According to a post on the Official Google Blog, Google Photos now has a new feature – automatic vacation albums!
As someone who has gone for a week’s vacation and taken hundreds of pictures that I ignore immediately upon returning home this may be one of the most useful Google updates ever. I mean, I’m sure I still have SD cards full of pictures from a few years ago that will never see the light of day. Last summer when my wife and I went on vacation, the only camera I took was my phone, since I was so bad at dealing with the pictures once I had taken them. As a small aside, it was GREAT not having to worry about uploading and sorting through pictures at the end of the vacation – if you’ve got a good camera on your phone (and haven’t invested in a DSLR) I would highly recommend it!
According to the blog post, after returning from a trip or vacation, Google Photos will automatically select both the “best” and the “most important” pictures to include in an album of your trip.
In a Wired interview with Google Photos product manager Francois de Halleux, the algorithm will look for landmarks or important people in the photos in order to decide whether or not to include them in the album. It will also identify the locations and landmarks in your pictures, and show locations with pins on a map.
Google Photos can already group photos by the people in them, allowing you to assign names to them. These names are, by default, private, but this feature you search through your Google Photos for pictures of “Mom” or “Steve” with sometimes freakish levels of accuracy.
This new feature will not only use the content of your photos and your location to determine if they are “album-worthy”, but it will also use the frequency of the pictures taken and whether or not is a holiday or other significant date.
As always, you can fine-tune the photos and their captions, include or get rid of maps and labels, and add pictures to these automatically-generated albums. This feature is rolling out on both iOS and Android apps (and the web site) over the coming weeks – just in time for Spring Break!