Memories Enhanced By Google
Written by Lucy Black   
Sunday, 20 December 2020

It's the time of the year we expect to share memories with our loved ones, but with Christmas curtailed or even cancelled in many parts of the world that's another treat threatened. Google, however, is helping us make the most of past and present memories by enhancing the Memories Feature in Google Photos.

Memories is a feature added to Google photos in September 2019 - it's why when you turn your phone on some days you'll see a special photos labelled 1 year ago or perhaps 10 years ago that lets you relive a moment from the past. And because these appear on your phone its really easy to share them with you friends and family.


Machine learning is used to curate what appears in Memories so that you don't see duplicates of the same shot but of course you can also control what you see - for example you can choose to hide specific people or pets and you can also eliminate specific dates or time periods. See Google Photos Help for how to get the best from Memories.

The headline new features that Google is rolling out over the coming month is Cinematic photos. Again it relies on machine learning as is explained by Jamie Aspinall, Product Manager, Google Photos on the Google Blog:

Cinematic photos help you relive your memories in a way that feels more vivid and realistic—so you feel like you’re transported back to that moment. To do this, we use machine learning to predict an image’s depth and produce a 3D representation of the scene—even if the original image doesn’t include depth information from the camera. Then we animate a virtual camera for a smooth panning effect—just like out of the movies.

E801 Photos Memories GIF 04 Comparison v02 4

Google Photos will automatically create Cinematic photos for you. As long as your app is updated the animated 3D pic will appear in Recent Highlights. You'll be able to share a Cinematic photo or send it as a video.

You may already have seen Google's updated collage designs which are intended to let you look back on favorite moments in a new, delightful way. For example, there's a Then and Now design that is illustrated to good effect with these two pics of Aspinall's son in the same camping chair 2 years apart:


Themes are also going to be applied to Memories:

We’re also rolling out new themes for looking back. Now you’ll see Memories surface photos of the most important people in your life, something I’m especially thankful for in a year where I won’t be seeing as many of my nearest and dearest in person.  And starting soon, you’ll also see Memories about your favorite things—like sunsets—and activities—like baking or hiking—based on the photos you upload.


Thank goodness for Machine Learning - however did we ever manage to enjoy our photos in the past?

More Information

New Cinematic photos and more ways to relive your Memories

Watch & manage your Memories

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Last Updated ( Sunday, 17 January 2021 )