Google has brought more offline capability to its Google Photos app for Android. Now it’s possible to build animations inside the app even when you don’t have a working internet connection.
If you want to test it out, just temporarily put your Android device in airplane mode, open up the Assistant tab, tap the “Create new animation” button at the top, select between 2 and 50 photos (or just select a day, such as “yesterday”), and hit “Create.” The app will immediately show you your new creation — a GIF that’s stored locally. Once you’ve restored your connection, the app will back up your new animations to Google’s remote cloud storage. Just make sure that you’ve updated to the new version of the app, which hit the Play Store yesterday.
For better or worse, one quality of Google Photos is that some photos and videos aren’t locally stored, even though their previews will show up in the app’s gallery. Sure enough, if you try to create a gallery with some older photos, you may receive an error message. “To make an animation, either choose photos currently stored on your device or connect to Wi-Fi,” the app says.
This isn’t the first feature from Google Photos that works offline. As you take new photos and videos, they’ll land inside the app’s gallery and will be backed up later, just like animations you make while offline. That’s been part of the app since it launched in May 2015.
Google Photos announced more than 200 million monthly active users this past May.