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3 Google Photos tricks you’ll use again and again

How are you storing your photos these days? You’re probably not stuffing them into a shoebox like we used to. Digital photos are much easier to store, and you have tons of options for keeping your images safe.

Services like Google Photos, one of the more popular digital photo storage options, make it simple to safeguard and share your images with others. You may already be using Google Photos to keep your images safe. If you are, some changes are coming that you should be aware of.

While those changes may cut down on your storage space, that doesn’t mean you should stop using this service. There are still features you should be using in Google Photos now and in the future. Let’s take a look at what they are.

1. Cinematic photos coming soon

You will have to give up some storage space in Google Photos soon, but some new features are rolling out that may make up for it. One of the cooler new tools is Cinematic photos, which make your photos look more vivid and realistic by adding 3D features.

According to Google’s blog, this is done using machine learning to predict an image’s depth. It then produces a 3D representation of the scene, even if the image doesn’t include depth information from the camera. There’s also a smooth panning effect added to the image, making it look like a shot that’s panning out at the movies.

Even cooler? Your Google Photos account will automatically create Cinematic photos for you — just make sure the app is updated. You can find these images in the recent highlights at the top of your photo grid in your account. You can also share these images — just like you would a video or photo.

Other cool features are rolling out soon, including updated collage designs with artistic layouts and AI stylization.

Related: Back up your favorite photos before you end up losing them

2. Customize the Memories features and settings

New features are coming to Memories, too. You’ll now get automatic Memories that pop up and include photos of the most important people and times in your life. You’ll see Memories of your favorite things, which are automatically populated based on the photos you upload.

These images will be automatically updated at regular intervals, so they’re not repetitive. It will be a rotating process, which means you won’t know what pictures will pop up when.

That doesn’t mean you’ll have to see a bunch of unpleasant old photos, though. You don’t have to worry about memories about an ex or a bad time popping up. You’ll have the control to hide specific people or time periods, so they don’t show up in your Memories.

It’s easy to do, too. You can hide images by date or person, and you can also change your settings to choose the types of memories you see. To find out more about changing your settings in Memories, click here.

Related: 20 tips to help you take control of your pictures in Google Photos

3. Share photos, videos and albums with more control

There are also sharing controls that make it worth using Google Photos. These controls rolled out earlier this year, and they’re awesome. When sharing an album in Google Photos, the default option is to share with a specific person or people via their Google account. That feature gives you total control over who’s added to your albums.

Don’t worry. You’ll still have the option to share albums via a link, which you can embed in an email, text or blog. That allows you to share with people who aren’t using Google Photos or a Google account.

Another sharing feature worth mentioning is the option to turn link sharing on or off at any time. This keeps your photos from landing in the hands of people you haven’t sent them to. You can also decide if you want to let other people add photos to your album — and remove them (and their photos and albums) if you decide to.

To remove someone from an album:

Note: You must be the owner of the album to remove someone.

  1. Open the desired album
  2. Click More > Options
  3. Scroll to find the contact you’d like to have removed
  4. Click More > Remove person

Turn Link sharing on & off

  1. Open the desired album and click More > Options
  2. Slide the toggle next to Link sharing to the left turn it on or off

Despite Google Photos eliminating free storage, these new features make it worth holding onto. You will need to find a place to store your photos if you have more than Google Photos allows.

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