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Bring the best of Google Photos to your app

Ruchi Bezoles
Marketing lead at Google
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2018 Google I/O
May 8, 2018, Mountain View, USA
2018 Google I/O
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Bring the best of Google Photos to your app
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About speakers

Ruchi Bezoles
Marketing lead at Google
Ben Greenwood
Product Lead at Google

Ruchi is the marketing lead for Google Photos. She’s worked at Google for almost seven years. Her expertise is around early stage product development and her work spans from Google Pay and Google Express to the Google Assistant. Ruchi has degrees in Economics and International Studies from Northwestern University.

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Ben is a product lead from the Google Photos team. He's passionate about discovering new ways for technology to help people connect and share the moments that matter in their lives. Prior to joining Google, Ben cofounded two successful media and telecommunications startups in South Africa. He holds a bachelor's degrees in software engineering and finance from the Australian National University.

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About the talk

Google Photos was designed to make it easier for people to organize a lifetime of memories. The recently announced API now lets you harness the best of Google Photos in your own product. In this session, you'll see how you can create experiences that eliminate the friction associated with finding, transferring, and sharing photos.

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Good morning, everybody. I'm Richie and this is been and we are from the Google photos team. We built Google photos to help people solve the problems. They were having storing organizing and sharing their memories and now three years in which delighted that hundreds of millions of people around the world call the product photos and videos. Here and I are renowned sing a new way for you as developers to be able to use this platform to build photo and video experiences that are smarter faster and easier to use. Give me a session today. We're going to dive into some of

those new technologies and show how you can use them to bring the best of Google photos into your own apps. So we designed Google photos and we built the app for the way people use photos and videos today unlimited storage. So yes, we can do the inevitable and take photos to capture the perfect sunset. Automatic backup, so we never lose our memories even as we change devices are the time. And of course, we built the products with machine learning at its Cole and you heard soon. Speak yesterday in the keynote about the ways in

which were replying AI to help people organize and bring their memories to wife has been working on his whole week old colour-pop. What this means is the Google photos assistant can help you automatically create images like this and you can see how this affects really elevates the subject and Vivid color fading the background and if you look closely the AI is even identified and Stickman to the flower that this little girl has in her hair pretty neat. These are just a few examples. But of course we all use our photos and videos in different ways.

When we look across the apps and devices that are important to people we see a lot of work clothes that it's difficult and tedious like if you've ever tried to set up a digital photo frame and you're moving files between devices. It's a real Cho just to keep up-to-date. Oh how she going to holiday trip. You'll family memories. I handed to you on a USB drive for even a DVD like what do I even do with that? Emeril constantly downloading Andre uploading content between Services maybe your posting about your latest adventures and you have some awesome Drone

footage that you want to include but it's in 4k and you have to download and re-upload over mobile data. I said we think it should be much easier for people to seamlessly use their photos and videos across all the apps and devices that are important to them. But to solve these problems we can't do it alone. That's why today we're announcing the Google photos partner program and giving you as developers the tools and apis you need to build amazing photo and video experiences for your users. That was the developer window. You want to make your apps engaging and user-friendly

a great way to do that. But often this involves complex infrastructure for serving and having to pay for storage just to duplicate that uses iron content. So we think that should be easier to and so it's a core of the partner program is what we call the Google photos Library API This makes available some of our best technology to you to be able to bring the best of Google photos and AI to help solve real problems for your uses and his routine to tell you more. Thank you been. All right. Now I'm going to show you how you can use the API to build more engaging

experiences for your users. There are three main functionalities that the API enabled. The first is that it will allow your users to access their library of photos in your products. The second is that you'll be able to upload photos to a user's Google photos Library. And third it will provide the infrastructure. You need to enable sharing a photo is within your ass. Goes without saying but all of this requires explicit user consent. Trentonian on connect one of the main things we wanted to solve when building this API is to make it incredibly

simple for users to access and experience their photos in their favorite apps and devices many of which you build. This could be in Timehop where once you've integrated your library and given permission to use it. You'll get more personalized and creative reminders of memories to look back on. Or on HP sprocket. It's a really cute portable printer that will let you print photos from your own library at stickers on the go. Well, this functionality is fantastic to provide your users access to their library in your products. We also want to help developers surface to write

photos a user might need in context and you can do this. Thanks to the filters functionality. There are four ways. You can filter alive or your photos. The first is constant categories and that's categories a photo is that a user has whether it's pet photo selfie landscape photos Landmark photos. So on then there's the date of when the photos were created. So the time. Of photos and videos And then there's the date then there's the media type, excuse me. So that's whether it's a photo or video or something else. You can pull those out too and finally a personal

album. Are you there already has created in their account. Okay time for a question. How many of you here have ever had to do expenses raise your hands full room give them up give them up how many of you would say that you have loved doing expenses? Okay. Sad State. Yeah. Nobody really likes doing expenses. Neither do I? But zero an app that helps his do expenses is now integrating with the library API. So what this means is that they can apply these filters. I referenced earlier and they can pull rear seat images in a certain time

range and surface them as suggestions of expenses I should do. The completing expenses is as simple as viewing the suggestion and hitting tap to submit. Pretty amazing. Thanks, Richie. Using a smart filters is a really powerful way that you can make it easier for users to find just the content they're looking for and I'm going to show you a few code examples and is the library API is a restful API. You can play along with your mobile Falcons or web developer. The first category of the fish filter, excuse me that we were

most excited about I'll content categories and is reaching Mansion this use Google's computer vision to figure out what an image is about so you can filter or narrow down results in your app. Bapi office many categories to choose from and as you can see from this example, I can also exclude categories that might not make sense for my use case. For example an app like Timehop, which is that a really remind me of my Fondest Memories not want to include pictures of old bills and receipts and other documents from years ago from filters are quite right to be able to exploit this

content. Another way that uses explode a content is based on time. And sometimes you want to present photos chronologically so you can scroll back in time, but there other use cases where thing. It was just jump to the right moment can make it much easier for users to find a content. As you can see you can filter by specific dates or date ranges and you can also combine filters together to be even more expressive say I wanted to find all of my birthday photos from years past and put them together in a collage. I could sit there and scroll

through Decades of photos to try and find just the right pics or I could combine a date and content category filter like this. You can see how we've committed and left it as a wildcard. So it'll match any days on my birthday. And included a Content category filter to find those great selfies and birthday celebration moments pretty neat. Suppose you can also fill to buy other kinds of media types sort photos videos or other kinds of content like VR select photos that are already

in an album that a user has curated for some purpose. But regardless of the filters you use you'll get back a list of what we refer to as media items and his what one looks like. Google photos to post a wide variety of media formats from the LDS photos and videos to animations and even complex VR and 360 degree images media item you get back this consistent Json object and they're a couple of interesting attributes here. The first is the base your own this is what your application uses to access the

image fights themselves so you can show them in your app. Estoppel, but really powerful feature of this URL is that it has built-in resizing. So with a simple parameter, you can ask Google photos to return an image the fits the dimensions or aspect ratio for your device saving you a lot of boilerplate code. It also makes it really easy to reduce data transfer for uses on mobile. The second Your Role here is a product URL and what this is is a deep link facking to Google photos. This can be really helpful. If you want to provide a complete and

comprehensive ux with common tasks like cropping rotating and even viewing complicated format such as be off. You can just link out to Google photos rather than rebuilding all of that code in your own app. Domenico's this other metadata, depending on the media format you're dealing with And what's powerful about this is Google photos will extract this from a variety of media formats. So you don't have to go through and pause it yourself. You'll have it returned in this consistent. Json object. I said with all of this data

together you were able to build and include the use of content inside of your user experience and make it seamless and Faust for them to bring photos and videos into your application. Just like the examples we showed earlier. Thank you, Ben. All right. So been talked about how users can access their library of photos in your products. Now, what about when you need to send users their photos the upload functionality can help you do this. So what the library API developers will be able to send full resolution photos and

videos to a user by adding a directly into their Google photos account. Let me walk you through how this would work. So this is actually one of my photo albums that I have at home but accessing all my albums can be extremely difficult. They're buried in Dusty Cupboards in my house or they are thousands of miles away at my parents home. They live in Germany. So it's not going to be very frequent when I get to see them but I decided to get this fixed. I gathered my albums and send them to Legacy Republic. They specialize in digitizing physical albums in Old media formats

like VHS tapes. I hope people have heard about VHS tapes to digital is it and it was ready? Legacy Republic was able to use the library API create an album and upload more than 600 photos. They just digitized into my account almost instantly. That means at the end of the day I had access to all of my childhood memories and some embarrassing photos. I won't pull up here, but they're all in the palm of my hands right in the Google photos app. One thing my physical albums do you have in this is a scrapbook that I had from

when I was younger is a rich amount of information. They don't just hold photos, but they tell stories at least for me ice cream descriptions of things. I would think off the places where the photos were taken or when they were captured. With the library API Legacy Republic was able to take this information and bring it into a digital album in Google photos. So scrap of like what you saw turned into this. So having hundreds of photos in one place is really great. But we also want to help users find that exact photo they're talking about in a story and

thanks to the machine intelligence in Google photo we can do that too. So let's say I want to show you my photos from the last few weeks. I'll just type in me in the search bar and I'll get photos of me. You don't look that impressed. I guess. Yes this photos on the top of my grade so doesn't seem as hard. But let's say I wanted to tell you I was a little chubby toddler when I was a baby. I won't tell you how many years ago, but the next example will tell it to you. Anyway, I could type in me in 1998 and I was less than a second get photos of me as a baby sitting been

it's time for you to show some of your embarrassing photos. I'm going to show you how we can create our own Rich albums using the API. But before we do that a quick poll, how many of you out there have a friend who's an outdoors person go ahead raise your hand and running and hiking and you'll know there an outdoors person because they will absolutely tell you about it at every waking moment. You'll come back into the office on Monday morning and I'll Regale to you that epic miles. They covered in Cliffs and snakes and bears that

they had to fight with just to get in for Monday morning stand-ups. I have a confession to make in my team is made. Answer to prove this to my colleagues a few months ago. I went through for a hike in central Outback Australia who was a pretty memorable trip. So I build a little app to track my progress and take a few notes along the way and now we're going to try and save it all in Google photos. So the first thing we'll do with the apis go ahead and create an album. Simply send a post request. Excuse me, and you can specify the title of the album.

I need a response you'll get back and ID which will use in just a second and a product URL which is again a deep link so you can show the content in Google photos. As you can see the album's empty for now. So let's fix that. Second step is to upload the actual image fights to Google service because we support a wide variety of media formats. You typically want me to worry about transporting between. Load the bites and the service will give you back and upload token. I will use it here in the create meteor item

cold as you can see. We'll also filling the album ID that we just created and at this point you're probably thinking, okay. Thanks, man. We've talked a lot. A lot of Plumbing move some ideas around. How about you show me something interesting? Will a big benefit of Google photos is being able to search by what you remember some of this happens automatically thanks to the II so I could search for the Eiffel Tower and find pictures I've taken at Eiffel Tower, but there was some things that only you or your apps nose. In this case, I'm taking a photo of an area of my friends told

me to go and look at Cold the pound and it's colloquial. It's not on the maps. So any I remember it but I can put it in the description with a few extra details and you'll see that this then become searchable in Google photos and all that contacts to storage right with the image so I can see it again in used to come. This is a great tool. You can use in your apps. Maybe you're building a game and you want to play is to be able to save a favorite moments in include the players name or the level that they character was at. Well, maybe you're just delivering Marathon finish line photos

and want to be able to remind the user of the great time they got But let's be honest individual photos on all that interesting on the run. So through the power of this clicker will add a few more. Now we mentioned earlier that you can create Rich albums that contains text headings locations maps and even control the album layout in Google photos week all these features album enrichment. Because there's not a whole lot else to do in the desert each day. I took a few notes about the tracking and now using album in Richmond's I can group together my photos to tell a

meaningful story. To do this will go ahead and Kool ad in Richmond. Create a text in Richmond. Can finally specifying the position for the enrichment to be displayed in the album after the last photo I took each day. And as you can see this creates headings and dividers Anna Robbins really starting to come together now. There are other kinds of enrichments you can add to. I could add individual locations or even maps that describe the journey and it can be useful for all sorts of applications.

Maybe you're an amusement park and you want to be able to deliver photos from the rides with someone's just taking in the pot full. Maybe you're just trying to document the progress of a project like building your first home or seeing your child's odd project progress throughout the school time. But for my hiking app, the finished product looks a little bit like this you can see it's nicely laid out with all the contacts safely stored in my Google photos library, and hey now I can easily share it with all of my friends and colleagues back in the office too. Many of men's hiking photos,

but send it to up the perfect segue to talk about the sharing capabilities. The library API offers. Did any of your go to the ion block party last night? So you may recall? Yes. You see some of you you may recall seeing this arcade photo booth. Now. The phone is with was really fun. So what Ben and I were most excited about was that it was integrated with our library API is you didn't have to fight over who gets that one physical copy that token from your photo booth instead an attendee would get a long time shared album where they can gather all their photos and videos that have just

been captured right on the device. They're using And something to know is the attendee doesn't have to have the photo booth app or Google photos to get this link. You can also bring the sharing functionality and make it work inside of your mobile apps. Let's take a look. Here's an app for soccer club players are discussing where to meet up sharing scores from the latest games. But to share photos today. They have to close this app open another app and then invite the same group to share photos. This doesn't seem that efficient. And so with the library API,

these players will be able to upload photos as they happen in the same conversation. So everything can finally happen in your app. Let's take a look at this code. Which shared albums you'll have the option to turn on or off comments or allow users to collaborate to add their own photos into the album. And the response will get a shareable URL. These are deep links that open to Google photos and work across any platform. And you got that cash are token. This is what you will use to invite people to join the shared album from within your app what I showed you in the

soccer example. Now you need to show your album in your off, right? And to do this you send to get request you'll get back a list of shared albums that a user has joined. Stop pausing the screen the list. You'll also get will show attributes like the title and cover photo. But you'll still be able to build into your UI. The sharing functionality really comes together in this final use case. I'd like to walk you through but first, let me tell you a little story. A few years ago. I decided to gift my grandfather a digital photo frame. I

felt like a really good granddaughter and he loved it grabbed a USB drive put in 10 photos and there was but years later many of you have experienced. My poor grandpa is watching the same 10 photos on rotation over and over and over again Loan Express pay create beautiful digital photo frames and they're integrating with the library API. So hopefully help me fix this issue. Let me show you how it would work in this context now. To get started we would create a shared album in the nixplay app and they can do this because they're integrated with

the library API. You can also pick an existing album you have in Google photos, but let's go to renew album creation flow. So you can invite people your friends and family to collaborate in this album. And then you can select that album to be the main one you want displayed on the frame. After that, it's simple as friends and family add photos to that album Dil mil automatically be displayed on the nixplay frame you have in your home. So I did for this to the test and I connected my grandfather's next playoff to my shared album. That I

already had with him. I put photos in there when I'm thinking of him or missing him as I travel the world are just sitting at home in San Francisco. So I decided to share photos with my grandfather. He has a front row seat to these moments in his home all the way in Delhi without having to do any extra work. Thanks, Richie. Switch on you today three great ways that you can use the library API to bring the magic of Google photos into your apps. We showed how you can create

seamless connections that allow users to bring their content into your product and service and use Smart filters to help them find just what they looking for. We talked about how you can use the upload functionality to create more mobile friendly ways of delivering content to your users. And finally we talked about how you can build deep engaging sharing experiences right into your apps. We lost our aim to take a lot of the hassle out of building a seamless ux with features like automatic thumbnailing and deep links that allow you to focus on what

makes your app unique. And all the API Services we talked about today are available right now in developer preview, which means you can activate the API and stop building right away. I'm going to head over to developers. Google.com photos, which has full documentation and we have samples on GitHub to help you get started. Now we've been working with some amazing early potnas and the demos we've shown her a preview of things to come. But if you're inspired by what you're saying, you can also find a link on a website to express interest

in joining the partner program for your own product. I do want to point out that we care very deeply about the experience the Google photos uses have and that's why every company we work with is expected to meet certain app quality guidelines. And we also have strict privacy Provisions that govern how you can use the data that uses agree to share. We take those rules very seriously. And so as your app grows, you can expect a few chickens from time to time with the Google photos team. Finally, we really value your suggestions as developers.

And so as you start to explore the API, please get in touch throughout available channels and give us your feedback. You can also come along to the photo office hours here in Iowa and meet with the team directly to talk about your app. But that's it for this morning session. We're really excited about the road ahead and look forward to working with you to develop great products that work with Google photos weeping been andreucci evolving a wonderful. Thanks very much. Have a great eye of

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