“Google Enables Free Use of AI-Powered Editing Tools, Including Magic Editor, for All Google Photos Users”

On Wednesday, the tech giant announced that a handful of enhanced editing features previously limited to Pixel devices and paid subscribers — including its AI-powered Magic Editor — will now make their way to all Google Photos users for free. But with the growing number of AI-powered editing tools flooding the market, Google has decided to make its set of AI photo editing features available to more people for free. Previously, these kinds of edits would require Magic Eraser and other professional editing tools, like Photoshop, to get the same effect. With the expansion, Magic Editor will come to all Pixel devices, while iOS and Android users (whose phones meet the requirements) will get 10 Magic Editor saves per month. The other tools will be available to all Google Photos users, no Google One subscription is required.

Google Photos is getting a boost from AI. The tech leader revealed on Wednesday that numerous advanced editing features, once exclusive to Pixel devices and paying members, are now accessible to all users for free. This expansion also includes the AI-driven Magic Editor, the Magic Eraser for removing unwanted elements from photos, Photo Unblur to sharpen blurry images with the use of machine learning, Portrait Light for adjusting the lighting on photos post-capture, and more.

“The editing tools have been a standout feature for Google’s high-end Pixel smartphones, as well as a perk for subscribers to their cloud storage service, Google One. However, with the influx of AI-based editing options in the market, Google has made the decision to make their AI photo editing capabilities accessible to a wider audience for free.”

Although this expansion is exciting, there are some caveats to keep in mind.

First and foremost, the tools will not be available to all Google Photos users until May 15 and will be gradually rolled out over the course of several weeks.

Additionally, there are specific hardware requirements in order to use these features. For ChromeOS, the device must be a Chromebook Plus with a version of ChromeOS 118 or higher, or have at least 3 GB of RAM. On mobile, the device must have Android 8.0 or higher, or iOS 15 or higher.

The company also notes that Pixel tablets will now be supported.

“Out of the group, the most notable feature is the Magic Editor. Introduced last year with the release of the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, this editing tool uses generative AI to tackle more complex photo edits such as filling in gaps, repositioning the subject, and other manipulations to the foreground or background of a photo. With Magic Editor, users can change a dull sky to a vibrant blue, remove unwanted people from the background of a photo, reposition the central subject while filling in gaps, eliminate clutter, and more.”

Previously, these types of edits would require the use of the Magic Eraser and other professional editing software, like Photoshop, to achieve the same results. These edits were also more hands-on and manual, lacking the automation of AI.

With this expansion, Magic Editor will be accessible to all Pixel devices, while users with iOS and Android devices that meet the requirements will receive 10 Magic Editor saves per month. For those wanting to use this feature more frequently, a Premium Google One plan is still required, meaning at least 2TB of storage.

The other features will be available to all Google Photos users, with no need for a Google One subscription. The complete set of features that will be unleashed includes Magic Eraser, Photo Unblur, Sky suggestions, Color pop, HDR effect for photos and videos, Portrait Blur, Portrait Light (along with its additional lighting and balancing features), Cinematic Photos, Styles in the Collage Editor, and Video Effects.

Some features, such as Best Take, which merges similar photos to create the perfect shot where everyone is smiling, will remain limited to only Pixel 8 and 8 Pro users.

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Kira Kim

Kira Kim is a science journalist with a background in biology and a passion for environmental issues. She is known for her clear and concise writing, as well as her ability to bring complex scientific concepts to life for a general audience.

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