Google Photos, as a service, is a pretty useful tool, allowing you to keep a tab on all of your device’s photos and videos from one place, edit them right from the app, sort them using Google’s state-of-the-art artificial intelligence, and much more. And while the app’s free capabilities will soon be limited, it remains one of the best apps for managing your pictures available on Android: it comes pre-installed on most phones, and it backs up your precious pictures and memories to the cloud. But there might be some other pictures that you don’t want showing up with the rest of your pictures. That’s where Google Photos’ new “Locked Folder” feature comes in.
This feature was just announced in Google I/O 2021 together with other security features, and it’s as straightforward as it sounds. You can create a “locked folder” that is protected by biometric authentication: it will ask for a passcode or your fingerprint before letting you open the folder. There, you can throw in pictures and videos that you want to keep by yourself, and they won’t be showing up with the rest of the pictures in your camera roll.
This is useful for several reasons. Say, for example, that you want to show someone a picture on your phone, but you’re worried that they might scroll down and come across a picture that you don’t want them to see for whatever reason. By throwing those select pictures into a Locked Folder in Google Photos, they won’t show up in your camera roll anymore, and they’ll only be accessible to yourself.
Several apps providing similar functionality have become available over the last few years, and with different features and levels of security, but we are glad to see it come to Google Photos, as this app comes pre-installed on most Android phones with Google apps and the feature will be within reach of millions of users without installing new apps.
This feature will be coming to Google Pixel smartphones first, although Google says that it will be rolling out to other Android smartphones throughout the year as well.