Google Photos' brilliant AI features are going free

Amid rumours Google is planning to charge users for AI features in Search, the company is dropping the paywall behind some other powerful AI features.

The company has announced its popular AI-powered Magic Editor and Magic Eraser features will soon be free to all Google Photos users on iOS and Android.

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Previously these features, and others like Photo Unblur and Portrait Light, they’ve been the preserve of subscribers to Google One cloud storage users. That perk is now available to everyone.

“With the right editing tools, your photos can really shine. Google Photos has several features to help you enhance your pictures without pro-level editing skills, from removing a distraction in the background to unblurring a fuzzy shot. And now we’re bringing those capabilities to even more people,” the company said in a blog post.

The paywall will drop on those features on May 15 and begin gradually rolling out to users across the platform divide. However, free users will only get ten Magic Editor saves per month. If you wish to get unlimited saves, you’ll need the 2TB storage subscription tier from Google One.

Magic Editor is a particular coup for Google Photos users as it only launched on the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro last October. The generative AI feature has been a big hit as it enables users to reposition subjects completely, or change the colour of the sky, without the need for photo editing nous.

Photo Unblur uses AI to clean up shots and works surprisingly well, while the familiar Magic Eraser tool gets rid of unwanted background items and pesky photo bombers. Finally Portrait Light enables users to “adjust the position and brightness of light in photos.”

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