15 March 2021
Update: April 14, 2021
The new video editor UI in Google Photos is now rolling out widely to Android users. Upon accessing the new UI, you will see a welcome screen that informs you of all the new tools added to the video editor.
UPDATE (March 10th, 2021):
Google has started rolling out the new Google Photos enhanced video editing features. These new functionalities were originally announced last month but are now making their way to users. It has currently been spotted on Pixel devices and only for select users. All-new editing options will be accessible by tapping the existing "Edit" option.
Original (February 11th, 2021)
Google has added more editing capabilities to Google Photos so that you can express more the way you want. But there is a catch, these new features are paywalled behind the Google One subscription. So, in order to use these features, you have to be a Google One member and start using these features right away.
Before you jump into the subscription, first learn about those features that Google is bringing exactly. As announced by Google in its blog post, the features it is rolling out to everyone are the same features that were previously exclusive to Pixel phones only. These include Portrait Blur, Portrait Light, and Dynamic suggestion.
With the help of machine learning, the Portrait Blur can blur the background post-capture, and with Portrait Light, you can improve the lighting on faces in portraits. Google elucidates that while features like Portrait Blur and Color Pop were already available to everyone at no extra cost, the new update brings an iteration of them.
According to Google, with the new update, users will be able to apply these effects to even more photos from the past, even if the original image wasn’t taken in portrait mode. The new update brings the power of machine learning and to use these upgraded features, you have to have Google One membership.
Google’s intentions of putting some Google Photos features behind the Google One paywall first came to notice when XDA Developers did a teardown of the APK version of the app back in November last year. Fast forward to today, Google has made its plans official.
Needless to say, Pixel owners still get access to these features for free, whether or not they subscribe to Google One.
Along with these new editing features, Google is also offering a new AI-powered “Dynamic suggestion” option that automatically enhances brightness and contrast, and “sky suggestions” that can tweak skylines for more dramatic effects.
To the uninitiated ones, Google One membership starts at $1.99 per month in the US, for the 100GB of storage and also includes member benefits like premium support from Google experts, Google Store rewards, extended free trials to services like YouTube Premium, and more.
Also note that together with this announcement, Google also declared the updated video editor that has granular adjustments like your photos editor. In addition to the existing options like trimming, stabilizing, and rotating, you can now be able to crop, change perspective, and add filters.
You can also apply granular edits (including brightness, contrast, saturation, and warmth), and more. These new features are already available in Google Photos on iOS and will be rolled out to most Android users in the coming weeks.