Google has added powerful new features to the popular Google Photos app, but not all users will gain access to them.
Following Google’s recent promised update to the photo editor, the company has now done the same for videos by launching a new and upgraded video editor for iOS users. Additionally, certain features exclusive to Google’s Pixel smartphones will soon be available to paying Google One customers.
The new video editor brings more than 30 important new tools that allow you to adjust your videos in ways that previously required external software. Now you can crop videos; make tonal adjustments such as brightness, contrast and saturation; change perspective and add filters.
Until now, videos have been significantly harder to tweak and adjust than still photos, but the new controls promise to bring much of Google’s photo editing experience to video. This gives the user considerably more creative control without having to resort to external video editing applications.
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The new video editing capabilities should already be available in the iOS app but, bizarrely, Google’s-own Android users will have to wait for an update “in the coming weeks.” Google has also announced that the redesigned photo editor is set to appear on iOS “in the coming months.”
A Two-tier System
Having disappointed heavy users of Google Photos with the announcement of the end of unlimited free photo storage, Google has decided to sweeten the blow by offering some exclusive features to paying Google One customers.
From now on, those with a Google One subscription will be able to use a selection of features previously only available on Pixel smartphones. These include Portrait Blur, Portrait Light and Color Pop functions which can add depth-sensitive AI-based effects to existing photos, regardless of the original capture device.
These features will no doubt be welcomed by paying Google One customers, but it’s a clear indication that Google Photo is moving yet further away from the original free-to-use model into a two-tier system where only paying customers can enjoy the best features.
The move is hardly surprising: Having squashed its key competitive advantage of unlimited photo storage, Google Photos must now attempt to build its customer base with other features such as these new subscriber-only editing functions. For many, it won’t be enough, but it will result in better features for those who choose to stick with the service.
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