Follow-Up to Google Photos Review

In my previous review on Google Photos, I indicated that one of the problems it had was that it would seem to get lost and always show when photos were added, and I couldn’t undo that. This turns out not to be the case. When it was uploading photos from my Aperture library, it decided to grab photos that had been synced with my Facebook account, and those photos had no date on them (Facebook apparently strips out all Exif data). As such, the only thing Google Photos could rely on was the date when the photo was uploaded, and as soon as I had new photos from my iPhone camera in the library, I saw that those photos were now in front of the synced Facebook photos.

I would argue that Google Photos should not have updated photos from Facebook that are in an iPhoto or Aperture library, but that is a minor “bug”.

A second thing that has happened is that Google is continuing to run its algorithms on my now updated library. It has since created a new set of things called “stories”, which is essentially a smart photo album based upon when and where the photos were taken. As with the “places” smart search, the places are rather generic. However, the stories are actually pretty interesting. It created a story of a trip I took to Israel several years ago, and it did some interesting things. The photos were taken over 3 days, in three different locations in Israel. It separated each section into days, and also inserted a map before the section showing where the next batch of photos were taken. It even animated the map, showing the city at the end of one location, with a dotted line (looking like a plane trip) to the new location.

As with my previous complaints with Google Photos algorithms, there is no way to modify the result to change the photos included, or to even make your own story. Maybe this is coming in a future update to Google Photos… who knows?

So far, though, of all the algorithms Google has run – people, places, things, “animation” and “stylized” being the others – this algorithm is working the best.

For a look at the story of the trip to Israel, click here.

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