Android's photo picker now supports Google Photos and other cloud media apps

The bright display on the Google Pixel 8 Pro
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Android photo picker gains new capabilities for choosing cloud media apps.
  • Users can pick their desired cloud media app, like Google Photos, to share photos.
  • The latest Android photo picker will also showcase the albums created in their cloud media apps.

The photo picker on your Android phone is getting a major update. The function allows users to share pictures from their devices with their favorite apps, but until now, it has been limited to sharing selected photos from the device. However, with the latest update, Google is now adding the ability to share pictures from cloud libraries.

One such cloud service, Google Photos, is now being added to the default photo picker on Android devices, notes the latest Android Developers Blog post. Users can integrate cloud photos from their favorite cloud media apps as soon as the photo picker is open to all.

Android cloud photo picker

(Image credit: Google)

The blog post explains that "cloud photos" will now be merged with your local ones in the photo picker, eliminating the need to switch between apps.

It further indicates that users who have created albums in their cloud photos app will also have access to the photo picker. This particular feature is being rolled out with the February Google System update for devices running Android 12 and above.

Google Photos has already integrated the new feature, and the developer blog post explains that any cloud media app that qualifies for their pilot program will be eligible to incorporate the photo picker hassle-free. Furthermore, the Android photo picker will be able to auto-select a default cloud media app for users, which can later be changed through new cloud media settings.

Android cloud photo picker

(Image credit: Google)

The blog post has further shared the required code to developers, indicating how to integrate the photo picker into their apps and advising them to migrate "for an enhanced, frictionless experience" as early as possible. 

Another essential thing to note is that the cloud content from their favorite apps will be available to users running Android devices on Android 12 version and above. However, the photo picker is said to have been backported to Android 4.4 for developers to migrate, irrespective of device compatibility.

Vishnu Sarangapurkar
News Writer

Vishnu works as a freelance News Writer for Android Central. For the past four years, he's been writing about consumer technology, primarily involving smartphones, laptops, and every other gizmo connected to the Internet. When he is away from keyboard, you can see him going on a long drive or chilling on a couch binge-watching some crime series.