Home News Google Brings Search to Android Photo Picker for a Seamless Experience

Google Brings Search to Android Photo Picker for a Seamless Experience

Google Brings Search to Android Photo Picker for a Seamless Experience

Google is set to introduce a much-needed search function to the Android Photo Picker, significantly enhancing the user experience by integrating cloud photo libraries. This update, which is part of the February 2024 Google System Update, will be available to devices running Android 12 and above.

The New Capabilities

Traditionally, the Android Photo Picker allowed users to share only the photos stored locally on their devices. However, with the new update, users can now access and share photos from their cloud libraries directly through the Photo Picker. This integration begins with Google Photos, but Google has opened the API to other cloud media apps, inviting them to join a pilot program to support this functionality​​.

How It Works

When users open the updated Photo Picker, they will see both their local and cloud-stored photos in one unified interface. This eliminates the need to switch between different apps to find and share photos. A banner will initially inform users about the new “Cloud photos now available” feature. The Photos tab will include cloud albums, and the system will display favorites and other specific collections from the user’s Google Photos library​.

Developer Integration

Google encourages developers to integrate this new feature into their apps. The company has provided detailed instructions and necessary code snippets to help developers migrate to the new system. This move is expected to create a more consistent and streamlined experience across various Android apps​.

User Settings and Customization

Users can select their preferred cloud media app through the new cloud media settings. Initially, Google Photos will be the default option, but users can change or remove their selected cloud media app at any time from the settings menu. This flexibility ensures that users have control over how they access and share their photos​.

Availability and Rollout

The cloud photo integration feature is rolling out as part of the February 2024 Google System Update. While the update has been released, the feature’s availability may depend on a server-side component. Currently, the feature is visible on various Pixel and Samsung devices​.

Google’s addition of the search function to the Android Photo Picker is a significant step towards enhancing user convenience and streamlining photo sharing. By integrating cloud photos, Google addresses a long-standing limitation, making it easier for users to access their entire photo library from one place. This update is expected to significantly improve the way users interact with their photos on Android devices.


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