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Google Photos now lets you add pictures and videos to an album when you’re offline

Google Photos remains one of the best places to store your pictures online, and now it’s getting a useful tweak. A silent update to the Google Photos app, at least on Android, allows users to add content to an album even when they’re offline.

For a long time, Google Photos has required users to have an active internet connection to add content to an album for one simple purpose — the content, whether a photo or video, needed to be fully backed up to the cloud to be in an album. That’s usually fine, but can sometimes be a little frustrating. Now, that behavior is changing.

The folks over at Android Police spotted the ability for Google Photos to create and add content to an album even though their device was entirely disconnected from the internet and pending backups. It’s unclear when this change occurred, but it’s functionality we can easily replicate on a Pixel 5 running Google Photos version 5.37. You can also add photos to an existing album instead of creating a new one, assuming your device shows the album. Everything gets synced when your device restores a connection.

Where might this be useful? There are plenty of scenarios, but the first one that comes to mind for me is an “unplugged” trip. When Wi-Fi isn’t available and cell signal is scarce, organizing photos taken on your phone could be a pain without this simple feature. Beyond that, this is just a good change for the sake of speed. Now, an album can easily be created while photos are backing up.

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