousel, you can click “Add hint” to provide suggestions to the AI for more relevant results.
To expand upon Google Photos sharing options, new collaboration features have been rolled out as well. You can now invite other Google account holders to contribute content to Memories. When they are invited to a Memories carousel, they can also add it to their personal Memories view. In the future, Google plans to create a sharing feature to allow users to share Memories as videos via social media and messaging apps. Photos can already be sent directly to other people within the app itself.
We’ve been following the expansion of Memories forever now, watching Google add more and more collections like our “Year in Review,” which is generated at the end of the calendar year. Year in Review allows you to scroll through photos you took throughout the year — or jump around to different time periods as you browse. Google also allows you to generate a book based on the collection and suggests more photos you may want to add.
This latest Memories update comes hot on the heels of Google testing out some very similar tweaks to its UI just last month. The Google News Telegram channel posted screenshots of changes that were being tested among a small group of Google Photos users, including a floating (rather than locked) navigation bar, and the relocation of the Sharing icon to the right side of the screen.
The new Memories view is currently available for Google Photos app users in the US and will expand to other countries in the coming months.