Google has released an updated version of the Google Photos app for Android, bringing with it a few new features, including an after-capture Portrait Light mode, a one-tap editing feature and a slightly revamped editing interface.
As Google briefly demonstrated during yesterday’s Pixel 5 event, the new Portrait Light mode will edit the image to appear as though there’s light coming from a light source not actually in the image. While limited to Google’s new Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5 devices for the time being, this feature lets you apply ‘lighting’ in post-production by editing the image to appear as though it’s coming from a specific direction.
As noted by PetaPixel, it’s possible this new adjustable lighting technology is derived from a research project Google participated in back in 2019. Google says this feature will be coming to other Pixel devices, but doesn’t specify which ones or a definitive timeframe.
Also included in this Google Photos update is a one-tap editing feature that uses ‘machine learning to give you suggestions that are tailored to the specific photo you’re editing.’ In its current form, only three suggestions are available: Black and White, color Pop and Enhance, but Google says more options for landscapes, portraits and more will be available ‘in the coming months.’
Google has also changed the user interface (UI) of the manual editing tools. There’s now a scrollable toolbar at the bottom with round buttons and icons, akin to the interface of Apple’s Photo app, VSCO and others. This updated interface, in theory, makes it easier to quickly find the settings you need and make the appropriate adjustments.
This update will go live in the Google Play Store this week. If you don’t already have the Google Photos app, you can download it for free; if you do, be sure to keep an eye out for updates. Google hasn’t specified whether or not we’ll see these new features and redesign make their way to the iOS version of the app.