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Google Photos will no longer backup social media folders by default

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Google Photos will no longer backup images and videos saved from folders created and managed by social media apps by default (via Android Police). Previously, Google’s photo backup platform would automatically upload all images saved to your Android or iOS device, including those files stored in folders created by apps like Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. Now, Google says that feature is turned off, and you’ll have to toggle it on for specific apps or run manual backups on specific folders.

Google is citing the surge in image sharing happening since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. “People are sharing more photos and videos due to COVID-19. To save internet resources, backup & sync has been turned off for device folders created by messaging apps like WhatsApp, Messages, and Kik. You can change this anytime in settings,” reads a support page detailing the change.

Google is stressing that any photos already backed up and organized via social media apps are unaffected by the change, and that you can still go to individual folders within the Google Photos app and turn on the “back up & sync” feature. Google has a handy guide here for finding your existing social media-related images and videos on Google Photos, for running manual batch backups, and for turning on the automatic backup feature. Some of the affected platforms include Facebook’s family of apps, the default Messages client on Android, Snapchat, and Twitter, among others.

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Alphabet Scoop 095: Understanding Pixel 4a, 4a 5G, and Pixel 5… and a Nest speaker

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This week we dive into the Pixel 4a, Pixel 4a (5G), and Pixel 5 following their surfacing in the Google app. In addition to making sense of Google’s 2020 phone lineup, we talk about the upcoming Nest speaker that was just officially teased.

Alphabet Scoop is available on Google Play, Google PodcastsiTunes and Apple’s Podcasts app, and through our dedicated RSS feed for Pocket Casts and other podcast players.

New episodes of Alphabet Scoop are recorded every Thursday afternoon at 4-5 PM ET and published on Friday mornings. Subscribe to our podcast in Google Play or your favorite podcast player to guarantee new episodes are delivered as soon as they’re available.

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Feedback?

Drop us a line at [email protected]. You can also soon rate us in Google Play, Google PodcastsApple Podcasts or recommend us in Pocket Casts to help more people discover the show.

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Google Discover tests showing a lot more AMP Stories with dedicated carousel

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Google has surfaced AMP Stories since late 2018 to give publishers a way to deliver “news and information as visually rich, tap-through stories.” They currently appear as one-off cards, but Google Discover is now testing a “Stories” carousel.

Besides cards, Google Discover has lately surfaced grouped lists for “COVID-19 news” and a 3×2 topic grid about “Daily life during COVID-19” that generates a feed of relevant articles.

Instead of just having tall cards with portrait images for Accelerated Mobile Page Stories, Google is surfacing a carousel for some users. There’s a background cover with the publication’s icon in the top-left and name at the bottom. Above that is the title, and tapping launches the usual experience.

The carousel is similar to the one that appears within YouTube for that service’s equivalent offering. Meanwhile, stories for a site can appear in Google results when directly searching for that publication.

  • AMP Stories

You can scroll left to see more articles, while there’s an overflow menu with options in the top right. It appears alongside other content cards, but it’s placed rather high in the feed.

What’s notable about this carousel of Stories is how it allows Google Discover to show a lot more content without requiring you to keep scrolling. The mini cover images are particularly attention grabbing.

One user so far has had this feed for the past week inside the Google app and to the left of the Pixel Launcher. It’s not widely rolled out, with most users not seeing too many AMP Stories in Discover.

More about Google Discover:

Thanks Henny!

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How to set up and use email templates in Gmail

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If you, like me, find yourself writing the same email over and over again, or copying and pasting the same message multiple times, Gmail gives you an easier option. By creating and saving email templates, you can insert them the next time you compose a message and save yourself some time.

You can store up to 50 templates at a time, so it’s easy to create different templates for different situations. Here’s how.

Create an email template:

  • Click on the cog icon in the top right corner of your screen.
  • Select “See all settings.”
  • Open the “Advanced” tab.
  • Scroll down to “Templates” and select “Enable.”

Advanced settings

Make sure you’ve selected “Enable” under “Templates.”

  • Click “Save Changes” at the bottom of the menu.
  • This will take you back to your inbox. Click the “Compose” button.
  • Now, start drafting your template. When you’re ready to save it, click on the three dots toward the bottom right-hand corner of the window.
  • Select “Template” from the options.
  • Click “Save draft as template.”
  • Click “Save as new template.”

Template options

After writing a message, you can save it as a template.

  • Type in a name for your template in the window that pops up. That name will appear as the subject line in your email. Click “Save.”

Enter a new template name window

Name your template so you can easily retrieve it later.

  • If you want to make changes to a template, you have to overwrite it. Write a corrected email, and then after clicking “Save draft as template,” click the name of the template you’d like to change under “Overwrite Template.”

Template options in Compose

You can overwrite a template if you want to edit or change it.

  • Click “Save” in the pop-up window.

Overwrite saved template window

Confirm the changes by clicking “Save” in the pop-up window.

  • To delete a template, click on “Delete template” under the “Templates” options. Click “Delete” in the pop-up window.

Template options in compose

You can delete templates using the template options in the compose view.

Use a saved template

  • Click “Compose” to start a new message.
  • Open “Templates.”
  • Choose the template.

Template options in compose

Insert a saved template by going to the template options when you’re writing a new message.

  • That template will now appear as your new message and you can edit it before sending.
  • Click “Send” when you’re ready!

Send templates automatically

You can set up filters that automatically send out a specific template as a reply when certain emails come in. You do this by creating a filter that specifies which emails you want to address and then assigning a particular template to that. Here’s how:

  • Click the arrow pointing down in the right side of the search bar at the top of the screen.
  • Fill in the fields. For example, if you want this template to be automatically sent to emails from certain contacts, enter those contacts in the “From” box. If you want it sent to anyone whose email asked you to subscribe to something, put the word “subscribe” in the field “Has the words.”
  • Click “Create filter.”

Filter options

Use the search bar to set a template to send out automatically.

  • Check the box next to “Send template.” Click “Choose template” and select the template you want to use from the drop-down menu.

Filter options

You can choose which template is automatically sent out.

  • Click “Create filter.”

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