KitKat Gallery

A few simple changes to make your pictures look a little better

There's a great grouping of user-facing features in the latest update to Android 4.4 KitKat, but one has been generally overlooked. Although it hasn't received much of a visual refresh from what was available in 4.3, the built-in photo editor in the Gallery app has received a bit of a facelift, with a few new features to boot.

This is one of those "tightening the screws" kind of updates that brings the experience up a notch or two, making it just a little easier to edit and tweak your photos to your liking. This isn't going to rival anything you can do with a true photo editor on your desktop, but then again that process isn't as easy as using the Gallery.

Hit the break for a closer look at the new features and capabilities of Gallery in Android 4.4.

Tapping the edit button while viewing a photo in the Android 4.4 Gallery isn't going to bring a brand new experience by any means, but that doesn't mean improvements haven't been made. As we see in the video above, Google has made several enhancements to the experience of editing photos on your phone.

Improvements can be seen in the way different filters and controls are labeled, as well as with an increased number of filters, effects and tools to adjust your images. And best of all, the Gallery is a nondestructive editor — any changes you make to your photos will be kept separate from the original image.

That means when you're done with edits, not only can you now save them as a preset filter but you can also export a full resolution image that you've edited to the Gallery. If you ever want to go back and edit your image again, you'll have the option to reset it back to the way it was or apply new filters and adjustment.

If you're serious about photography you'll probably be pulling these photos off into a desktop photo editor, but for quick fixes and changes on the fly, the Gallery now has even more going for it.

Image edited in the Gallery, before (top) and after (bottom)

Sample image (before)

Sample image (after)

Nexus 5 camera samples and first impressions