New Cinematic photos and more ways to relive your Memories

The holidays are always a great time to reflect on what really matters—for me, that’s my family, both near and back home in Europe. With Memories in Google Photos, I’m able to relive the moments—big and small—I’ve shared with my loved ones. Memories surfaces things like the  best photos of me and my son, family vacations and holidays from previous years, and even highlights from the past few days hanging out around the house.

Over the next month, you’ll start to see your Memories brought to life with Cinematic photos, updated collage designs and new features that highlight some of your favorite activities.

Relive the moment with Cinematic photos

Cinematic photos help you relive your memories in a way that feels more vivid and realistic—so you feel like you’re transported back to that moment. To do this, we use machine learning to predict an image’s depth and produce a 3D representation of the scene—even if the original image doesn’t include depth information from the camera. Then we animate a virtual camera for a smooth panning effect—just like out of the movies.

Animated GIF showing two photos of a small girl playing in a pile of leaves side by side. The photo on the left is static, while the photo on the right shows a slow zooming in, smooth panning feature.

Google Photos will automatically create Cinematic photos for you. Just make sure your app is updated and when one’s ready for you, it’ll show up in your recent highlights at the top of your photo grid, like this Cinematic photo of my son. 

Animated GIF showing a phone with Google Photos pulled up, and selection the "recent highlights" feature. This pulls up a Cinematic photo of a small boy sitting on a bench and smiling.

If you want to share a Cinematic photo with your friends or family so they can relive the moment too, you can send it as a video in just a few taps. We’re still improving Cinematic photos, so let us know what you think by sharing feedback in the app. 

Fresh collage designs

Earlier this month, we started rolling out updated collage designs, so you can look back on your favorite moments in a new, delightful way. In these refreshed collages, you’ll see richer, artistically designed layouts populated and stylized using AI. This helps pick the right layout for a selection of photos by finding similar colors and using those to accent details like the font and background color for a more cohesive look. Two of my favorites are this Then & Now collage of my son in the same camping chair, two years apart, and this collection of hiking photos from my last trip. 

Image showing two side-by-side screens. One is a collage of two photos of a small child sitting in the same camping chair two years apart. The other is of photos taken on a hiking trip.

New Memories for your favorite people, things and activities 

We’re also rolling out new themes for looking back. Now you’ll see Memories surface photos of the most important people in your life, something I’m especially thankful for in a year where I won’t be seeing as many of my nearest and dearest in person.  And starting soon, you’ll also see Memories about your favorite things—like sunsets—and activities—like baking or hiking—based on the photos you upload.

Animated GIF showing a phone with a montage of photo memories playing. The first is of two people against a sunset; the words "into the wild" are written below. The second is of two dogs in a field. The third is a photo of a far away cliff.

Because not all Memories are worth revisiting, you always have the control to hide specific people or time periods so they don’t show up in your Memories. 

As the year comes to a close, Google Photos is here to help you look back on cherished memories—and as 2021 begins, we’ll be there to help you enjoy the new ones you make along the way.

By Jamie Aspinall, Product Manager, Google Photos

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