(Pocket-lint) - Google Photos is one of the best photo apps out there for managing and sharing your photos. It's a dream on Android - and standard - but you can also download it on iPhone to take advantage of Google power.

Making custom movies has been something that Google has offered for a while - in some cases, Google Assistant will make a collection of photos and videos and make a movie for you.

New to Google Photos is the ability to create themed movies. This relies on Google's clever identification of people and things in your photos, recently boosted with the ability to recognise cats and dogs.

Yes, Google Photos can now make cat videos for you! Or dog videos, of course.

The options for themed movies run from the narcissistic to the sombre, covering everything from self-indulgent selfie movies through to memorial videos of someone who has passed away.

How to create themed Google Photos movies

Firstly, you'll have to have a number of photos in your Google Photos collection that are recognised. If you only have one picture of your dog it's not going to work.

  1. Open Google Photos and tap on Assistant at the bottom of the page
  2. At the top you'll see four buttons, tap Movie
  3. The next page gives you the option to manually select it or have Google use a theme, select the theme you want
  4. Google will then either ask you to select a person, people or animal, as needed
  5. The movie is created in the background, you'll get a notification when it is done.

It really couldn't be simpler to create custom movies in Google Photos. Within a few taps you'll be done and the finished movie will be with you.


But you can also edit that custom movie and make it a little better, or change pictures around.

How to edit a Google Photos themed movie 

Once you have your movie, you can play it back and see how it turned out. They are short - perfect for sharing - have a sound track and additional messages - like Happy Mother's Day, for example. On dog movies, Google uses a special doggy soundtrack too - Johann Strauss' The Blue Danube, with dogs barking and a range of others…

But sometimes Google picks a dud photo. For example, in our doggy movie it picked a photo with the back half of the dog which really doesn't fit in. Fortunately, you can remove these photos.

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Once the movie is playing, you'll find three icons across the bottom.  The first lets you set a filter over your movie - 8mm, action, festival etc, the centre lets you change the music so you can use your own, the third lets you add or remove photos from the movie. 

How to create custom movies from your Google Photos 

Sometimes those Google themes might not work for you. We wanted to throw together some of the Lego Minifigs we'd shot over the years, so Google Photos provides a very easy way to do that - with quick sharing over to Instagram.


A post shared by Chris Hall (@christhall) on

That's no problem because you can select your own photos and then change the looks and soundtrack to suit you. 

  1. Open Google Photos and tap on Assistant at the bottom of the page
  2. At the top you'll see four buttons, tap Movie
  3. On the next page, hit the + option to add your own photos and videos
  4. You'll then be able to select up to 50 photos or videos for your movie
  5. The movie is created for you with a filter and soundtrack, but you can change that as above. 

Creating your own movie means you're not constrained by those themes that Google offers. Sadly, Google doesn't let you then search for photos, you have to scan and select, so Google, if you're reading, add a text search option so it's easier to find the images we want - thanks.

That's it, it's simple and fun!

Writing by Chris Hall.