Google Photos is undergoing a drastic change in the coming months. The unlimited free storage plan will expire for all users in June 2021 and you will need Google One to continue uploading beyond 15GB of the allotted space. Google, however, wants to give users more reasons to opt for its paid service and it has already started doing so. Shutterbugs will be happy to see new Pixel-exclusive edit features making it to Photos for paid subscribers.
Additionally, there’s something for free users as well (at least for now). Google is offering advanced video edit tools for free to Photos users. The tools are similar in nature to the photo editing tools in the app. Hence, users will be able to trim, crop, apply filters, adjust exposure, and even rely on some AI-based features to make videos stand out.
Google Photos gets newbies
The Photos app update is currently coming to iOS devices initially but will be on Android in a few weeks – weird that Google won’t prioritise its own ecosystem. We are yet to see the updated video edit tools hit our iOS devices.
Meanwhile, the Pixel-exclusive editing tools are coming to Photos for members of Google One only. Last year, the Pixel 4a, Pixel 4a 5G, and Pixel 5 debuted smart editing tools such as Colour Pop, Portrait Blur and Portrait Light that were limited to the new Pixel devices. These features are now trickling down to other Android phones, albeit as a premium tool for Google One users.
These paid edit tools bring along some stringent hardware requirements. You will need an Android device running on Android 8 Oreo or higher, and at least 3GB of RAM to make these features work. Google does not mention whether iPhones and iPads will get these editing tools.
The Portrait Light is one of the most interesting features to hit the Google Photos app in recent times. Using Google’s smart algorithms, the app is able to let you add a custom light source within the photo frame and alter the lighting effects accordingly. We tried it on the Pixel 4a last year and were left impressed.
Do note that Pixel users won’t require to pay for these edit tools and will get to use such features for free, unless Google decides otherwise. Google initially offered unlimited cloud storage in Original Quality with Pixel smartphones in the early years but cancelled it later for newer Pixel devices.