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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Google Photos is an excellent app and it is recommended. Not only are there great tools, you get unlimited online storage too.
- Written by Roland Waddilove
- Created: 19 December 2016