Use Google Photos editing tools to enhance photographs and fix faults like exposure

It isn’t that long since I last looked at Google Photos, but it has changed again and this app is getting some serious attention from Google’s developers. Check out the new and changed features.

Google Photos has changed since I looked at it here and some changes are cosmetic, with features moved around. There are some new features too.

If you look at Google Photos on Google Play Store you might think that it is just a photo organiser, but these days it does a lot more than that.

Select a photo and a toolbar is displayed at the bottom of the screen. Press the pencil icon and you are straight into the filters. They appear as thumbnail images at the bottom of the screen and swiping left and right scrolls through them. Tapping a thumbnail applies the filter effect.

Google Photos new editing features - apply filters to enhance photos

On this screen pressing the middle icon, which looks like slider controls, displays Light, Colour and Pop sliders. Dragging these enables you to change the brightness and colour saturation.

Pop is a sort of contrast control that makes certain colours really stand out, but it does more than that and it is one of the most useful functions.

Google Photos light, colour and pop sliders for enhancing photos

At the right side of the Light slider is a little button and pressing it displays seven slider controls: Exposure, Contrast, Whites, Highlights, Shadows, Blacks and Vignette. There are more than fit on the screen and swiping up reveals the others.

It is useful how it shows how much a slider has been moved from its original position using a blue line. White means it is the original setting.

Adjust the photo lighting using the sliders in Google Photos app

Press the button to the right of the Colour slider and five sliders are displayed: Saturation, Warmth, Tint, Skin tone, and Deep blue.

The new Deep blue slider is useful for making the blue in photos really stand out and it could be useful for beach shots with beautiful blue sea and golden sand.

The sliders snap to the original setting when they get close and this makes it easy to put them back the way they were before you started experimenting.

Adjust the colour using sliders in Google Photos for Android

The third tool is crop and rotate. If the photo slopes to the left or right because the phone was not horizontal when taking the photo, it can be dragged back to the horizontal. Dragging the control at the bottom of the screen rotates the image and a grid helps you to get is straight.

Straighten tilted photos in Google Photos

The image can be cropped as you like, but there are also some predefined sizes, such as square, 16:9, 4:3 and 3:2. This is useful if you are editing photos to share on Instagram, which prefers square or portrait format rather than landscape.

Set the photo size in Google Photos for Android

Google Photos is an excellent app and it is recommended. Not only are there great tools, you get unlimited online storage too.