The updated list of I/O 2018 sessions yesterday hinted at “exciting updates” for Google Photos at the annual developer conference in May. Till then, version 3.18 is rolling out with work continuing on liking photos and videos in shared albums, more precise archiving, and possible Cardboard Camera integration.
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.
Stars for favorites, Hearts for liking
Since February, we’ve been eagerly awaiting a “favorites” feature in Google Photos. We’ve been able to again enable it with version 3.18, but this update mostly shows progress on the counterpart “liking” feature for shared albums. As we first detailed in 3.15, this latter feature will be represented by a “heart” icon, instead of a “star.”
New strings detail a notification when another user has liked a photo or video that will join similar alerts for views and comments. There will also be another prompt when there’s “Trouble toggling heart.”
<string name=”photos_sharingtab_impl_viewbinders_activity_liked_a_photo”>%s liked a photo</string>
<string name=”photos_sharingtab_impl_viewbinders_activity_liked_a_video”>%s liked a video</string>
<string name=”photos_sharingtab_impl_viewbinders_activity_liked_this”>%s liked this</string>
<string name=”photos_hearts_photoui_error_toggling_heart”>Trouble toggling heart</string>
<string name=”photos_hearts_popupmenu_error_toast”>Trouble removing like.</string>
Meanwhile in shared albums, users will be able to set whether others can like a photo. This setting will be tied with the existing comment option.
<string name=”photos_envelope_settings_canaddcomment_allow_comments_and_likes”>Comments & likes</string>
<string name=”photos_envelope_settings_canaddcomment_allow_comments_and_likes_description”>Let others respond</string>
More precise archiving by category
Last June, Assistant in Google Photos began suggesting items in your library to archive. This feature works quite broadly and groups everything from screenshots to pictures of receipts together.
A new string in version 3.18 suggests that Photos might be able to identify objects in images and then archive just that category of item. Recognized classes include memes, newspapers, menus, receipts, sketches, and more.
<string name=”photos_suggestedactions_archive_features_business_card”>Archive this business card</string>
<string name=”photos_suggestedactions_archive_features_document”>Archive this document</string>
<string name=”photos_suggestedactions_archive_features_id”>Archive this ID</string>
<string name=”photos_suggestedactions_archive_features_label”>Archive this label</string>
<string name=”photos_suggestedactions_archive_features_meme”>Archive this meme</string>
<string name=”photos_suggestedactions_archive_features_menu”>Archive this menu</string>
<string name=”photos_suggestedactions_archive_features_newspaper”>Archive this newspaper</string>
<string name=”photos_suggestedactions_archive_features_note”>Archive this note</string>
<string name=”photos_suggestedactions_archive_features_passport”>Archive this passport</string>
<string name=”photos_suggestedactions_archive_features_receipt”>Archive this receipt</string>
<string name=”photos_suggestedactions_archive_features_screenshot”>Archive this screenshot</string>
<string name=”photos_suggestedactions_archive_features_sketch”>Archive this sketch</string>
<string name=”photos_suggestedactions_archive_help_dialog_title”>Archive to stay organized</string>
Cardboard Camera integration
Virtual reality is a big division and focus at Google from Cardboard and now standalone Daydream VR headsets. On the capture side, Google is pushing Jump camera rigs for professionals and VR180 on the consumer side. However, the company also had Cardboard Camera.
<string name=”photos_vr_cardboard_camera_body_text”>Download Cardboard Camera to create panoramas with depth and sound</string>
<string name=”photos_vr_cardboard_camera_header_text”>Capture your own VR photos</string>
<string name=”photos_vr_learn_more_button”>Get App</string>
Launched in 2015, a possible revamp is in the works given new strings that detail a prompt to download the app “to create panoramas with depth and sound.” As part of this integration, Photos would give prominence to “VR photos” with some sort of dedicated tab.
<string name=”photos_vr_shared_sync_body_text”>View VR photos shared through Cardboard Camera by enabling back up and sync for the folder containing the images.</string>
<string name=”photos_vr_shared_sync_header_text”>Cardboard Camera shared photos</string>
<string name=”photos_vr_tab_all_photos”>All photos</string>
<string name=”photos_vr_tab_vr_photos”>VR photos</string>
Dylan contributed to this article