Update Wednesday is off to a quiet start this week, with Google Photos being the first app to benefit from Google’s latest development inspirations. Normally you wouldn’t see any major changes with a 0.01 version bump, but Google likes to march to the beat of its own drummer with these version number changes. Moving from version 1.14 to 1.15 brings some significant changes to the UI, not all of them welcome judging from the comments in Google’s announcement post.
The first change you’ll likely notice is the iOS-style bottom tabs recently adopted by Google+. Instead of swiping between Assistant, Photos and Albums you must tap on the appropriate tab on the bottom. Other than some eye candy in the Assistant tab and a “carousel” of categories atop the Albums tab, the UI should still look familiar. Nevertheless, the bottom tab chooser seems to be a sticking point for some users, while others would rather see more intuitive sorting options, especially sorting by date in shared albums.
It’s great that Google offers you a viable cloud-based photo-management service with free unlimited storage of photos and videos in their most common resolutions and throws in some top-shelf editing tools, but Google Photos still has much maturing to do. Having more options for organizing photos (or even some of the sorting options its predecessor G+ Photos or Picasa had) would go a long way to making the new service more compelling. Personally, I’d like to see the ability to sort photos by the date they were added to the library rather than just the date they were originally taken or uploaded to the Internet. Perhaps it’ll take a bump to 1.5 or even 2.0 to bring such under-the-hood changes.