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

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy


First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni


For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell


The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi


The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott


My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?