125. Google Photos: What’s New

Show Notes for Members below

Not a member? Join here. This episode covers:

  1. Tip of the Day: Scanning Documents with Drive Widget
  2. Beginner’s Lesson: Google Photos: What’s New
  3. App of the day: Give money with Facebook Messenger

Note: the sound recording in this episode had bandwidth issues and drops words here and there. The show notes will help fill in those blanks.

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Quick Tip: Scan documents to .pdf


If you have the Google Drive app installed on your Android device, then add a widget – Long Press on a home screen and choose widgets from the choices at bottom. (for more on widgets, see episode 31) Find the Drive / Scan widget and longpress. Enter a Drive folder to contain the scans.

Get something to scan (Chris uses a receipt) place it on a contrasting background then tap the Drive/scan button and take a picture. You should notice that the result is not a regular picture. It’s a scan. It has eliminated the background and turned the receipt into pure black and white. It has made a .pdf file and stored it in your Drive. Way Cool!

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After evacuating Irma in our Roadtrek camper van, we decided to just keep going since our next gig was in New Orleans. See our personal blog posts for more stories and photos from our evacuation saga. Hurricane Irma: to go or not to go, Hurricane Irma: Evacuation Indecision, and Hurricane Irma: Evacuation Parties

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There is some brand new stuff just this week, but Mrs. Geek is using the opportunity to pass on the important changes she’s noticed over approximately 6 months. Some big, some little, all good to know.

This “Beginner’s Lesson” is a bit more advanced than normal but to try to keep it understandable for beginners we start with a quick overview of Google Photos.


Cloud-based storage for your lifetime of photos, for free. Mrs. Geek calls this the System part of Google Photos.


The other parts to “Google Photos” are the Google Photos apps for Apple iOS devices and for Android, and the Backup and Sync app for computers (Windows or Mac)


Demo of Overall “System” features

These new features can be seen on the computer, or either of the mobile apps. Chris demonstrates on the computer.

Archives: On a computer, to access Google Photos you go to the website Photos.Google.com. To see your library of photos, you click on the Photos button. If there are images in your photo library that you’d rather not see in your main stream of memories, you can “Archive” them. For example, Chris doesn’t want to see her screenshots mixed in with her photos. Select the photos to be archived, then click the 3-dot menu in upper right and choose Archive.

Think of it like a back room for your images. To see those archived images, click the 3-line menu in upper left and choose Archives. These will stay there, they will not be deleted, they are just out of sight in the main library.

Shared Library: You can give access to your entire library to one (and only one)  trusted partner. To do this use the 3-line menu in upper left and then “Share your library.” You will have some options:  Share All Photos? or just photos of specific people, or just photos since a certain date. Then your designated partner will also have options to just have access to your library or to have your pictures automatically saved to their library, or to have just certain people automatically saved to their library.

To access these settings after it’s all been set up, use the 3-line menu, Settings, and you will see a heading for Shared Libraries.

When Jim takes a photo now, Chris has access to that photo from her google Photos by clicking on the 3-line menu and Shared from Jim. If he takes a picture that includes her face, it is being automatically saved to her library.

One negative that Chris mentions is that, once a photo is saved to your library, it’s yours – there is no metadata recording the fact that someone else actually took that photo.

Photo Books: In Assistant there is a new button for Photo Books. This is where you select photos to be printed in book and sent to you in the mail. See more about photo books in Episode 119. It’s the quick tip at the beginning of the show.

The Sharing Section: Pictures you share used to be included in the Albums section, now they have their own section. This is also where you get suggestions of people to share with. With shared photos, you can add comments.

20:01 “Backup and Sync” replaces “Desktop Uploader’



If you have pictures on your computer and you want them to be uploaded to your google photos – you used to use an app called Google Photos Backup or Desktop Uploader. That is gone and it has been replaced with “Backup and Sync.” To get Backup and Sync, go to photos.google.com, click the 3-line menu and at the bottom find App Downloads.

Once it’s installed there are settings. If you leave them alone, it will upload all files in your Desktop, Documents, and Pictures sections of your computer. That’s great if you ALL the photos on your computer uploaded, but if not – or if you’ve already uploaded them, you may get lots of duplicates, and you may just be overwhelmed with the amount of photos you get. We recommend unchecking the boxes for Desktop, Documents, and Pictures. Then click the Choose Folder button and specify one folder where you will put the photos you want uploaded automatically. This can even be on an attached USB drive.


This new “Backup and Sync” is actually a Google Drive tool. It replaces the old system for Google Drive to synchronize to folders on your computer. This feature is now part of Backup and Sync. Chris promises to develop more instructions and videos on this important new software. … once she has figure it out!

27:28 iOS App updates


To check and see if your app is up to date is to open the App store and tap on Updates. If your app needs to be updated, it will show up here. Make sure to do the update. To find out what version you have currently installed, open the Google Photos app, tap the 3-line menu and tap the icon for Settings – the Gear in the upper right. At the bottom of the Settings menu, you’ll find “About” under there is the version number.

Support for new iOS 11 photo file format HEIC and HEVC. See this article: Google Photos and the new HEIC format for more details.

Edit icon has changed from the old pencil to the new “adjustments” sliders.

MovieMaker: to make a movie, Chris selects a video and a couple of photos. When it makes the movie, it automatically adds background music. If you don’t want the background music you can now tap the music icon and choose No Music.

33:06 Android App Updates


Make sure you have done your updates – Open your Play Store, tap the 3-line menu and then My Apps and Games. Whatever apps are waiting for updates will show up at the top of the list. If Google Photos is there, tap it to install the updates. To find out the version number of the app you’re using, open google Photos, tap the 3 line menu and then Settings. At the bottom of Settings is About and the version is under that.

What photos are not uploaded – there used to be a little circular icon on each photo that was in need up uploading. That icon is gone and there is now one cloud icon at the top right to indicate your backup status.

Device folders: tap the 3-line menu and Device Folders. If you see a cloud with a line thru it, that means the folder is not included in your Google Photos.





Both you and your friend need to have added debit card information into the messenger app. then, when creating a message, you tap the blue + to reveal more options, then the Transfer Money.

This is a very simple and secure way to send money to a friend. There are no fees involved. Your payment goes straight thru to your friend.

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I usually don’t include the answers in these notes, making you watch this part of the video to get the answer, but the sound had problems in this episode  and some answers you don’t hear at all, so here goes:
1. Android: Play Store and 3-line menu My Apps. iOS: App Store and Updates tab

2. One and only one.

3. False

4. a Gear or Cog

5. Drive

Ends at 45:59 Complete Playlist of What Does This Button Do shows.