Google Photos v3.15 prepares to let users Export Motion Photos as GIFs and Like Photos in Shared Albums

Google Photos v3.15 has begun rolling-out to users on the Play Store, and as usual, Google has not published an official changelog. While live changes are few, we did an APK teardown of the app and found that Google is planning to allow users to like photos in shared albums. Also, the company may be planning to allow users to export Motion Photos as GIFs. Let’s take a look at the changes one-by-one:

An APK teardown can often predict features that may arrive in a future update of an application, but it is possible that any of the features we mention here may not make it in a future release. This is because these features are currently unimplemented in the live build and may be pulled at any time by Google in a future build.


Like photos in shared albums

<string name="photos_hearts_viewbinder_user_liked_a_photo">%s liked a photo</string> <string name="photos_hearts_viewbinder_user_liked_a_video">%s liked a video</string>

The strings indicate that users will soon be able to “like” photos in shared albums. Shared albums are albums that are shared between different users. The “like” feature will be part of an upcoming “Favorites” feature that has showed up in strings for a long time. Just like the “Favorites” feature, the “like” feature hasn’t gone live yet.

Google Photos Like Photo Shared Album

Google Photos Shared Album

Export as a GIF

<string name="photos_microvideo_actionbar_beta_export_as_dialog_export_button">Export</string> <string name="photos_microvideo_actionbar_beta_export_as_dialog_gif">GIF</string> <string name="photos_microvideo_actionbar_beta_export_as_dialog_photo">Still photo</string> <string name="photos_microvideo_actionbar_beta_export_as_dialog_stabilization_checkbox">Keep stabilization (content is trimmed)</string> <string name="photos_microvideo_actionbar_beta_export_as_dialog_title">Export as</string> <string name="photos_microvideo_actionbar_beta_export_as_dialog_video">Video</string> <string name="photos_microvideo_actionbar_beta_export_as_gif_success_toast_text">GIF exported</string> <string name="photos_microvideo_actionbar_beta_export_as_gif_success_toast_view_result">View</string> <string name="photos_microvideo_actionbar_beta_export_as_menu_item">Export</string> <string name="photos_microvideo_actionbar_beta_export_error_toast_text">Failed to export</string>

These strings are most likely related to Motion Photos. As of now, Motion Photos can be exported as either still photos or as videos. Soon, users will be able to export them as GIFs as well. This feature is hardly groundbreaking, but when it goes live, users will be able to share Motion Photos in a standard file format, which will make it easier to share them.

Google Photos Motion Photos

Current export options for Motion Photos


Let us know in the comments if you spot anything new, and follow our APK Teardown tag for more articles like this!

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