Google Photos to Make Many Enhanced AI Editing Tools Free

Google Photos

Google plans to make many of its enhanced editing tools — tools powered by AI — free to all Google Photos users next month.

The move to give free access to tools previously paywalled is a rare one in modern tech, but Google is eschewing the expected and will provide many of its AI-powered editing tools to Google Photos users for free, including Magic Eraser, Photo Unblur, and Portrait light. These features used to be locked behind a $20 subscription, but now any computer with more than 3GB of RAM, a Chromebook Plus (running version 118 or later), Android devices running version 8.0 or later, and iOS devices running version 15 or later will have access for free (it will even work on Pixel tablets).

As a recap, Magic Eraser is Google’s version of what photographers are probably used to calling generative fill in Photoshop terms. It allows users to select an object and “erase” it from the field of view by replacing it intelligently using surrounding visual data. Photo Unblur attempts to sharpen photos that may not be in focus and isn’t just meant to work with new photos — Google has previously said it can work with any image. Portrait light allows editors to adjust the position and brightness of light in portraits to make them more visually appealing.

In addition to these tools, Magic Editor, which launched last year on Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro and uses generative AI to allow editors to make “complex” photo edits with simple tools such as repositioning a subject or changing the color of the sky, is getting wider availability. Now this tool is available on all Pixel devices and is included as a part of the Google Photos app for free, but there still are limitations.

“Additionally, all Google Photos users on Android and iOS will get 10 Magic Editor saves per month. To go beyond this limit, you’ll need a Pixel device or a Premium Google One plan (2TB and above),” Google stipulates.

These Google Photos tools will “gradually roll out” starting on May 15 and over the following weeks to all devices that meet minimum requirements.

Image credits: Google