With a focus on parts of the world that have slower connectivity, Google updated Photos today to have faster backup and sharing, while the Duo video chatting app received an audio-only mode.

Faster initial backup and image sharing in Photos is achieved by Google first uploading a “lightweight preview” of pictures when on slower connections, like 2G. Once on a better network, the high-quality version will be backed up to permanently replace the low-resolution copy. Future clicks on the share URL will also show the full image.

Given their recent advancements in data and image compression, Google notes that the lightweight preview quality still “looks great” on smartphones. The backup and sharing changes are rolling out starting today on iOS.

Aimed at situations where there is a poor network connection, Duo will now allow users to make audio-only calls. Google notes that audio calls work “well on all connection speeds” and is data efficient.

This feature will be accessible by swiping down on the main screen of the app and switching between the video/audio toggle. Sliding towards the latter setting brings up a screen where users can start a call. This feature is launching in Brazil starting today, with the rest of the world seeing it in the next few days on iOS.


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