Version 3.4 of Google Photos began rolling out earlier this week on Android with one new major feature. As revealed by its changelog, the backup solution now has a video caching feature for faster playback, while app shortcuts have been removed.
The latest version of Google Photos interestingly removes app shortcuts on Android 7.1 devices and above. Gone are the quick links to “I’m Feeling Lucky” and “Free up space.” The former feature would surface photos from your library, while the latter deletes already backed up media from your device. Their removal probably signals a lack of usage by most.
Version 3.4 should be fully rolled out given the updated changelog (via Android Police) in the Play Store. Besides the perfunctory “Performance improvements,” the only other new functionality that Google notes is video caching.
Once you watch a video it will be cached for faster replay without using additional data
Watching clips uploaded to Google Photos will now save the video on device so that future plays load immediately and without requiring a re-download. The only downside that comes to mind is the ballooning Photos app storage cache, but presumably Google has some sort of automatic cleanup solution in the background.
At the moment, there is nothing in the app’s settings to wipe the cache of saved videos. Nevertheless, this feature for most people will be more convenient than manually downloading and saving frequently watched videos.