Google Photo gets some new machine learning-based editing tools that have hitherto been exclusive to Pixel phones – but to get them you have to pay for Google One, the company’s subscription product that offers upgraded storage across services.
Intelligent editing – The tools include Portrait Light, Portrait Blur and Color Pop. These were technically already available to all Google Photos users, even for free, but the difference is that Pixel owners were able to apply the filters to images that do not offer depth data – so you can, for example, add a bokeh blur in the background of a picture taken even from an older camera without native support for it. All paying Google One subscribers now also have access to this functionality.
Google Photos is considered one of the best all-in-one apps available for storing and editing photos. The company has worked hard over the years to develop its machine learning features to get the best pictures of smartphone cameras that may not use the latest and greatest sensors. It has also won many consumers because for years it offered unlimited storage of slightly compressed images for free … although it will disappear later this year.
Google is also introducing new filters today, including a “cloud suggestion” option that can customize the skyline and create more dramatic effects. It creates a kind of unnatural look, but you may be interested in it.
Free no more – The announcements come when Google plans to phase out free unlimited storage in Google Photos from June 1st. Right now, “original quality” image storage is limited, but users can save unlimited higher resolution images. Soon it will change to a hard 15 GB limit for all photos, regardless of quality.
The cheapest Google One plan starts at $ 1.99 per month and offers 100 GB of space across the company’s myriad of services, from Photos to Drive and Gmail. Higher pricing includes more storage, such as 200 GB for $ 2.99 per month, and goodies like access to Google’s VPN in the $ 9.99 per month plan.
It’s not surprising that Google will eventually rule in free storage, even if some have turned down the pace like a bait-and-switch to get people to back up their image libraries before they are forced to pay. At the very least, the company is trying to sweeten the deal somewhat with new premium features.