As reported by Android Police today, it’s been 2 years since Google retired Google Drive and Photos sync, leaving those who depended on that feature with no set alternatives other than to come up with workarounds and time-wasting solutions. That may soon change though, as a couple of new commits have been discovered in the Chromium Gerrit that allude to some work being done to bring this functionality back; though not exactly in the same way.
[filesapp] Only show Photos volume in file picker.
Google Photos volume should only be shown when picking files in Chrome OS, and hidden when browsing or picking files in ARC.
[filesapp] Add a welcome banner for Android Photos
Show a welcome banner for the Android Photos DocumentsProvider volume. The banner is shown up to 3 times unless dismissed.
The above commits mention a welcome banner for Android Photos (erm, Google Photos?) DocumentsProvider volume, as well as a rule to only show the aforementioned volume when picking files in Chrome OS. This sounds like the opposite of what the #arc-file-picker-experiment flag does right now, which adds the Photos volume within ARC – the sandboxed Android framework that runs inside Chrome OS – as seen on the screenshot below.
Furthermore, the code confirms that users will be able to access Google Photos right from the File Manager – not with a Drive sync as it was done before – as long as the Google Photos Android app is installed on the Chrome OS device. This may finally be the solution Chrome OS users have been long waiting for. We will have to wait and see how this works once it is implemented, but it’s been a long time coming and a source of frustration for many. We’ll update as we learn more on this new feature.