Now Playing on Google Photos: The Yearbook of Your Life

In pursuit of digital nostalgia

The Google Photos Assistant helps you to navigate your pictures from years previous Credit: Google Photos

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From the mundane (the morning latte) to the momentous (graduation day), more and more moments of our lives are being documented online. Accordingly, apps that allow users to view, organize, and manipulate photos from the past are rapidly gaining popularity.

Following the precedent set by a similar app called Timehop, Google Photos has released an opt-in feature that combs through your data and shows you photos and videos taken on that day in previous years.

With the help of an “assistant,” users can page through their memories as single photos or albums, as well as collages (mixes) and movies that are created automatically by Google Photos. A badge is affixed to the front of each group of photos, detailing exactly how many years in the past you've time-traveled to view the pictures. To complete your trip through time, the names of the people and the locations shown in each picture are also included.

After opting in, you can adjust your privacy settings so that no one (or everyone, depending on your preference) is privy to your unfortunate historical fashion choices. If you're feeling brave, you can choose to share your nostalgia-tinged photo creations on social media or through email.

Google, like other tech companies, is taking steps to make auto-organize and auto-edit features smarter and more plentiful, and thus make its photo apps more useful and engaging. This Google Photos option is currently available on the web and for iOS devices. A version for Android phones and tablets will be released shortly.