Google Photos has added a new feature to the mix that some users have long been asking for – manual tagging. The feature was discovered by Android Police, with its staff testing out how exactly it works.

The feature was initially hidden in a version of the app, and once activated has since been rolling out to select users, so it may take a while before it comes available to those in SA. For now the feature carries one important caveat – it still relies on AI to detect a face before you can manually tag it.

As such if you were hoping that Google Photos would simply be able to do all the detecting sans any assistance, you’re out of luck. As Android Police points out now, if for whatever reason the person’s face is obscured in some way or at a weird angle and the AI cannot pick it up, it cannot be tagged manually.

This is hopefully something that Google is working on, which is perhaps why the feature laid hidden in a version of the app before it was discovered.

Where the new feature holds value moving forward is the ability to tag and catalogue faces in your camera gallery that were otherwise unable to be tagged. Whether this new system will improve the facial recognition software of the app, as well as other Google products moving forward though, remains to be seen.

It’s also important to make use of tagging responsibly, especially as tagging one will begin to create a digital profile, and that means data. With data security and regulation already divisive topics, adding the ability to tag more people and enhance facial recognition software can also have its downside.

For now this new feature is simply a handy addition to those who make use of a lot of Google services, and Photos in particular.

[Image – CC0 Pixabay]