Google Brings Advanced Non-Destructive Photo Editor to Android 4.4 KitKat

Android 4.4 KitKat was officially announced a few days ago, but one of the coolest features (especially for us camera folk) wasn’t mentioned in the announcement at all: an impressive new non-destructive photo editor is built right in.

The editor is the result of several months worth of work by Google’s Nicholas Roard and his team and, as you can see from the video above, it’s pretty comprehensive if not downright impressive. Roard gives a good quick overview of what the editor can do over on his Google+:

The editor is pretty powerful, works on tablet and phones, handles full-size image processing, zooming, re-edit, image exports, user presets, etc. This new version also adds more powerful specialized tools (graduated filters, per-channel saturation controls, local adjustments, etc.)

And, best of all, you can always revert to the original with just a couple of taps.


The editor, which is built right into Android KitKat’s Gallery app, seems to be on par with the Snapseeds and Photoshop Touches of the world, and might mean some stiff competition for those apps from what looks to be a very capable built-in alternative.

For an in-depth look at what this editor can do, watch the video at the top or try it yourself once KitKat becomes available for your device, which should be sometime in the next few weeks or possibly months depending on your device.

(via Engadget)

  • The_Declaration

    “seems to be on par with the Snapseeds” “might mean some stiff competition for those apps” => competition? It seems you are not aware that Snapseed belongs to google via Nik Software…

  • Jonas N

    Yeah, the point here is that Google took Snapseed tech and implemented it in Android 4.4. Further, this is no doubt meant to suit like a hand with the glove that is Google+, a social network unusually popular among photographers.

  • DLCade

    I’m well aware of who owns Snapseed, and I respectfully suggest that my point still stands. The fact that Google owns both doesn’t mean the two apps won’t compete.

    The iPad mini competes with the iPad for customers, even though they’re both owned by Apple. I was simply suggesting that KitKat users are less likely to download or use Snapseed or any other editing app when they have a capable built-in alternative such as this.

  • Morgan Glassco

    I am pretty excited by this. Looks like a mini Lightroom to me. This + eyeFi = amazing possibilities

  • Martin Nilsson

    Many Android phones/tablets can import straight from camera with a USB OTG (on the go) adapter. They improved it in version 4.3 but seemed to have broke the ability to zoom in on images before import. At least for me. I’m hoping camera import will be fully functional with 4.4. But this do seem to be a feature of Android no one ever talks about.

  • mikewren

    Where’s the metadata?