Google Photos now allows manual tagging (but with limits)

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If you upload a lot of photos with people in them on your Google Photos, the auto-tagging feature is a big help. But sometimes, it makes understandable mistakes and you want to have the ability to do it yourself. The latest version of the app will now let you do that to a certain extent as the update comes with manual tagging features. There are still limits to it though as it still relies on Google’s face detection algorithm.

According to Android Police, the manual tagging in Google Photos doesn’t mean you can point at any area of the image and then tag it. Because it still relies on Google’s algorithm, you won’t be able to tag anything if it only detects part of a face, a silhouette, a different angle, or an unrecognizable face. But when it does detect a face, whether it’s already recognized in your people profile or if it’s a new face, you will be able to edit, name, or add a new tag.

Doing manual tagging is pretty easy. Open a pic with a face in it, swipe up or tap the overflow menu to get to the EXIF panel. You should be able to see a pen edit icon on the right, alongside the People heading. If there’s no such heading then it means it hasn’t detected a person in the photo. If there is, you can tap on the edit icon and you’ll see thumbnails of tagged people below it as well as faces that you can tag below. You can add them to an existing profile or create a new one.

Why would you need manual tagging anyway when Google has a good algorithm already? For one thing, you can already tag a person even if it’s just their first photo in your database. You can also edit if it makes a mistake and you can assign names to a large group of people in just one fell swoop. You can also show and remove hidden faces, in case there are some that were hidden for some reason.

Google Photos has a bug right now though as some users are saying that the tap and drag action for selecting multiple images has disappeared. The temporary fix for this now, while Google hasn’t rolled out a fix just yet, is to disable the accessibility service on your phone, just to be able to tap and drag. Hopefully, Google will be able to bring a fix to this soon.


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