New Google Photos editing tools leverage machine learning to make your pictures great

Alongside the launch of it awesome new picture scanning app PhotoScan, Google is rolling out new and enhanced editing tools for the core Google Photos app as well. The new tools bring the Photos app closer to the level of editing you expect from other third-party photography apps, but Google is also going a step ahead by integrating its machine learning expertise.

Google Photos has always had a very powerful "Auto" enhancement mode that analyzes the photo and makes various adjustments to make it as great as possible, and the latest update makes it even better. Auto will balance the exposure and saturation (among other metrics) to make your photos pop before you share them out to the world. I've always found Auto to make subtle but extremely impressive tweaks to my photos, and I encourage you to give it a look even if you're usually opposed to automatic tweaks from apps.

There's something for every kind of editor in the latest update.

If you want a little bit more control over the look of your photo but still don't want to tweak manually each setting, you can try out the new "looks" (well, they're filters) in the app. There are 12 new looks in total, each with an eye-catching feel that ranges from punchy colors down to full black-and-white style. When you apply each one it tweaks things accordingly to best fit the image, giving each photo a truly unique feel.

Whether you start your photo editing with an Auto adjustment or not, Photos now has improved manual editing controls as well. You can now use traditional sliders to adjust exposure, contrast, whites, highlights and shadows, which is a good improvement over the old system of ambiguous sliders like "color."

The new update with the latest editing tools is rolling out in the Play Store right now, but may take a while to be available for everyone. You'll also be able to find the new tools in the Google Photos web interface once the rollout is complete. Happy photo editing!

Andrew Martonik

Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.