Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Amazon Photos gets overhauled, at least on iOS

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Amazon Photos on iOS just got a major redesign, as outlined in a post on the Amazon Photos blog, suggesting that Amazon might be trying to level the playing field with Google Photos.

The update aims to bring smoother navigation, essentially placing all options within “a thumb’s reach.” From the home screen, you should be able to singlehandedly access your photos and account information. The home screen also features a customized slideshow that displays a reel of memories, highlighting vacations, photos of the current date from previous years, and a random selection of photos that change on a daily basis.

Once you select a gallery, Amazon notes that you’ll no longer have to keep scrolling to find a specific picture — swiping up on the screen reveals a control panel that lets you filter through photos by people, place, and year. There’s no word on when (or if) Amazon will update the Photos app on Android.

Despite Amazon offering free unlimited photo storage for Prime users, the service has lagged considerably behind Google Photos, so much so that some Echo users prefer using Google Photos on their devices — something that Amazon has yet to offer.

In an October interview with David Limp, the senior vice president of devices and services at Amazon, The Verge asked Limp about integrating Google Photos with Echo devices. His response suggests that Amazon would welcome the integration, but the decision would depend on Google: “Amazon Photos is in my organization, but I’d also love to entertain a deal with Google with their photos.”

It looks like Amazon is starting to focus more of its resources on its Photos service, though, as demonstrated by the age of the Amazon Photos blog. Amazon published its first post in August of this year and seems to be continually providing updates about Photos. While the establishment of a new blog doesn’t really mean much, it seems that Amazon is ready to remind people it has a Photos service.

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