Google Photos’ big, helpful Android update goes live

Android users now get Chromecast support and custom name labels.

Android users are first in line for the helpful Google Photos updates announced earlier this week.

The update adds several new features to Google’s online photo storage service, the biggest of which is the ability to name people that Google has grouped together through facial recognition. Once you’ve created a label, you can then search by name to see all photos where that person is featured. This feature is only available in the United States for now.

The new labels even work when combined with other search terms. For instance, if you and your old buddy Phil recently went on a west coast vacation, you could search for “Phil in California” to see those photos. (The Verge notes these name labels are private, meaning that Google won’t use them for ad targeting.)

The other key addition is Chromecast support, allowing users of Google’s $35 TV dongle to view their photos and videos on the big screen. Other improvements include the ability to share animations with WhatsApp, and to adjust slow motion videos shot on Google’s new Nexus 5X and 6P smartphones.

Google is also working on shared album support, so users can invite people to follow updates to a particular event, or add their own photos. This feature is coming later in the year.

There’s no word on availability for the iOS version of this update, but presumably it’s coming soon.

Why this matters: Google Photos is a different kind of photo storage solution, one that encourages you to stop organizing photos by hand and let Google’s algorithms do the work for you. The latest update just advances this goal by making it easier to group people together automatically. That way, you can always find photos of specific people without having to create your own photo albums.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags photos

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jared Newman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?