Edit photos on your phone using the Google Photos app for Android and iOS

The Google Photos app has some great features and you can perform some basic editing like contrast and brightness correction, and you can apply lots of filters. Here’s how to use it on your phone.

The Photos app keeps on improving with each update and Google is turning it into a powerful and useful photo storage and editing tool. One of the best features is that you get unlimited online storage of your photos, so there are no worries about filling your phone. You can store them online and delete them off the device.

Up until iOS 10 it was even better than Apple’s Photos app and it works great on an iPhone. Here though, I am using a Samsung Galaxy S6 for the screenshots.

This is the latest Photos app and I’ll take you on a tour of the photo editing features.

Browse your photos

Open the Google Photos app on your phone and select Photos at the bottom of the screen. This shows thumbnail images of all the photographs you have taken. Press a photo to edit it.

Google Photos app running on Android

Switch to the editor

Selecting a photo enables you to view it and zoom in and out with the usual spread and pinch finger gestures.

Down at the bottom of the screen are four icons. Press the pencil icon to open the photo in the editor.

Open a photo for viewing in the Google Photos app

Correct photo flaws

There are now three icons at the bottom of the screen and pressing the first one displays five icons in a new toolbar:

  • Colour: Adjust the colour saturation.
  • Auto: Automatic photo enhancement. The app chooses the best settings.
  • Light: Adjust the light and exposure.
  • Pop: This makes the photo ‘pop’ or really stand out. It’s a sort of filter effect.
  • Vignette: Applies a vignette effect, darkening the corners.

Edit photos in Google Photos on Android phones

Make your photos pop

The light, colour and pop effects all work in the same way. Use the slider to adjust the strength of the effect and then press the tick icon to apply the changes (the cross abandons them).

Correct photo flaws on your phone with the Google Photos app

Tilt and crop

Return to the editor (3rd screenshot) and press the toolbar icon on the far right. This is the tilt and crop tool. Pull the edges in with your finger or rotate the image for dramatic effect or to correct a tilted photo taken when the phone wasn’t held horizontally.

Tilt and crop photographs using Google Photos on your phone

Apply filters

Return to the editor toolbar and press the middle icon this time. Now there is a collection of filters that apply special effects to the photos.

Press a filter and use the slider to determine the strength of the effect.

Select and apply filters to photographs using the Google Photos app on your phone

Back at the main screen, press the three dots in the top right corner for a menu. Here you can undo all the changes or save the modified photo as a copy.

Save a copy of your edited photograph using the Google Photos app on Android

There are powerful photo apps that do more of course, but for quick and easy edits, Google Photos might be all you need. Photos can be shared from within the app, so share your edits with friends.