Google has released an update to its wildly popular Photos app that allows users to manually tag people in their pictures, so long as Google’s facial recognition algorithm recognizes there is a face in the photo.
Up until now, Photos users have had the option of enabling the “face grouping” feature in the app, which uses Google’s algorithm to search for similar faces and prompts the user to “group” them by adding a label, presumably the person’s or pet’s name.
Problems have arisen however, when Google’s algorithm fails to recognize a face in a photo, either because it’s obscured by an object or a shadow or is at an odd angle. When this has been the case, users haven’t been given the option to manually tag an image, until this latest update.
The caveat to this feature, though, is that Google must first recognize that there is a face in the photo. If for whatever reason the algorithm doesn’t detect one, then the option to manually tag the face will not be available.
With this latest update, once Google sees a face — whether it’s automatically grouped into an existing profile or not — users can select the image and manually create a new tag or edit an existing one.
In order to manually edit or create a new tag, users need to navigate to the photo and select the overflow (three dots) menu in the top right. This will bring up a panel with a People heading, from which they can select the pen icon to edit or create the tag.
The update — v4.32.1 — is rolling out now to the Photos app on Android and iOS and is a server-side one, meaning it can’t be forced manually. The rollout is expected to take a few weeks to reach all users.