Google Photos home screen widget for Android

This year, in response to iOS 14, Google has begun a new push for more and better home screen widgets in Android apps. It seems Google Photos will be the next first-party Android app to get a widget, showcasing your images from one year ago.

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.

‘Your memories’ widget

Google Photos offers a variety of “spotlights” on specific people, certain types of places, or a period of time. These are often just quick slideshows that act something like a Snapchat story.

With Google Photos 5.49, rolling out now via the Play Store, Google is readying a home screen widget for Android devices, set to be called “Your memories.” When you first try to add it to your homescreen, you’ll be asked to verify which Google Account’s photos you want to display.

From there, the Google Photos widget (which will take up a 2×2 space on your Android’s home screen by default) should automatically begin showing images from roughly a year ago. More specifically, it seems the widget will focus on photos from “this week” in your historical camera roll, judging from the widget’s “subtitle.”

<string name=”photos_widget_one_year_ago_title”>1 year ago</string>

<string name=”photos_widget_this_week_subtitle”>This week</string>

We were able to partially enable the new Google Photos Android widget, giving us a glimpse at how it might work, but we weren’t able to get the widget properly placed on the home screen and displaying images.

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

Dylan Roussel contributed to this article.

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About the Author

Kyle Bradshaw

Kyle is an author and researcher for 9to5Google, with special interests in Made by Google products, Fuchsia, and Stadia.

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