With Family Vault, an Amazon Prime member can invite up to five family members or friends to join their online account, in order to combine photos and take advantage of free photo storage, as well as another 5 GB for videos and other files.
Once added, each Family Vault member can contribute to the group’s archive. Photos can be added on an individual basis by either clicking or swiping on them, depending on the device, or there’s an option to automatically add all their photos and videos to the Family Vault at one time.
There’s no cost to those who are added by an Amazon Prime member to the Vault, the company notes.
n addition to this new feature, Amazon is also now rolling out new smarter search technology in Prime Photos- something its rival Google Photos already offers.
With this upgrade, you can search across your photos by keywords related to what those images contain. For example, “soccer” or “dog.” How well this compares with Google’s search technology remains to be seen, as the feature is only available to the public as of now.
There’s also a new “People” view, also similar the people-finding options in Google and Apple’s photo services. This lets you browse photos of individual family members and friends by clicking on their thumbnail picture. Other filters let you search by location or date.
While Amazon Photos has to date remained a more utilitarian counterpart to the polished and prettier services from Apple and Google, these upgrades have it catching up – at least in functionality – with some of the baseline features the competitors today include. And considering that it’s a free service for Prime members, it could now be seen as “good enough” for many users.