SAN FRANCISCO -- In an effort to salvage the photos portion of the failed Google+ social network, the company announced Thursday a rebranded Google Photos service at its annual Google I/O developer conference.

The chief highlight of the service is that it will allow users to store unlimited high-quality photos and videos for free. That's a shot at Yahoo, Apple and Dropbox, which all have cloud-based photo management systems, none of which offer unlimited storage for free. The service will launch some time Thursday afternoon, Google said. 

But like many of the products announced at Google I/O 2015, the new Google Photos will be copying a lot of its functionality from rival Apple Photos. Users will be able to zoom out of their pictures and view them over extended timelines based on months or years. The service will also feature facial recognition and let users search for and view pictures of specific people in their lives. 

The service also will retain much of the functionality from its Google+ Photos predecessor. It will let users create montage videos with soundtracks, or for those who don't have time to make the montages themselves, will create them using the company's algorithms.