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Google Photos update brings emoji search, manual backup for local images and video

Derek Walter | April 15, 2016
Emoji search is a neat exercise in image recognition, though it's unlikely to be useful for serious search queries.

Sometimes you’d rather pick and choose what gets backed up to cloud storage instead of just tossing everything up there. You can finally do that with Google Photos, as the version 1.18 update adds in manual backup so you can select individual photos and videos to store on Google's servers. 

Google says you can choose one or more images at a time and then add them to your online storage.

google photos backup
Pick one or more select images and videos to backup to Google Photos.

Another new, although peculiar, feature is emoji search. Yes, you can use a cat, taco, or any of those new emojis to track down an image. 

My favorite find was from the Mona Lisa emoji. It actually turned up, well, pictures of the Mona Lisa I took while at the Louvre.

google photos emoji
Some emojis will find what you intended, while other searches may not fare so well.

If you want to give it a try yourself and see what you discover, then grab the 1.18 update from APK Mirror or wait for the rollout from the Google Play Store.

The impact on you: The emoji search is more of a toy to try out Google’s visual search capabilities, and it may impress some friends at your next social event. But the manual update will be useful if you’d rather be more selective about what you backup. If you’d rather go through your images and just choose the good ones to keep, that could save you some cloud space.


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