Google Photos gains new editing features on the web

Editing a photo using the Google Photos app on a Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 with an S Pen
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google Photos is expanding some editing features from the mobile app to the web experience.
  • Users will be able to adjust portrait lighting, background blur, and more using Google Photos on the web.
  • The new editing features are only available for Google One subscribers.
  • Computers must have at least 4GB of RAM and an updated browser in order to use the features.

Google Photos on the web is rolling out with new editing features for images. These features were previously only available on the mobile app, although the rollout is only available for select users.

Google announced the update on Monday, highlighting four new features arriving on the web. They include the following:

  • Click Portrait light to adjust the position and brightness of light to portraits of a person.
  • Click Blur to adjust background blur.
  • Click Sky to select from several palettes and adjust the color and contrast in the sky.
  • Click Color focus to desaturate the background, but keep the foreground in color. 
  • Click HDR to enhance brightness and contrast across the image for a more balanced photo. 

These previously mobile-only editing features are a nice addition to the web experience for users that prefer to view their images on bigger screens. However, there are some notable caveats, such as the fact that the features are only available to Google One subscribers.

This isn't too surprising, as Google often makes certain features exclusive to these users, even on mobile devices. For instance, Magic Eraser was previously exclusive to Pixel phones before recently expanding its availability to iOS and Android phones, but only for Google One subscribers.

Users must also have updated browsers on computers with at least 4GB of RAM. That's not a lot, and even the best cheap Chromebooks should be able to match or exceed that requirement.

These features should begin showing up on the web "starting today," so you may have to be a little patient if you don't automatically see them.

Meanwhile, Chromebook owners can also take advantage of the new video editor in Google Photos, which doesn't even require a Google One subscription. 

Derrek Lee
News Editor

Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.