3aIT Blog

Someone taking a photo with their phoneGoogle Pixel phone owners have been able to use several AI-aided features in the Photos app for a few months now. From the 15th May, 2024, these free tools will be made available to nearly everyone that uses Google Photos.

The headline feature is "Magic Editor". This blog gives some examples of what's possible with this tool, but in short, it allows you to very easily move elements around a photo for those occasions where you're after a particular setup, but something wasn't quite right with the initial image. Maybe the subject is just slighly off centre, or there's a bin in the background that you'd like to edit out.

This isn't the only new feature being made available. The full list includes:

  • Magic Eraser
  • Unblur
  • Sky suggestions
  • Color pop
  • HDR effect for photos & videos
  • Portrait blur
  • Portrait light
    • Add light/Balance light features in the Portrait light tool
  • Cinematic photos
  • Styles in collage editor
  • Video effects

Most of these are fairly self explanatory. "Magic Eraser" is similar to the editor, but restricted to just removing unwanted elements from a photo. Our HowTo blog last month explained the Windows version of this effect if it's not clear from the description.

One of the Pixel features not included here is the "Best Take" option. This takes several photos in quick succession, then uses AI to pick the best version of each person in the photo so they're all looking into the camera and smiling (assuming they did this in any of the photos). This feature in particular does start to bring into question at what point a photo no longer captures a moment in time. Nothing is being "faked". The composite version is all things that actually happened - just not all at the same instant. At what point does tweaking photos become something else entirely - constructing moments that never actually happened? The chorus of voices asking these sorts of questions is likely to become louder as more of these AI assisted tools become mainstream over the next few years.

Back to the here and now, the features above will be available to anyone using the Google Photos app on a phone running Android 8+ or iOS 15+.