Google is adding some of its fancy, Pixel-exclusive editing features to Google Photos today for all Android users to enjoy, but it’s a catch – if you do not have a Pixel, you need to be a paying Google One subscriber to use them.
There have been rumors about the paid wall editing features for some time, but today marks the official announcement of the new program. In particular, Google offers some of the newer machine learning-driven editing tools, such as enhanced Portrait Blur, Portrait Light and Color Pop features that it began offering along with Pixel 5 last fall to a wider audience.
As Google prepared for The Verge Once the payment wall was discovered, the company did not remove existing versions of features such as Portrait Blur or Color Pop from free Google Photo users. The current iteration of these features ̵
But the new Pixel and subscription version promises to take things a step further and allows users to apply these effects (through the power of machine learning) to older images that do not have the existing depth data. Pixel users will still have access to the features for free, whether they subscribe to Google One or not.
In addition to the new editing features, Google also offers new AI-powered filters: a new “dynamic” option that automatically improves brightness and contrast, and “sky suggestions” that can customize the skyline for more dramatic effects.
Google One subscriptions start at $ 1.99 per month and focus primarily on expanding storage for Google services (the base plan, for example, offers 100 GB of space over 15 GB including free storage). Google also offers additional benefits to subscribers to help sweeten the deal, such as Google Store Rewards – the new editing features for Google Photos are likely to be part of the plan.
It’s also worth noting that Google is expanding its image-focused offerings with Google One just months before ending its free unlimited Google Photos storage program – which means the company is likely to push Google One as a solution for users who need more storage space for their pictures too.
Finally, Google announced that they will introduce some feature parity between the iOS and Android versions of the app. The Android version is set to get the enhanced video editor that Google is already offering for iOS in the coming weeks, and the iOS version will be updated to receive the new image editor that Google introduced last fall in the coming months.