[Update: Screenshot] Google Photos adds text selection hint on mobile, upload origin info on web, and prepares to let you mute videos

[Update: Screenshot] Google Photos adds text selection hint on mobile, upload origin info on web, and prepares to let you mute videos

Update 1 (4/20/2020 @ 6:00 PM EST): In version 4.48 of the Google Photos app, the ability to mute audio in videos is now fully functional, albeit it hasn’t rolled out yet.

Google Photos is considered by many to be the company’s best service. If you need a free feature-rich photo and video backup solution, it’s hard to beat Google Photos. The company is constantly tweaking the user interface and adding new tools. The latest additions, as spotted by AndroidPolice, include text selection hints on mobile through Google Lens and showing upload origin information on the web. We’ve also spotted hints that you’ll soon be able to mute videos while editing.


First, a new toast “hint” for text selection is appearing in the Google Photos mobile app. When you open an image that contains text, a pop-up hint suggests “copy text from image.” Tapping it takes you to the Google Lens interface where you can select text and take action such as a Google Search, translation, or copy the text. You could already do this by manually tapping the Google Lens button, but now the app will actually suggest it to you.

Next up is a feature for the web version of Google Photos. You can finally see where uploaded images and videos came from in the “Info” section.” You’ll see “Uploaded from computer, Uploaded from Android device, Uploaded from Google Drive,” etc. This only applies to images you uploaded yourself, though, and not images shared from others.

Lastly, we’ve discovered that Google is preparing to add the ability to mute videos. The Google Photos 4.44 APK includes strings that mention “Mute audio” and “Mute video,” along with other audio-muting related strings. This suggests you will be able to turn off audio from videos in editing. If you’ve ever had a video ruined by audio, you know this is a great feature.

<string name="photos_videoeditor_a11y_mute_audio">Mute audio</string>\n<string name="photos_videoeditor_a11y_mute_disabled">Mute button is disabled for silent videos</string>\n<string name="photos_videoeditor_a11y_unmute_audio">Turn audio on</string>\n<string name="photos_videoeditor_action_mute">Mute</string>\n<string name="photos_videoeditor_cpe_mute_applied">Muted</string>\n<string name="photos_videoplayer_mute_button">Mute video</string>\n<string name="photos_videoplayer_unmute_button">Unmute video</string>\n

The first few features appear to be available now in Google Photos for their respective platforms. Muting audio is not live yet, but it looks like Google is getting ready to add it soon. It’s always nice to see Google continue to improve one of its best services.

Google Photos
Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free

Update: Muting Audio in Videos Now Possible

When this article was first published last month, we only spotted strings hinting at the ability to mute the audio in videos. Now, we have enabled this feature in the latest version of the Google Photos app, following Jane Manchun Wong doing the same earlier today. As shown below, a new volume icon will appear in bottom left-hand corner of the video editor UI. Tapping this will mute the audio in the video you’re currently editing. You can then save a copy of this edited video.

This feature has not yet rolled out to users, but we’ll keep an eye out and inform you when it does.

About author

Joe Fedewa
Joe Fedewa

Former Managing Editor at XDA-Developers. Lover of all things with displays.

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