Samsung has released a new ad encouraging iPhone users to upgrade to the Galaxy S9, but there are several holes in the video.
First and foremost, instead of comparing the two-month-old Galaxy S9 to the iPhone X, or even the iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus, the one-minute clip shows a woman becoming increasingly frustrated with her seemingly glacially slow iPhone 6, released in 2014, as she travels by plane to visit her sister.
Samsung acknowledges this fact with fine print that says “newer iPhone models are currently available,” but that doesn’t stop it from comparing its 2018 flagship with a nearly four year old iPhone model.
The woman’s woes start at an airport security checkpoint, where a security officer reminds travelers to have their boarding passes and IDs ready. The woman taps on the Wallet app on her iPhone, but a white screen appears, suggesting the device is lagging badly. The security officer is visibly displeased.
The next scene shows the woman attempting to open the TV app to watch a movie during her flight, as the person with a Galaxy S9 is doing next to her, only for the same white screen to occur again, suggesting the iPhone is still lagging.
The ad is deceiving, however, as it never shows whether the Wallet or TV apps eventually manage to open. Instead, Samsung conveniently cuts away to the next scene after a split second each time. The fine print also says “screen images simulated,” suggesting the slowness might not even be real to begin with.
Later in the night, the woman visits an Apple Store and asks if her slow iPhone can be fixed that night. In a monotonous voice, the employee advises her that she can turn off Apple’s performance management, at the risk of unexpected shutdowns, without mentioning that a battery replacement may solve the problem.
Looking exhausted, the woman leaves the store and walks by a person with a notch-shaped haircut that clearly mocks the iPhone X, as seen in an earlier ad.
At the end of the ad, the woman can be seen unboxing and using a Galaxy S9, having finally upgraded to that device.
Samsung’s decision to use an older iPhone in the video may have something to do with the iPhone X outperforming the Galaxy S9 in benchmark tests, but it also gave them an opportunity to mock Apple’s performance management, which isn’t enabled on the latest iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, or iPhone X.
In reality, even a four-year-old iPhone 6 being throttled by Apple’s performance management shouldn’t be nearly as slow as Samsung depicts in the ad. And if it is, then there are likely underlying issues.
It’s fair game for Samsung to try to convince iPhone users to switch to the Galaxy S9, but its execution in this ad was poor.
Tags: Samsung, Galaxy S9
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AirPort base stations are beginning to sell out or disappear entirely from Apple’s online and retail stores in select countries, a few weeks after Apple announced it has discontinued the lineup of routers.
The first casualty is the AirPort Extreme, now listed as “sold out” on Apple’s online store in the United States, and unavailable for pickup at Apple’s retail stores across the country. The base station remains available in limited quantities in select other countries, including Australia, Canada, Japan, and Singapore.
AirPort Express and AirPort Time Capsule models remain in stock on Apple’s online store in the United States, and select other countries, but they will eventually sell out too as inventory continues to dwindle.
In addition, the entire AirPort lineup is no longer listed on Apple’s online store in several European countries, such as France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom, as spotted by MacGeneration. It’s possible that some of Apple’s retail stores still have inventory remaining in those countries.
Apple said that its AirPort products would only remain available while supplies last, so this was to be expected eventually.
Prior to being discontinued, Apple hadn’t refreshed its lineup of AirPort base stations in five to six years. The high-end AirPort Extreme and AirPort Time Capsule were last updated at WWDC 2013, while the smaller AirPort Express was last updated in June 2012 and still uses the old 802.11n Wi-Fi standard.
The end of the road for AirPort products comes roughly a year and a half after Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reported that Apple ceased development of the base stations to “sharpen” its focus on other major products.
While the AirPort lineup has been discontinued, Apple will be providing service and parts for the current-generation base stations for up to five more years. Apple also shared a new support document offering tips on choosing a router to use with its devices, and now sells the Linksys Velop mesh system.
Related: Linksys Aims to Fill Apple’s AirPort Void With Cheaper Dual-Band Velop Mesh Wi-Fi System
Related Roundup: AirPort
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Instagram today added a feature that’s designed to let users share posts from their accounts and public accounts that they follow directly to their story feed as a sticker.
Today, we’re introducing a new way to easily share feed posts to your story.
When you come across something in feed that inspires you — like a post from a friend raising money for a cause or a photo of a new design from your favorite brand — you can now quickly share that post as a sticker to your story for your friends and followers to see.
Instagram users can share a feed post to a story by tapping on the paper airplane button below a post, which is the same gesture used to send it through a Direct message.
At the top of this interface, there’s a new option to create a story. Tapping that option will transform the feed post into a sticker with a customized background that can be shared to a story. Like other stickers, the post sticker can be rotated, scaled, moved, and otherwise customized.
Every post shared to stories will display the original poster’s username to make it clear who an image belongs to. Users can also tap on a post in someone’s story to see the original post and more content from the person who shared it.
Instagram is only allowing content from accounts that are public, not private, to be shared to stories. Instagram users who do not want their posts shared to stories by other people can opt out in the settings section of the app.
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Next week, Valve is launching a “Steam Link” app for iOS and tvOS, allowing users in the Apple ecosystem to play Steam games streamed from a host Mac/PC (using either a 5GHz network or a wired Ethernet connection) onto an iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV. In advance of the app’s launch, our sister site TouchArcade got the chance to go hands-on with Steam Link and came away entirely impressed by the quality of gaming that can come out of Valve’s app.
TouchArcade reports that Steam Link works so well that it “feels like there’s some kind of actual wizardry powering it all,” and once it’s set up (a “simple” process) the app is essentially the same as using a physical Steam Link hardware box or Steam’s Big Picture mode.
The app doesn’t just stream in-game content, but allows gamers to browse the Steam marketplace, purchase games, check their friend lists, play PC exclusive titles, sell things, and more. “There are no corners cut anywhere, it’s the complete experience,” TouchArcade says.
In the end, the site crowned Steam Link as the current “killer app” for Apple devices.
Overall, I have constantly found myself completely blown away by how well the Steam Link app works. If you have a gaming PC in your house, and an iPad or Apple TV, I do not think it is at all hyperbole to say that this is the killer app for iOS devices.
If you’re the kind of person who is always hungry for “real” PC-like game experiences on your Apple device, but have been dismayed by the amount of junk on the App Store, you can basically delete everything else but the Steam Link app. I’m still dumbfounded by Apple apparently allowing this on their platform, as I could see a very real situation where many people just straight up stop buying things from the App Store and exclusively purchase Steam games through Valve instead.
There are a ton of more details to read in TouchArcade’s coverage for Steam Link, including tidbits about stream quality, Steam/MFi controller use, the lack of potential for cellular gameplay, and more. To read the full coverage, follow this link: ‘Steam Link’ App Hands-On Preview – The iOS and Apple TV Killer App Doesn’t Even Play Games from Apple’s Ecosystem.
Steam Link is launching today for Android devices, while a launch for iOS and tvOS should be sometime next week, pending further approval from Apple.
Tags: Valve, Steam
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Apple today seeded the sixth beta of an upcoming iOS 11.4 update to developers, three days after seeding the fifth beta and more than a month after releasing iOS 11.3, a major update that introduced several new features.
Registered developers can download the new iOS 11.4 beta from Apple’s Developer Center or over-the-air once the proper configuration profile has been installed from the Developer Center.
The iOS 11.4 update introduces a new ClassKit framework for educational institutions, which supports new features announced at Apple’s March 27 education-focused event.
For regular users, the iOS 11.4 update adds features that were originally present in the iOS 11.3 beta but removed ahead of release.
It includes support for Messages on iCloud, designed to store your iMessages in iCloud rather than on each individual device, allowing for improved syncing capabilities. Currently, incoming iMessages are sent to all devices where you’re signed in to your Apple ID, but there is no true cross-device syncing.
Messages on iCloud will allow you to download all of your iMessages on new devices, and a message deleted on one device will remove it on all devices. Older messages and attachments are also stored in iCloud rather than on-device, saving valuable storage space.
The iOS 11.4 update also includes AirPlay 2 features, with the Apple TV once again available in the Home app. With AirPlay 2, the same audio content can be played in multiple rooms on devices that support AirPlay 2. AirPlay 2 includes a feature that lets you ask Siri on one device to play content on another AirPlay 2-enabled device. So, for example, you can ask Siri on iPhone to play content on your Apple TV in another room if you’re running the iOS 11.4 and tvOS 11.4 betas.
There were initially signs of support for HomePod stereo sound in the first iOS 11.4 beta, a long-promised feature, but stereo sound didn’t work properly and the mention was removed in the second beta. It’s not clear if it will return for the update’s release.
For the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, there’s a new (PRODUCT)RED wallpaper available, which is not available on iPhone X. During beta testing, Apple implemented a USB Restricted Mode that [introduces a week-long expiration date](https://www.macrumors.com/2018/05/08/ios-11-4-usb-restricted-mode/) on access to the Lightning port on iOS devices for data purposes if your iPhone hasn’t been unlocked, which has implications for law enforcement tools like the GrayKey box. Mentions of the feature were removed from Apple’s release notes, so it’s not clear if it will be included in iOS 11.4.
With six betas having been released, we are nearing the end of the beta testing period. iOS 11.4 is likely to see a public launch in the next few weeks.
Related Roundup: iOS 11
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The OnePlus 6 is yet another tempting bargain packed with great hardware, but it also sports an all-glass body and a large, edge-to-edge display. Drop this phone and you’re going to suffer from acute anxiety because cracks, chips, and scratches seem inevitable. Case makers are gradually warming to OnePlus’ wares, so you can lay hands on some decent options now — and there are more on the way. Behold the best OnePlus 6 cases and covers so far.
OnePlus 6 Silicone Case ($20)
There are a few official OnePlus 6 cases available, but our top pick is this eye-catching red silicone case. It’s designed to absorb the shock of drops and bumps, there’s a microfiber lining inside to keep your phone in perfect condition, it feels comfortable to hold, and it enhances grip. You’ll also find subtle button covers and generous cutouts for easy access to everything. If you want more protection, then check out the bumper case at $25 — it comes in wood, nylon, and carbon fiber finishes.
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OtterBox Commuter Series Case ($40)
If you want sold drop protection, then this case is worth considering. It offers a dual-layer design that combines polycarbonate with flexible rubber that’s easy to grip. There’s a raised lip around the screen, button and port covers, and a recessed opening for the camera and fingerprint sensor. It comes in black or indigo blue. This is the most protective option we’ve seen so far.
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Dretal Carbon Fiber TPU Case ($5)
Anyone with a limited budget might consider dropping five bucks on this to reduce the worry about dropping their OnePlus 6. It’s a typical flexible TPU case that will take the sting out of knocks and minor drops. The openings and button covers are all present and in the right places, and it’s finished in a brushed texture with two carbon fiber effect panels. You can expect to see several cases that look like this, but you’re not likely to find it cheaper — just don’t expect high quality.
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Olixar ExoShield Tough Snap-on Case ($11.50)
With a clear polycarbonate back panel, the design of your OnePlus 6 shines through with this case, but there’s also a protective bumper of malleable TPU with specially reinforced corners to guard against drop damage. The chunky corners also extend front and back to ensure your screen and camera lens never meet the ground. The back is always clear, but you can also get the bumper section in black if you prefer.
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Avidet Clear TPU Case ($7)
This is a good pick if you prefer minimal coverage that won’t spoil the look of your OnePlus 6. It’s a thin, clear, flexible TPU case that will guard against scratches and minor bumps but drop protection will be limited. The openings are in the right places and it will enhance your grip. It’s plain apart from a subtle dot pattern that helps it shrug off smudges.
Buy one now from:
- The best Google Pixel 2 XL cases and covers for protection and style
- OnePlus 6 vs. OnePlus 5T vs. OnePlus 5: Is it worth it to upgrade?
- OnePlus 6 hands-on review
- Don’t live on the edge, get one of the best Galaxy S7 Edge cases
- OnePlus 6: Everything you need to know
Do you really need to spend big money on the big name?
Samsung’s Galaxy S9+ is a known quantity at this point. It’s been out for a couple months, covered every way possible and evaluated by everyone. By most accounts, it’s a darn good phone. The hardware is great, the specs are top-notch and the camera is wonderful. But … it’s expensive. Very expensive.
That’s where the OnePlus 6 comes in. It’s over $300 less than the Galaxy S9+, but on the face of it looks like a comparable device. It also has solid hardware, top-end specs and a pile of other enticing features. So the question is, if you’re in the market for a flagship phone today, should you get the Galaxy S9+ or consider the OnePlus 6? And does the story change at all if you’re trying to hold to a budget? We’re here to give you all of the information you need.
See at Galaxy S9+ at Amazon
See OnePlus 6 at OnePlus
What’s the same
Smartphone designs have coalesced in the last few years. Screens got taller and skinnier, and a majority of devices are comprised of a metal frame squished between two panes of glass. The story continues when you set the OnePlus 6 next to a Galaxy S9+. Not only do they have the same type of construction, but also very similar finishes — these are glossy and shiny bodies that attract attention and fingerprints alike. They’ve both even went with the same type of vertical arrangement for their cameras and fingerprint sensors, though the OnePlus 6’s is a tad easier to use because it’s physically separated from the camera grouping.
These are metal-and-glass sandwiches that feel very similar and are filled with comparable specs.
The phones are near-identical in shape, size and weight, due to their small bezels wrapping around screens that are almost the same size. The 19:9 aspect ratio 6.3-inch display on the OnePlus 6 is barely larger and taller than the 18.5:9 ratio 6.2-inch on the Galaxy S9+ — that is to say you’d never notice the size difference. The body curves make them both a bit slippery without a case, but that’s the cost of beauty. The Galaxy S9+ is a tad narrower, but in daily use you wouldn’t notice. Both phones have a typical array of buttons on the side, and all of the ports collect at the bottom — including a headphone jack on both phones.
OnePlus 6 specs
Internally, the similarities continue. Both phones are powered by a Snapdragon 845 processor (aside from GS9+ models with a similar Exynos), 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. In either case you can pay to option up 128GB or 256GB of storage, but OnePlus also gives you 8GB of RAM in those higher storage models — though you’d be hard-pressed to find a need for it. The OnePlus 6 has a slightly smaller battery at 3300mAh to the GS9+’s 3500mAh, but the history of OnePlus battery life indicates longevity will be the same or better than the “full day without much left” we’ve experienced with Samsung’s phone.
So when the base of the hardware, specs and features is the same, where does Samsung differentiate to justify its higher price? Well, in the details. On the hardware side, Samsung offers IP68 water resistance, which gives you true peace of mind in knowing it can get wet without issue. Its glass back also hides dual-mode wireless charging for those who enjoy the convenience, there are dual speakers available, and its Fast Charge wired charging system, while slower than Dash Charge, is cross-compatible with every Quick Charge charger as well as USB-C Power Delivery.
The GS9+ gives you more ‘nice to have’ features, a proven camera and an amazing display without a notch.
Then we have to address the big difference that stares you in the face: the display notch. I can easily argue that the OnePlus 6’s notch isn’t bothersome and simply lets you get a little more display without making the phone larger, but the simple fact is the Galaxy S9+ doesn’t have one and you don’t have to deal with it. All else being equal, not having a notch is preferable. And further on the display front, the GS9+ just has a downright better panel — its brightness and clarity are unmatched by any Android phone, making it better than the still-very-good OLED panel on the OnePlus 6. It’s also higher resolution, if you’re into that sort of thing.
The only area on the front where the OnePlus “wins” is that its display is flat and not curved. Yes this is a bit like the complaints about display notches, but many people don’t care for the Galaxy S9+’s curved screen edges because they make the phone tougher to operate in one hand. Just like the notch discussion this may not be an issue for you, but no matter what camp you land in you’ll never have to think about a curved display on the OnePlus 6.
OnePlus wins the software battle, both out of the box and over time.
One of the biggest differentiators here is the software experience. OnePlus has a lot of fans purely based on its clean and fast software experience that has minimal interruptions and delightful improvements over stock Android. Samsung’s phones do more, that’s not even up for debate, but the trade-off is that the Galaxy S9+ probably has a whole bunch of features that you don’t care about but have to deal with anyway. With its simple software the OnePlus 6 is going to be fast out of the box and stay fast over time, and that’s something that isn’t exactly guaranteed on a Samsung phone.
The only part of this comparison we can’t yet give a definitive ruling on is the cameras. OnePlus is claiming another photographic improvement with the OnePlus 6, using a new 16MP primary sensor that’s larger, with an f/1.7 lens and OIS. It’s supported by a 20MP secondary camera to help with Portrait Mode photos, but the real story here is whether OnePlus has improved the camera well beyond the OnePlus 5T — because it has to come a long way to match the Galaxy S9+. We know the GS9+ is an extremely capable shooter in a variety of conditions, and in many cases challenges the top smartphones available today.
Which should you buy?
Choosing which phone is right for you really should start with a discussion of price. The OnePlus 6 starts at $529, which is dramatically cheaper than the base Galaxy S9+ at $839. Even the top-end OnePlus 6 with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage is $629, still $210 less than the base Galaxy S9+.
The Galaxy S9+ undeniably offers more, but it’s tough to say it’s worth an extra $300 over the OnePlus 6.
But what if you’re willing to spend the extra money, but don’t want to if it’s not actually worth it? A whole lot of the experience is shared between these two phones. The hardware is great on either one, as is the performance, specs and core features — they’re also nearly identical in size, both in display area and overall. For the extra money the Galaxy S9+ offers a better display (without a notch), a proven-great camera experience, and extra hardware features like wireless charging — and we can’t entirely discount the value of its more recognizable brand. That being said, the OnePlus 6 has a cleaner software experience that’s simpler to use and isn’t as susceptible to long-term problems — and, as previously noted, the entire package is dramatically less expensive.
If your budget for a phone is only about $600, it’s tough to imagine that you’d all of a sudden decide to spend an additional $250 beyond that to get a Galaxy S9+ — and the few improvements it offers over the OnePlus 6 don’t really justify that price increase if you’re at all price sensitive. But If the extra money doesn’t mean much to you, the Galaxy S9+ does indeed offer a better overall experience provided you’re enticed by the extra features rather than the simplicity of the OnePlus software. But no matter your budget, you’d be doing yourself a disservice to not consider the OnePlus 6 in any case — it has a whole lot going for it as a complete package at any price.
See at Galaxy S9+ at Amazon
See OnePlus 6 at OnePlus
- OnePlus 6 hands-on preview
- OnePlus 6 vs. OnePlus 5T: How much changes in six months?
- OnePlus 6 vs. OnePlus 5: Should you upgrade?
- These are the official OnePlus 6 cases
- The OnePlus 6 doesn’t work on Verizon or Sprint
- Join the discussion in the forums
So far, Adaptive Battery seems to make a difference.
Android P is chock-full of new features, one of which is Adaptive Battery. This is an under-the-hood change that doesn’t jump out at you as something new, but as the name suggests, the goal is to extend your battery life for longer than what was possible with Oreo.
Adaptive Battery works by learning how you use your phone and then pushing infrequently-used apps to lower-power processors to help reduce overall CPU usage. It’s a great idea, but does it actually work?
One of our forum users recently had this same question, and even in such an early form, Adaptive Battery looks quite promising. Here’s what the community is saying!
05-15-2018 10:06 PM
I’m seeing improvements in both active and issue drain. It’s only sightly better idle, but the active (screen on) is a good 20 – 25% less than the last 8.1 builds… Which actually had some power issues in all fairness.
05-16-2018 12:29 AM
mine’s definitely improved, for sure not placebo. I mean Google added the adaptive battery settings… so shouldn’t we expect to see some improvement? I’m getting more then a day of usage out of my 2 XL right now. I even turned the ambient “always on” display back on (something I had turned off with Oreo), and I’m still getting more battery life. 4.5 hrs of screen time right now, still over 40%…
05-16-2018 11:37 AM
Better for sure here on my smaller Pixel. I use the phone the same 90% of the time and when I put it to bed I see the same SOT more or less but noticibly more battery left in the tank. Really liking “P”.
05-15-2018 09:53 PM
So far it seems the same to me.
How about you? Has your battery life been better with Android P?
Join the conversation in the forums!
- Android P: Everything you need to know
- Android P Beta hands-on: The best and worst features
- All the big Android announcements from Google I/O 2018
- Will my phone get Android P?
- How to manually update your Pixel to Android P
- Join the Discussion
Don’t miss out.
Woot is offering the original unlocked Google Pixel for as little as $199.99 in refurbished condition. There are a bunch of models available right now, including 32GB and 128GB versions of both the Pixel and Pixel XL. The Pixel XL starts at $209.99 for the 32GB version. You can pick between Quite Black or Very Silver in most of the configurations, though it’s not known how much stock of each one is available. This is the original Google Pixel, which is still a very good phone by today’s standards, especially at this price.
If you’re looking for a backup phone to load up Android P on or want to replace an aging phone with something better, these deals are worth checking out. At this price, we imagine that they will sell out before the end of the day, so be sure to grab one now. Remember, Woot does add a flat $5 shipping fee to all orders unless you are an Amazon Prime member.
See at Woot
Google’s new REST API for Google Photos gives access to your photos, in your library, in any app.
One of Google’s most loved apps is Google Photos. It may not be what we think of first when we think “Google” but millions of Android and iOS users love Google Photos features and use the service every day. At Google I/O 2018, the company did something that will make us love it even more: it showed off the Google Photos Partner Program and its new Photos API.
More: What’s new in Google Photos at Google I/O 2018
Most of us aren’t exactly sure what an API is, how it works, and (most of all) why we should be excited when a cool one comes along. An API (application programming interface) is a set of functions and tools one program can use to get information from another in a safe and consistent way. Unless you’re a developer, that’s all you really need to know when you see the acronym. That means I can write an app that talks to another app to do things like request data or get access to features for use in my own app.
People create and consume photos and videos in many different ways, and we think it should be easier to do more with the photos you’ve taken, across all the apps and devices you use. That’s why we’re introducing a new Google Photos partner program that gives you the tools and APIs to build photo and video experiences in your products that are smarter, faster and more helpful.
When an app like Google Photos gets attached to an API, that means my app can hook into it and use your existing Photos library inside it. And that’s where things get really cool here. The new Photos API will let a developer do all of this, using the Google Photos engine and storage space:
- List your albums.
- List the media items in your library, or in a specific album.
- Use search filters to select photos that match a specified date, content category, or media type in your library.
- Retrieve details about a media item using its unique identifier.
- Retrieve details about an album using its unique identifier.
- Create an album.
- Upload images or video to your library.
- Create media items in your library and add them to a specific album.
- Add enrichments (like text, location on a map, or a note) to control how an album looks.
- Create an album and share it with other users.
- Join a shared album that you’ve created.
- List your shared albums.
This is great for developers, but think about how it’s going to make other apps and services work better and work with the media you already have. We can think of cool projects independent developers can create using the Photos API, but it all gets really cool when we think about what a company like HP can do.
HP makes a lot of things, but they are still huge when it comes to printers. It’s awesome to look at our photos on a phone or computer, but sometimes you want to print one out to frame or send to grandma. HP printers usually come with a software bundle that lets you do things like make collages or business forms and they also include an image editor. If that image editor ties into your Google Photos library, using Google’s OAuth sign-in and security, the software gets a lot more useful.
Google Photos is a great service that other companies can now use in their own software.
You would have access to all the photos you’ve stored, and have the tools you need to sort through them or to edit any of the metadata through the software that came with your printer. HP is good at making printers, but Google is better at building a photo gallery — and it’s one you already use. HP is one of the early partners Google announced, but we’re not exactly sure what they plan to do. I sure hope it’s something that lets me print from Google Photos using any device with a screen and a connection!
Google has awesome tools coming like Smart Suggestions that maybe part of the final Google Photos API, too.
Right now the Photos API is in a developer preview stage, but anyone can sign up and enable it through the Google API Console. This isn’t free and open software, though, and Google says it will review and require manual approval for apps that use the API and will be available to the public.
Once the API becomes final we expect to see new partners announced and new rules about releasing apps. HP, Legacy Republic, NixPlay, Xero and TimeHop are some of the companies that have already joined the Photos Partner Program and We can’t be sure that any of the apps we already use and love will pair up with the photo library we already use and love, but we can hope!
Google Photos: Everything you need to know!