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Google just opened up Google Photos to third-party apps

Third-party apps can now apply for access to a Google Photos API, which will enable them to incorporate Google Photos in their own apps.

Published onMay 8, 2018

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  • Google just announced a program where third-party developers can use a Google Photos API in their own apps.
  • Using a Google Photos API, developers can make better programs faster, without needing to develop their own photo programs.
  • There is an application to get access to the API.

Google Photos is one of the most powerful apps in the Google suite, giving you the ability to backup, search, organize, and edit the thousands of photos you take each year. It would take third-party developers years to create a platform as robust to use in their own applications.

Thankfully, Google just opened up a Google Photos API, so they don’t have to. Starting today, developers can apply for API access to integrate the powerful Google Photos platform right in their apps, making it easier for them to create and for you to use.

To illustrate what this means, let’s take the example of a dating app. When you sign up for a dating app like Bumble, you have to upload some photos. But what if the picture you love that was taken six months ago isn’t on your phone, but instead backed up to Google Photos? In that case, you would have to find the pic in Google Photos, download it to your phone, and then upload it to Bumble.

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But with a Google Photos API, the developers behind Bumble could integrate Google Photos right into the app. You could search for your photo, select it, edit it, and upload it, right in the Bumble app, but using the power of Google Photos to perform the tasks.

As another example, the process could go the other way. Someone could develop a photo collaboration app, where multiple people in different areas of the world take photos of similar objects, like maybe birds. The app, integrated with Google Photos, uploads and organizes all the bird photos from these multiple people into one location, allowing each user to search for and identify the pics in the collection.

Right now, Google has partnered with HP, Legacy Republic, NixPlay, Xero, and TimeHop to bring Google Photos into their respective applications. But other companies interested in joining the Google Photos partner program can apply to do so here.

There will be a session at Google I/O 2018 focused on the Google Photos API where you can learn more about the program and how it can benefit your app. More info on that session is here.

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