Android users will now be able to access their Google Photos media from the local photo picker

Android users will now be able to access their Google Photos media from the local photo picker
For Android users, using Google Photos to store your digital media is a very popular choice. While having 128GB, 256GB, or even 512GB of storage was once upon a time enough to not have to worry about running out of space anytime soon, nowadays devices with more advanced camera systems and better quality photos and videos, usually equate to larger file sizes. Now, all of a sudden, we always need more space.

This is where cloud storage comes in. Though it is still something extra we have to pay for, it is at least flexible to the point where you can change plans and add or remove space as needed. This isn't something you can easily do with the hardware.

On Android, when you want to share a photo or video, the file picker would normally show locally stored data. For those that wanted to attach something that is stored solely on the cloud, the extra steps of opening that cloud storage app separately and then downloading the file, would be necessary. Fortunately, this will not be the case any longer for Google Photos users.

As announced in detail on the Android Developers Blog, Google is currently rolling out support for a highly requested feature that will substantially change the way you select photos from your phone. In addition to the media that is stored locally, you will now be able to easily access all of your Google Photo-backed photos and videos. It even makes use of the "Favorites" category.

Source: Google

The feature is currently rolling out as part of the February 2024 Google System Update to devices on Android 12 or above and is already enabled for Google Photos. Once it becomes available for you, you should see a notice stating that "Cloud photos now available" at the top of the Android photo picker.

However, Google Photos isn't the only cloud storage service that can benefit from this. An API will be available for cloud media apps enrolled in Google's Cloud Media Provider Pilot Program, so that they too can embed this functionality into their apps. This will also allow the users to select which of the eligible apps they want to use as the default for accessing cloud media.

Image Source: Google

Having this feature will now allow Android users to have more flexibility with their device's storage and will be able to offload some photos and videos to cloud storage without worrying about how difficult it may be to access them later. Being able to access both your local and cloud media in one place will also eliminate the need to hop between apps when opting to share memories.
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