Google Photos update can bring order to your disorganized Android photo library

Google Photos update can bring order to your disorganized Android photo library

Tech Highlights:

  • Those folders look like a clearer way to filter your snaps, based on where they’re stored. The ‘All’ tab naturally includes snaps that are stored locally on your phone and in the cloud, while ‘On Device’ is just your phone-stored photos. ‘My Albums’ takes you to cloud-based albums, and you can also switch to only albums that you’ve shared with others by going to the ‘Shared Albums’ tab. Below these tabs are handy separate folders for screenshots and snaps taken on your phone.

  • Assuming your Google Images collection has become an uncontrolled jumble of screenshots, photos, and other digital trash, a new app update may be on its way to restore some order — if you’re an Android user. Some new hidden functionalities in the current version of the Google Photos Android app (version, as discovered by, might soon give a cleaner way of organising your Library, as well as new options to import snaps. The primary change is in the Library tab, where the Archive, Personal Folder, Tools, and Trash icons have been pushed to the bottom of the screen to make room for a useful new carousel of tabs. All, My Albums, On Device, and Shared Albums are examples.

In the current versions of the Android and iOS apps, it also isn’t immediately obvious how to import snaps to Google Photos from other services. That’s likely why Google has added a new ‘Import Photos’ option in the Library tab, which takes you to a variety of new useful options. These include a ‘Copy from other services’ option, which will let you import snaps from the likes of Facebook and iCloud from within the app, plus ‘Copy from a camera’ to let you grab photos from a connected camera. Another beta option, ‘request photos from friends’, will apparently let you send friends a link to ask for the photos they’ve forgotten to share with you.

A translated version of the Google Photos redesign that’s currently being tested (Image credit: While it isn’t a major redesign of the Google Photos Android app, this update could bring some much-needed filters and import tools to the smartphone experience – if it ever gets a widespread rollout. The new Library tabs should make it quicker to filter your snaps based on where they’re stored, rather by the traditional ‘favorites’ route. That could be particularly helpful if you use Google Photos’ ‘Back up and sync’ function to store copies of your phone snaps in the cloud.

Google is making it easier to bring printed photos into your library, too. The ‘scan photos with your phone’ option will take you to the PhotoScan app, although this is still a separate app rather than being built into Google Photos. All of these features are currently only available to a small circle of Google Photos users who have the latest version (, but should be rolling out more widely soon. Analysis: A helpful Google Photos reshuffle A screenshot from a beta version of the Google Photos app

It’s also good to see Google Photos offer more options for importing photos from within the app itself, even if some of these do already exist in different menus. It’s currently a slight pain to transfer snaps from the likes of iCloud, so being able to add them to your library from within the Google Photos app could prove popular. What isn’t yet clear is when (or if) these updates, which are currently in the testing phase, will roll out to more users. Not all features that are beta tested make their way to the final app, but hopefully these ones will arrive soon on Android and (much later, no doubt) on iOS.

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