In case Google Photos didn't recognize your face enough, they're now rolling out a new AI feature who uses facial recognition for easy photo sharing.
The feature is available as of today, but was announced in May at the company's I/O developer conference. It involves the addition of a fourth tab in the app called 'sharing' at the bottom of the screen next to the 'Assistant', 'Photos', and 'Albums' tabs.
Sharing is powered by the AI system that the company promised in May. It uses facial recognition to see who you are taking the most pictures with, and who you are sharing pictures with the most to suggest who to share your photos with. You can choose to add or delete suggestions at will.
The AI also recognizes similar photos and puts them together for you in an album that is ready to share. Say you're attending a wedding and take photos, Google Photos' AI will grab all those pictures based on facial recognition and similarity and put them together in an album for you to name and share. As a reminder, these can be shared with anyone, even if they don't have a Google Photos account.
In addition, once the AI recognizes the people in your photos and creates the album, it will send an invite to those who are in the photo to add their own pictures. If they choose to do so, you will automatically get a notification updating you on which pictures were shared with you.
Alongside the AI sharing system, Google Photos is also introducing 'Shared Libraries'. This feature is similar to how you can share your albums, except that sharing a library with someone means that can be privy to your entire photo library. Don't panic, you don't need to share everything if you don't want to. Shared libraries also has the option to only share photos of certain people with others, or from a certain day as logged in your camera roll. This feature is available by clicking the navigation menu at the side of the screen and clicking 'share your library'.
This feature is helpful if you constantly share photos with someone and hate having to manually share them all the time. Now, anytime you take a photo specific to what you've shared in your library with another person, Google Photos will automatically send it to them.
Once you've shared those pictures with someone, they are able to choose to save whichever photos they want, which will be searchable and can be added to movies and collages in Google Photos.
This seems like a good way for Google Photos to bounce back after the negative reaction to them removing the 'back up while charging' feature (yes, we're still mad about that). These new features, however, actually seem pretty helpful. The update is available on the iOS and Android apps. It's taking a while to roll out everywhere, despite it being available, so don't panic if it doesn't get to you immediately.