Google Photos finally adds manual face tagging, but there’s a catch

Google Photos is one of the best repositories for backing up photos, but until now it has lagged behind rivals in one major way.

The app has always been adept at recognising faces (creepily so, it knows my 11 year old niece and her 6-month-old self are the same person), which makes it easy to group those folks together under their name.

However, if you wanted to manually tag the people in any photo, once uploaded to Google Photos, you were bang out of luck.

That’s changing now. The folks at Android Police have the skinny on this one, reporting that users can now add a tag to the image in question, providing Google has picked up a face within the frame. That means if a person’s face is out of shot or in silhouette you won’t be able to tag them.

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When the face is recognised you’ll see a new thumbnail underneath the ‘people’ section of the information panel, along with the the words ‘available to add’ with a plus icon.

Existing faces can also be edited. That’s another handy feature because Google Photos sometimes mistakes my wife for her sister, something I’m very grateful never to have done when dishing out a friendly butt-tap.

The new feature enables users to begin tagging their friends in Google Photos, the first time they take a picture of them. Google will then group all future photos under that name. As Android Police also points out, there’ll be an opportunity to tag everyone in a group photo at the same time rather than hopping into their individual profiles in order to do so.

The feature was initially spotted by the XDA Developers during the beta stage, but it is now rolling out to all users within version v4.32.1 of the application for Android.

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