Google Photos could finally be integrated into the Chrome OS file manager

Photo management will be much simpler than before


chromeosfiles_gphotos_herov2_optimized

It’s been two years since Google decoupled its Drive and Photos services for a “simplified experience”, preventing images from syncing with its cloud-based storage. For many, managing images from Google Photos became much less easy on Chrome OS – you had to upload your photos from the Google Photos app to organize them in the file manager. Several users have expressed frustration with the lack of synergy between Photos and the Files app, citing how frustrating it is to import a selection of images into Chrome OS. However, that might change soon, as we’ve discovered a pair of working commits that suggest deeper integration of Google Photos into the file manager.

As seen recently in Chromium Gerrit, the developers are setting the stage for Google Photos to reside in the navigation pane of the Chrome OS file manager. This to commit explains that you will be able to see your Google Photos downloads when selecting files in the file picker.

[filesapp] Show only photos volume in file picker.

Google Photos volume should only be shown when selecting files in Chrome OS and hidden when browsing or selecting files in ARC.

BOGU =1170198

For reference, ARC (or rather ARC ++) deeply integrates the Android subsystem into Chrome OS, allowing you to run Google Play apps on your Chromebook. There isn’t much to see here, but if we look inside select_file_ash.cc, a code snippet adds an entry point for Google Photos in the navigation pane of Chrome OS file manager. However, in arc_select_files_handler.cc, Google Photos will not appear in Android file picker.

The other commit adds a lot of code that implements a welcome banner and visibility logic from Google Photos to the Chrome OS file manager.

[filesapp] Add a welcome banner for Android Photos

Display a welcome banner for the Android Photos DocumentsProvider volume. The banner is displayed up to 3 times unless it is rejected.

BOGU =1171651

Inside file_manager_strings.gdrp, the chains Confirm that you will be able to browse and select your recent photos from the file manager, which is a huge win for those who want deeper Google Photos integration. You will need to install the Android app version of Google Photos so that it appears in the navigation pane.


Integrating Google Photos into the file manager will undoubtedly be a huge time saver for those who want to quickly import images from Google Photos into Chrome OS. At this time, it’s unclear whether Google will merge the commits into Chromium’s source code. We’ll continue to keep an eye out for changes and update when we find out more.

Thank you: Hamzah Malik

Source: Chrome Gerrit


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