Google Photos can now turn videos into GIFs, fix sideways photos & more

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Google Photos was already one of the smartest cloud photo services available today, thanks to its search technology and built-in assistant that automatically creates collages, animations and more from your uploads. Now, the company is upgrading its service again, with a bevy of new features aimed at helping you revisit your memories and generally better enjoy your photos. This update includes tools that help orient pictures correctly as well as extract shareable animations from your videos, among other things.

Before, the service was capable of turning a collection of photos from the same moment in time into a looping animation, and it could turn your Live Photos on iOS into GIFs, too. Now the company is extending that same support to your videos.

Explains the company, the app uses machine learning technology to look for segments in the video that capture an activity. Those can be big movements – like jumping in the pool – or even smaller ones, like a smile. It then creates a short animation of that particular piece of the video, which you can share with friends and family, including on social networks like Facebook, on messaging and elsewhere.

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In addition, two other new features are aimed at making it easier to go back and look at past photos – an activity that seems to be somewhat rare in this digital age where photo sharing is focused on immediacy, instead of history.

One new card will help you rediscover old memories you shared with the people in your most recent photos – in other words, a way to go back and revisit your friendships and relationships over the years, as captured by your photos.

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The other new feature makes it easier to see the most recent highlights from your photos. This one is ideal for new parents, in particular, as the built in assistant may occasionally pop up a card that shows the best photos from the last month, for example. Perfect for curating the baby spam.

This is basically another path Google is taking to automating the process of creating photo albums for you. With the abundance of photos we now snap, manual organization has become nearly impossible, which makes this an especially useful tool.

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A final tweak fixes a common annoyance: photos that aren’t properly rotated. The assistant will now suggest which photos may need to be righted through a card that lets you adjust their rotation. With a tap, you can turn all the photos you want right side up.

The new features are available in the current version of Google Photos on Android, iOS and the web.