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Google Photos for Android drops FAB for a search bar in latest update


Update: According to a post on Google+, this update adds the ability to customize automatically created movies with your own music, photos, and videos. It’s also now possible to rename or delete device folders and manage photos on SD cards.

Rolling out to users now, version 1.19 of Google Photos brings quite a few design tweaks to the Android app. The biggest change replaces the floating action button (FAB) with a search bar that is reminiscent of a recent A/B test to Play Music.

The blue search FAB in the bottom right corner has been replaced by a search bar that suggests various terms to look up. At the very left of the bar is a button to access the hamburger menu and at the right is an overflow button. The overflow menu now houses shortcuts to create an album, animation, collage, etc. and the option to switch between the comfortable, month, and year view.

Tapping the new search bar immediately brings up the keyboard, but also lists shortcuts to photos of people, types of media (Videos, Selfies, Screenshots, etc.), and recent locations. The full list of items in the previous FAB screen is now located in the Albums tab as a carousel.

Overall, the new search bar is cleaner from a design perspective and offers more direct access to shortcuts. Photos is often one of the first apps to adopt Google’s latest design ideas. The move to a search bar in Photos and Play Music possibly signals a shift in the Material Design guidelines, but also emphasizes Google’s core competency of search.

Version 1.19 of Google Photos is rolling out now.

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Avatar for Abner Li Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: