You’ve been able to save images on Google’s app and mobile site without downloading them for a long time now. Last September, that functionality extended to non-image pages, and in April, customizable collections rolled out to replace saved pages. Now, certain image searches trigger the Google app to ask if you’d like to create a collection for the thing you’re searching for — and images that fit the bill automatically save to the appropriate collection.
The functionality is pretty limited right now — we’ve seen Google suggest collections for memes, shoes, and quotes, but only in image searches. Even then, it’s hit-or-miss depending on the specificity of your search. “Kermit the frog hearts” prompts you to create a collection for memes, for example, but many other meme-related searches don’t.
If you’ve already created a smart collection, Google asks if you’d like to view it when you initiate a related search. When you save an image after creating a collection it belongs in, it will automatically save to that collection. Previously, images always saved to your most recently used collection — and that’s still the case if there isn’t a smart collection for the image to save to.
In a recent teardown of the Google app, our own Cody discovered a evidence of these types of collections and automatic lists. There are strings for more than just images, including things like recipes, flights, and contacts — so it seems this is just a taste of much broader functionality to come.