Google Photos adds Stories-like Memories, new ways to print at CVS and Walmart

Google Photos is getting an update to help you relive events in both the digital and physical worlds.

Eli Blumenthal Senior Editor
Eli Blumenthal is a senior editor at CNET with a particular focus on covering the latest in the ever-changing worlds of telecom, streaming and sports. He previously worked as a technology reporter at USA Today.
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Eli Blumenthal
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Google Photos will now have a story-like Memories feature for reliving older events. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

Google is giving Photos an update to help make it easier to find past photos in the app and share those moments with or without a phone.

The new first of the new features, Memories, is designed to fight the problem of sorting through hundreds or thousands of photos. Using Google's machine learning, the Photos app will now create a Story-like Memory that appears at the top of the app. The Memories, which look and function a lot like what you'd find on Instagram or Snapchat, highlight photos taken during the same period a year, two years, three years or longer in the past for quick and easy viewing. 

Tapping to the right advances the story, tapping to the left brings back the previous image. Hitting the three dots in the upper right lets you view all photos from that particular day.

Although it looks similar to Instagram or Snapchat's public stories, Google says its Memories will only be viewable by you. 

In addition to the digital reliving, Google is expanding its print options for those looking for physical mementos. After launching the ability to create physical photo books in 2017, the company is now adding the option to order canvas prints of your pictures. 


Google Photos is expanding its physical options to include canvas prints.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Three sizes are available, ranging from an 8x8-inch print for $19.99, to an 11x14 for $29.99 and a 16x20 for $44.99. You can customize whether you want the photo to wrap around the sides, or if the wrap is a simple black or white. Economy shipping, which is free through Sept. 30, arrives in 7 to 10 days, according to the app. Faster options are available for an extra charge. 

If you want something more immediate, Google has also added the ability to order photo prints directly to a Walmart or CVS Pharmacy in the US. These prints are currently limited to a size of 4x6, but can be ordered and picked up the same day. The search giant will also let you order photos to a CVS or Walmart not near you, allowing you to order photos for a parent or friend that they can pick up even if they're in a different city or state. 

Ordering canvas or photo prints can be done by tapping on the photo you'd like, hitting the three dots in the upper right corner and then choosing the option labeled "order photo."


A Walmart print, left, compared to one from CVS. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

The exact delivery time will vary based on the particular location you want them sent to, but should be ready within a few hours. Google will send you a notification and email to let you know when your photos are ready for pickup. Pricing for the photos will also vary by store, with Walmart charging 25 cents per photo and CVS charging 33 cents. 

The photos themselves look slightly different printers and paper used at each store. CVS, which uses Kodak  Moments, was glossier and had more saturation in a photo we printed. Walmart, which uses Fujifilm , was more muted; CNET photographer Sarah Tew noting how it had a "lustre finish" on its matte paper.  

The new features are rolling out now across the iOS and Android Google Photos apps.