The latest update to the Google Photos app is a big one: it uses AI technology to add four new features, from resurfacing old memories to fixing sideways photos. The new features are available in the iOS app, Android app (shown above) and on the web.

While the iPhone should recognize whether you’re holding the camera vertically or horizontally, there are times when this doesn’t work reliably. The app will now automatically detect photos which appear to be sideways and offer to fix them for you with one tap.

The three remaining new features all focus on ways to highlight memories and share moments with others …

Google says it has given a boost to the app’s facial recognition features. Now when it recognizes someone in a new photo, it will go looking for older photos of the same person and put together a highlight card.

If you take a lot of photos of the same person – like a partner or child – it will also produce ‘recent highlights’ card.

‘Hint hint: grandparents would love to see these!’ says Google.

Finally, the auto-animation photo feature has now been extended to videos. The app looks for segments containing activities, and aims to automatically create a short looped GIF for easy sharing.

Google Photos is a free download from iTunes, offering free unlimited backup of all photos and 1080p HD video (though not 4K). It follows another handy update last month which removes camera-shake from Live Photos.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:

You’re reading 9to5Mac — experts who break news about Apple and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Mac on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel

About the Author

Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

Ben Lovejoy's favorite gear