Do you spend a lot of time looking at and editing your photos on your phone or tablet? Do you edit the odd photo on your phone or tablet? Whichever you answer, there’s a brilliant feature of Google Photos that many people don’t know about.
When you’re looking at your images in Google Photos, you may notice a few options on the bottom of the screen. Among those options is one called “Edit” which, as it suggests, let’s you edit your photographs. Over the last few months though, it’s changed, and it’s become a truly versatile image editor.
Once you click on an image, Google Photos will analyse the image and give you quick editing “Suggestions” options to choose from, plus a main menu for full control of your edit. The quick editing options are very clever, and know what the scene is, and will offer presets based on what it sees.
If Google Photos sees a portrait of a person, it will bring up the portrait options, which will mean blurry backgrounds and portrait light. For landscapes it brings up presets for colours and feels, and for other things it’ll being up relevant options. Sometimes you’ll have many presets to choose from, sometimes not many, but you’ll always have the chance to manually edit the photograph.
Once you’ve decided if you’re going to use any of the suggestions that Google Photos offers, you can move along the bottom menu where you’ll next find the cropping tool. As usual with these tools, it allows you to crop your image (freely or to a defined ratio), straighten your image and correct the perspective should you need to. It all works quickly and easily as these tools should.
The next menu is the “Adjust” menu, and here is where you’ll find every option you need to edit your image. However, the menu is dynamic, so if you have a portrait, you’ll have the addition of “blur”, “colour focus” and “portrait light”, which are all excellent and clever.
The blur option automatically knows where the subjects body or head is, and when you slide the slider, the background blurs. It’s very intelligent and the majority of the time only affects the area that it is meant to. The colour focus slider reduces saturation on the same area that would be blurred, while the portrait light option is amazing for bringing directional light to the subjects face. Again, this is an intelligent option, and it works really well.
After these you have the usual set of controls for image editing, brightness, contrast, HDR, white point, shadows, highlights, black point, saturation, warmth, tint, skin tone, blue tone, pop, sharpen, denoise and vignette.
Once you’ve edited using these options, you then can click done and move across to the next option if you wish. This is the “Filters” option which gives you a choice of 13 unique filters to change the colour and look of the image. You’ll find everything from saturated colour filters, to desaturated looks, monochrome and more. There’s not as many filters as some other programs, but what’s here is very well implemented.
Finally you have the “more” option which takes you to a mark up option allowing you to draw over an image, plus you’ll have the available apps on your phone/tablet that you can then send your image to in order to do more to the image.
Google Photos has quickly become my go-to mobile app for images, overtaking Snapseed for general use. It’s quick and easy, and very powerful to use, plus has some genuinely useful features such as the blur effect. Starting at only £1 59 a month (which also gives you 100GB space to upload images), it’s a bargain, and works out even cheaper if you pay yearly for it.
Please give it a try and leave your comments below.
*Note: Since originally writing this review there has been an update which has separated the “More” option and added a “Mark up” section while also added extra options to the sky enhance feature.