Google Photos tests a monthly subscription service for automatically printing your best pictures
Google Photos is one of the best examples of a stellar free service on an Android smartphone. Unlimited photo backups, Google Assistant integration, and a whole host of AI features means that it’s a must-have for any Android smartphone user. It’s one of the most feature-packed Google services out there, and Google is continuously adding to it. Google often leverages its AI to create video slideshows, collages, and albums of trips and events. Back in November, Google added the ability for your phone to highlight “Memories” from many years ago, and at the same time, the company also made it possible to order individual prints of your photos. Google is building upon that, as users invited to a new beta program will be able to pay $7.99 a month to automatically receive prints of their best photos every month.
The idea behind the feature is that every month, you’ll receive 10 photos centered around a theme that you selected when subscribing to the service. The photos are 4×6 printed on matte white cardstock with a 1/8-inch border. The photos are selected from your last 30 days of photography. The themes you can choose from are as follows.
- Most people and pets: Relive your best moments of people and pets. Get prints featuring them and other great photos every month.
- Mostly landscapes: Revisit your most memorable places. Get prints of your outdoor shots, city scapes, scenery pics, and more sent to you every month.
- A little bit of everything: Mix it up! Get a mix of all your best moments! Photos of people, landscapes, and other photos delivered to you each month.
The photos arrive in a cardboard envelope, and are described as being “perfect to put on the fridge, in a frame, or to give as gifts to the important.” It appears that the service is currently only being trialed in the US, and you can check if you have it by going to Google Photos in your web browser. Those invited will see “You’re invited to the monthly photo prints trial” across the top.
While an exciting idea and a way for Google to make money off of a free service, I would personally be worried about the types of photos that it will print. I back up a lot of screenshots to Google Photos, could it accidentally identify one of them as a memorable photo? Google tends to be pretty good at identifying what’s a screenshot and what isn’t, but I’ve also had the service recognize a screenshot as a person. While Google could let you preview the photos that they’re going to send you, that may possibly ruin some of the excitement of a surprise.