Google (GOOG) is launching a new stand-alone photos app like Apple's (AAPL) photos app and Yahoo's (YHOO) Flickr. The new Google app will be totally separate from the existing photos options within Google+. Yahoo Finance Editor-in-Chief Andy Serwer had an exclusive demo ahead of the unveiling at the Google I/O developers conference in San Francisco this week.
The app will work across Android, iOS and the web. It's the latest salvo in the war for dominance of your phone between Google and Apple.
Anil Sabharwal, Head of Google Photos, demonstrated some of the features of the new Google Photos app, which aims to solve some of the current challenges with sharing and saving photos.
Sabharwal says the new app was built around three big ideas: creating a home for all your photos and videos with unlimited free storage, organizing photos and bringing them to life (more on that later), and making it easier to share photos and save photos that are shared with you.
The app also allows users to edit photos, create collages and create animations. One of the more impressive “smart” features groups photos by the subjects' faces. Google is careful to make clear that this technology is not facial recognition because the it doesn’t assign a name to the face, but it can identify a person’s face from its current appearance all the way back to infancy.
The app also sorts based on time of year and even the weather.
The third big idea revolves around taking the pain and some of the steps out of sharing photos. Users can select and share via Facebook (FB), Instagram, and other social media sites.
The Google Photos app is a break from Google’s previous photos product which was tied into Google+, the company’s own social network which continues to struggle to gain traction.
Sabharwal says the move is not an indictment of Google+, just the next step for photos. He points out that users don’t always want to share or store personal, private photos on a social networking site.
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