Google Photos first added strings referencing a “Favorites” feature last August. Several versions later, this staple feature found in most other gallery apps is still absent. However, with version 3.13 of the Android client, we’ve now been able to activate and use Favorites.

About APK Insight: In this ‘APK Insight’ post, we’ve decompiled the latest version of an application that Google uploaded to the Play Store. When we decompile these files (called APKs, in the case of Android apps), we’re able to see various lines of code within that hint at possible future features. Keep in mind that Google may or may not ever ship these features, and our interpretation of what they are may be imperfect. We’ll try to enable those that are closer to being finished, however, to show you how they’ll look in the case that they do ship. With that in mind, read on.

Some of the strings for the “Favorites” feature remain unchanged since they were first discovered in version 3.4 by Android Police in August. These pair of lines detail the search bar adding a new “Favorites” category to view saved images.

<string name=”photos_search_explore_category_favorites”>Favorites</string>

<string name=”photos_search_explore_favorites_query”>favorites</string>

However, what’s new is the location of the feature. Instead of a button for favoriting images in the bottom bar of a photo, a star icon will appear in the top-right corner next to the overflow menu. This button was introduced in version 3.13 and appears to replace the image backup indicator that currently occupies that spot.

<string name=”photos_pager_menu_favorite”>Favorite</string>

From what we’ve been able to activate, this functionality — from favoriting to viewing saved pictures — is fully fleshed out as of version 3.13 of Google Photos. However, it’s unclear when or if Google will ever launch it.

Dylan contributed to this article

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Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: abner@9to5g.com