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  • Mariane Bunn

Google Photos brings AI-powered editing tools to its users

Theres a dog retriever beige in the picture, wearing an yellow beanie. The background is light blue, and there's a colourful round frame around the dog.

Google Photos is introducing a significant update that will make advanced editing features, previously exclusive to Pixel devices and paying subscribers, available to all users for free. This includes the AI-powered Magic Editor, which can perform complex edits like removing unwanted items, sharpening blurry images, and altering lighting in photos. Other tools being made free are Magic Eraser, Photo Unblur, Portrait Light, and more, enhancing the photo editing capabilities for everyone.


These features were once key attractions for Google's Pixel phones and its cloud storage service, Google One. However, with the rise of AI editing tools in the market, Google has decided to offer these advanced features to a wider audience at no cost.


The rollout of these tools will begin on May 15, but it might take some time for all Google Photos users to access them. There are also specific hardware requirements; for example, on ChromeOS, devices need to be a Chromebook Plus with ChromeOS version 118+ or have at least 3 GB RAM. Mobile devices must run on Android 8.0 or higher or iOS 15 or higher. Pixel tablets will also be supported.


The Magic Editor, a standout feature, allows for sophisticated edits like changing backgrounds and repositioning subjects using AI, tasks that would typically require manual effort in professional editing software like Photoshop.


While all users will gain access to these editing tools, there's a limit of 10 Magic Editor saves per month for non-Pixel devices, unless users subscribe to a Premium Google One plan for additional storage and unlimited access. Other features like Magic Eraser, Photo Unblur, and various effects will be freely available without needing a Google One subscription. However, some features, like the AI-powered Best Take, will remain exclusive to Pixel 8 and 8 Pro users. Source: TechCrunch


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