Google will soon add a badly-needed search function to the Android Photo Picker

Google will soon add a badly-needed search function to the Android Photo Picker
Sharing photos and videos from your phone should be simple, but it's not always easy to find the exact item you're looking for. Google's Photo Picker, introduced in Android 13, aimed to streamline the process by allowing users to select specific media to share with apps. However, it lacked a key feature: search functionality.

As reported by Android Authority, this significant shortcoming has been a source of frustration for many users, especially those with large cloud media libraries. Currently, the Photo Picker only offers two tabs: "Photos" and "Albums". While this might be sufficient for those with smaller local libraries, navigating through thousands of images to find the right one can be a daunting task.

Android Photo Picker for photos and albums without search functionality | Credit: PhoneArena

This issue is exacerbated for users who store their media in the cloud, as the Photo Picker doesn't offer a way to search through cloud libraries like Google Photos. It's a surprising omission, given that Google is behind both the Photo Picker and Google Photos.

Thankfully, Google has heard the feedback and is taking action. During Google I/O 2024, the company confirmed that it will add both local and cloud search to the Photo Picker. This means users will finally be able to quickly and easily find the photos and videos they want to share, regardless of where they're stored.

The exact timeline for this update is still unclear, with Google only stating that it will arrive "later this year". However, it's expected to be available on all Android versions that support the Photo Picker, which includes devices running Android 4.4 and newer.

This update will be a welcome addition for many Android users, making the Photo Picker a more powerful and user-friendly tool. It remains to be seen whether the search function will be as sophisticated as Google's new AI-powered "Ask Photos" feature, but any improvement is a step in the right direction.

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