Google Photos has been a handy tool over the years when it comes to storing and organizing our memories.
While some of that functionality (the storing bit) is changing drastically next month, the app is looking to continue being front and centre of our memories by adding some nifty organization features that are, to be honest, a no-brainer.
Like the ability to stash away some images you may not want available to everyone who has access to either your smartphone/tablet or Google Photos account.
Locked Folder is Google’s answer to a much-requested feature over the years. One that competitors have been able to offer and which, to date, has seen several third-party applications do so well.
Google being Google, the Locked Folder’s lock feature, which obviously requires users to input some form of authentication before they can view any images added there, is tied to the device’s universal lock mechanism. That means two things: 1) In order to use Locked Folder, one has to set up and activate some form of lockscreen lock and, 2) Whatever one sets as their lockscreen lock also automatically becomes the Locked Folder authentication method and there is no way to separate the two (it’s much more user friendly that way, we think).
Unfortunately, though, Google is hiding Lock Folder away under the Utilities section that can be accessed by navigating to the Library button at the bottom of the app.
One more thing: due to the sensitive nature of whatever it is that you may want to keep to yourself in Lock Folder, contents there are removed from the Google Cloud and are only available locally on the device where the Locked Folder is enabled and set up. They won’t show up in searches in the Google Photos app as they are deleted from the main photos library as soon as they are moved to the Locked Folder so you may want to think twice before sending your snap there.
One can, however, move images back to the main photo library by using one of the buttons presented when viewing images in the Locked Folder (the other one is ‘Delete’).
Locked Folder is not yet available but, according to Google, should be showing up later in the year with Pixel users, as usual, getting first dibs on the feature. Those using devices centrally managed by the organization they work for or minors who have some form of parental control on their devices and Google accounts tied to those devices, won’t be able to use the Locked Folder feature.