Google Photos just got a bunch of upgraded features — here’s what’s new

Google Photos
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Three years ago, Google Photos launched its new ‘Memories’ feature, which automatically collected your photos into ‘stories’ akin to those found on Instagram or Snapchat. At the time, those stories were completely private — but that’s now about to change. Assuming you want it to, that is.

Today, Google has announced it’s making it easier to share moments, with what it claims to be the “biggest update to Memories since its launch.” This also involves a new collage editor, which is designed to let you create and share custom creations more easily. 

This new update starts rolling out today, and according to Google this means you’ll start seeing more videos pop up in the app. Specifically “the best snippets from your longer videos” which will be automatically selected and trimmed down. 

Google Photos will also offer a more “dynamic” feel, with use of “subtle zoom” that adds some movement and which, along with music, is supposed to make the newly created Memories more immersive.

Crucially, this will be different from the dynamic zoom utilized in the 3D-esque Cinematic Photos feature that first launched in 2020. However, Cinematic Photos is also getting an update, which will apparently “transform multiple still photos into an end-to-end cinematic experience.” Music is also being added to make photos “feel a little more like a movie.”

google photos styles feature screenshot

(Image credit: Google)

If all that wasn’t enough, a new Styles feature will automatically add graphics and artwork to your Memories. Several designs will be available when this reaches your phone, and presumably Google will continually add more in the months ahead.

google phjotos collage editor feature as a gif

(Image credit: Google)

If Google doing all this stuff automatically isn’t your thing, the new collage creator tools gives you the option to get your own creative juices flowing; you pick the photos, the designs and customize the layout. 

Google Photos is also giving you the option to edit photos in the collage editor. This option is available to everyone, though Google One members and Pixel owners will have access to 30 more designs and extra editing features.

google photos memories sharing screen

(Image credit: Google)

Even with all these new features, though, the most notable change is the ability to share Memories with others. People have apparently been pestering Google for this option for some time, and the company has now decided to acquiesce. That ability will be rolling out to Android devices as part of this new update, so in a few taps you'll be able to share those memories as you would anything else — be it a photo or a video.

Sadly, iOS and web users will have to wait a little longer to get the same ability. How much longer isn’t clear, but Google says the feature is “coming soon”.

Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.