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(Pocket-lint) - Google is adding previously Pixel-exclusive editing features to Google Photos. They're now for all Android users, but they're paywalled. So, if you don’t own a Pixel, you need to subscribe to Google One to use them.

Google One subscriptions start at $1.99 per month. You can see how the cloud storage service works here, but the base plan offers 100GB of space plus the 15GB of free storage. Google also throws in perks, like Google Store rewards or these new Google Photos editing features.


"Starting today, we’re bringing some of the editing features currently available on Pixel to Google One members as a part of their membership," announced Google in a blog post published on 11 February 2021. "These effects transform your portraits using machine learning."

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Specifically, Google is adding tools like enhanced Portrait Blur, Portrait Light, and Colour Pop, which it introduced with the Pixel 5 last autumn. Google isn't removing the existing free versions of Portrait Blur or Colour Pop from Google Photo, however. They will still work for everyone.

The new versions for Pixel users and Google One subscribers simply leverage the power of machine learning and apply it to older photos that don’t have newer depth data. Pixel users will also still get access to the features for free, even if they don't subscribe to Google One.

Google is offering AI-powered filters, too, such as a “dynamic” option that auto-enhances brightness and contrast and a “sky suggestions” that can adjust skies in your photos with more colour and contrast. "Make your golden hour images pop by boosting and adjusting the color and contrast in the sky with one of several palettes inspired by breathtaking sunrises and sunsets," Google explained.

Keep in mind, starting next month, Google is ending its free unlimited storage program for Google Photos. 

Writing by Maggie Tillman.