Google Photos is trialing its own monthly subscription photo printing service, but the catch is you won’t know what you’re getting until the prints come through the door.
For $7.99, Google’s “monthly photo prints” programme will send 10 prints straight to your home every month. The photos are picked automatically from your last 30 days of activity and then printed on white, matte card stock with a 1/8-inch border.
While you won’t get a say in which of your memories Google decides are worth immortalising on 4×6 card stock, you are able to choose a theme to ensure your prints are somewhat in your line of interest.
For example, if you’re looking for 10 randomised prints of your cat, you’ll probably get more luck with the “Mostly people and pets” theme than you would “Mostly landscapes”.
There’s also an option to get “A little bit of everything” – a healthy mix of people, pets, landscapes “and other photos”.
Google really could print anything with this theme, which might even prompt you to give your photo albums a spring clean and bin any unnecessary snaps and screenshots you don’t want to receive in the mail 30 days from now.
After all, $7.99 a month works out at $0.79 a print – over three times the cost of Google’s current one-off printing service. What you’re paying for here is the convenience (and mystery) of having your best pics picked out and delivered to you by Google’s algorithm.
According to 9to5Google, the service is currently being trialed in the US. If you’ve been invited to participate, you should see a banner notifying you of the programme in the browser version of Google Photos.
If you’re interested in trying monthly photo prints and you haven’t received your invite just yet, keep an eye on your Google Photos account to catch the service when (and if) it rolls out fully.
Related: Best camera phones
Unfortunately, there’s no official word on whether the service will hit the UK anytime soon.
While US users can already send individual pics to be printed in Walmart and CVS, Google has yet to roll out a similar feature across the pond.
The closest service available here is Google’s photo book printing programme but, at £11.99 plus shipping and with no option to automatically curate your pics, it’s hardly comparable to the new service.