Google Photos

Hot off the heels of a new Google Material Theme, the latest update to Google Photos is preparing a major new feature. Version 4.1 details new “live albums” that automatically add faces as part of a constantly updating collection that can feature multiple collaborators.

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.

Live Albums

Managing large and active albums can be tedious, with users having to remember to go back and add the latest images. To address this, Google Photos is working on “live albums” where images of selected people are added to a collection as users take them.

<string name=”photos_autoadd_rulebuilder_people_picker_creation_intent_explanatory_text”>An album will be created in Google Photos. New and existing photos with any of the selected people will be auto-added.</string>

<string name=”photos_autoadd_stringprovider_impl_live_album_callout_banner_title”>This is now a live album</string>

<string name=”photos_autoadd_stringprovider_impl_live_album_enabled_dialog_desc”>”You are automatically adding photos to this album. Anyone with the link to the album will see photos as they’re added.”</string>

<string name=”photos_autoadd_stringprovider_impl_live_album_enabled_dialog_positive_button”>Share</string>

<string name=”photos_autoadd_stringprovider_impl_live_album_enabled_dialog_title”>Live album enabled</string>

This upcoming feature relies on Google Photos’ existing Faces functionality, and thus also works with pets. When creating a new album, users will have the ability to turn it into a “Live album.” If so, they will be asked to select faces they want added.

<string name=”photos_autoadd_rulebuilder_people_picker_private_album_explanatory_text”>New photos any of these faces appear in will be automatically added to this album</string>

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

<string name=”photos_autoadd_rulebuilder_people_picker_title_with_pets”>Select people &amp; pets</string>

Meanwhile, users will have the option to “Add older photos from your library.”

<string name=”photos_autoadd_rulebuilder_include_existing_photos”>Add older photos from your library</string>

This new type also supports collaborators and can be shared, with other user’s devices being able to automatically add images as they are captured.

<string name=”photos_autoadd_rulebuilder_people_picker_shared_album_explanatory_text”>”New photos any of these faces appear in will be automatically added to this shared album. Anyone with the link to the album will see photos as they’re added.”</string>

<string name=”photos_autoadd_stringprovider_impl_first_time_receive_live_album_banner_msg_one”>%s is adding photos automatically</string>

<string name=”photos_autoadd_stringprovider_impl_first_time_receive_live_album_banner_msg_other”>Others are adding photos automatically</string>

You will have vast control over “autoadd” rules, with options including turning off collaboration, pausing, and removing faces.

<string name=”photos_envelope_settings_autoadd_item_subtitle_collaborate_off”>Album owner turned off collaboration</string>

<string name=”photos_envelope_settings_autoadd_item_title_disabled”>Live album paused.</string>

<string name=”photos_envelope_settings_autoadd_remove_cluster_button_content_description”>Remove this face</string>

<string name=”photos_envelope_settings_autoadd_remove_cluster_confirmation_title”>Stop auto-adding photos of this face?</string>

RAW suggestions

Google Photos on the web supports uploading RAW images, while more Android phones and apps now feature a RAW option. Photos for Android has “Limited RAW support” and as such will begin suggesting a Play Store search to find comptaible apps.

<string name=”photos_editor_selecteditor_a11y_play_store_link”>Search raw image editors in the Play Store</string>

<string name=”photos_editor_selecteditor_chooser_raw_format_limited_support”>Limited RAW support</string>

<string name=”photos_editor_selecteditor_chooser_raw_format_play_store_link”>Get RAW editors from Play Store</string>

Update zero search results graphic

How to update?

Version 4.1 of Google Photos is rolling out now via the Play Store. We do not post APKs to download directly given the legal challenges associated with copyright and possibility of removal. Meanwhile, that model moving forward is perilous given upcoming system-level changes from Android App Bundles and Google Play’s Dynamic Delivery.

Thanks to JEB Decompiler, which some APK Insight teardowns benefit from.

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: