Over the weekend, we were able to activate Favorites within Google Photos. Version 3.14 is now rolling out and offers more details about the long overdue feature. Meanwhile, the update hints at controls for adjusting blur that could possibly be for the Pixel 2’s Portrait Mode.

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.

Prompt introducing Favorites

Version 3.14 includes strings detailing a basic prompt that will greet users when Favorites becomes available. There are references to a Favorites album, though we’re not sure if that’s identical to the search category we previously enabled.

<string name=”photos_favorites_promo_dialog_body_photo”>Easily find this photo in your Favorites album</string>

<string name=”photos_favorites_promo_dialog_body_video”>Easily find this video in your Favorites album</string>

<string name=”photos_favorites_promo_dialog_negative_button”>Done</string>

<string name=”photos_favorites_promo_dialog_title”>Added to Favorites!</string>

<string name=”photos_favorites_promo_dialogs_positive_button”>Go to favorites</string>

Blur adjustment controls

Before the Pixel 2’s Portrait Mode, the Google Camera app long had a basic Lens Blur feature. The former feature on Google’s latest device is obviously superior, but Lens Blur did allow users to refocus after the fact. Photos may possibly now be working on letting users edit Portrait Mode shots or apply a similar effect.

Version 3.14 contains strings describing four “photoeditor_adjustments” named Robin, Jauz, Brita, and Airplane.

<string name=”photos_photoeditor_adjustments_austins_mysteryer_feature_sub1″>Robin</string>

<string name=”photos_photoeditor_adjustments_austins_mysteryer_feature_sub2″>Jauz</string>

<string name=”photos_photoeditor_adjustments_austins_mysteryer_feature_sub3″>Brita</string>

<string name=”photos_photoeditor_adjustments_austins_mysteryer_feature_sub4″>Airplane</string>

One commenter on Android Police (via Reddit) noticed that these names correspond to other lines of code, such that:

  • Robin: depthBlurIntensity
  • Jauz: depthBlurShallow
  • Brita: depthAdjustmentsMultiplier
  • Airplane: depthBlurFocalPlane

We’ve been able to confirm these pairings by matching up the features’ string IDs, with these likely visible to users as UI sliders for adjusting a specific value. These controls could be for either editing the Pixel 2’s Portrait Mode (though we’ve found no solid connection) or some sort of new blur feature that Google Photos is planning to introduce for all images.

People renamed to Faces

One change that is already live in this version is a mass rename of “people” in the context of facial recognition and sharing to “faces.” This is likely a move to be more inclusive of the animal faces that Photos can now group.

Version 3.13

<string name=”photos_partneraccount_people_activity_title”>Select people</string>

<string name=”photos_partneraccount_people_loading_error”>Error loading people clusters</string>

<string name=”photos_partneraccount_people_receiver_subtitle”>Photos of selected people will be saved to your library</string>

<string name=”photos_partneraccount_people_sender_subtitle”>Photos of selected people will be shared</string>

Version 3.14

<string name=”photos_partneraccount_people_activity_title”>Select faces</string>

<string name=”photos_partneraccount_people_loading_error”>Error loading face clusters</string>

<string name=”photos_partneraccount_people_receiver_subtitle”>Photos of selected faces will be saved to your library</string>

<string name=”photos_partneraccount_people_sender_subtitle”>Photos of selected faces will be shared</string>

Hide pets

Google Photos is working on an option to hide pets from face groupings when sharing, especially with partner accounts. Preferences for “Group similar faces” already has a toggle to disable “Show pets with people.”

<string name=”photos_partneraccount_people_pet_cluster_warning_confirm”>Continue</string>

<string name=”photos_partneraccount_people_pet_cluster_warning_message”>This will also remove your pets from Shared Libraries</string>

<string name=”photos_partneraccount_people_pet_cluster_warning_title”>Hide pets?</string>

Google Drive partner sharing

While Google Drive has removed the Google Photos tab by default, the two services are still integrated. It now appears that images uploaded to Drive could be shared with a partner account.

<string name=”photos_partneraccount_drive_share_warning_continue”>Continue</string>

<string name=”photos_partneraccount_drive_share_warning_message”>You are sharing photos automatically with %s. If you continue, photos from Drive may automatically be shared.</string>

<string name=”photos_partneraccount_drive_share_warning_message_no_name”>You are sharing photos automatically. If you continue, photos from Drive may automatically be shared.</string>

<string name=”photos_partneraccount_drive_share_warning_title”>Share photos from Drive?</string>

Dylan contributed to this article

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About the Author

Abner Li

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