All users need to do is enter an emoji into search (Google says most are supported) and it will surface photos that represent that emoji. If you put in a hot dog emoji, it may show photos of hot dogs from your Fourth of July barbecue. Enter a country’s flag and it will display photos you took in that country.
The update works on iOS, Android and the Web-based version of Google Photos.
The service spun off from Google+ last year and is designed to help users store and easily manage their collection of photos, essentially tidying up what would otherwise be an unwieldy collection of images.
Using an algorithm that gets smarter thanks to machine learning — that is, a form of artificial intelligence — users can search for words in their photos like “dog” or “graduation.” Even if they don’t have text descriptions, Google Photos shows auto-grouped images, making it easier to find the photo you want to see.
It’s not the first time a company has released an actual product around April Fools’ Day that made us skeptical at first. Last year, Amazon introduced its physical Amazon Dash buttons that allow shoppers to press a branded button in their home to re-order that product.
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