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New Google Photos features include automatic Cinematic share-o-matic creations

The Cinematic feature generates brief video clips from a photo by using machine learning to create depth.

Published onDecember 15, 2020

google photos app icon logo google pixel 5 2
Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority
  • Today, Google announced three new features coming to Google Photos.
  • One is called Cinematic. It generates a short video clip from a photo by using machine learning to create depth.
  • Google is also introducing more collage templates and new enhancements to the Memories feature.

Google Photos got some bad press recently when Google announced a scheduled end to free backups. However, it looks like Google is going to try to close out the year with some positivity by revealing some new features for the popular photo app.

Related: Google Photos guide: Everything you need to know

Today, in a blog post, the company announced a brand new feature for Photos. It also announced some updates to two existing features.

The new feature is called Cinematic photos. Google uses machine learning to assume and/or artificially create depth within a photo. It then uses a smooth “camera” movement to create a cinematic pan of that photo. If that’s confusing, check out an example below which might be more clear.

New Google Photos feature: Cinematic photos

On the left, you see a normal still image. On the right, you see what machine learning can do to that image. Photos will save that short video clip for you and you can then easily share it anywhere that accepts video files. You can also do the usual sharing with friends and family right in the app by adding it to an album or sending it directly to someone specific.

To find your newest Cinematic photo, check your Recent Highlights section at the top of the Photos app. Unfortunately, Google is currently limiting Cinematic photos to an auto-generated algorithm. It’s unclear as of yet if you will eventually be able to manually choose a photo to become a Cinematic.

Outside of this new feature, Google is also rolling out some new collage templates to Google Photos. There are also some new enhancements to the Memories feature. Going forward, Memories will focus on the most important people in your life as well as the most important topics, events, and things. As before, you can always let Memories know if you don’t want to see a particular person or event in your Memories feed.

These new features will arrive over the next few weeks, so keep a lookout for them.

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