Google Photos might put some editing features behind a subscription paywall

Google Photos might put some editing features behind a subscription paywall


Google Photos is an excellent photo management and editing app. As Google has grown in popularity, Google has made occasional attempts to monetize Photos — most recently by launching a subscription service where customers receive a selection of 10 printed photos each month.

But now, according to XDA Developers (and also highlighted by Android Police), Google might be planning to reserve certain editing tricks — some that were previously available for free — for Google One subscribers. That’s one way to start ruining a beloved service, Google. Maybe rethink this.

In the code for the latest Google Photos update, some strings clearly point to an app moving in this direction:

As a Google One member, you get access to extra editing features.

Get extra editing features with a Google One membership.

Unlock this feature and more with a Google One membership.

Unlock more editing features and {storage_amount} of storage with a Google One membership.

But these aren’t just hidden code snippets; it seems that Google is already testing this approach with some people right now, as you can see in the below screenshots shared with XDA’s Mishaal Rahman.

google photos editing featuresHowever, that it doesn’t actually lock a free “color pop” tool behind a paywall; it only offers a new version that used on more photos than before:

In Google Photos, color pop is a feature that continues to be available for anyone to use, at no cost, for photos with depth information (such as portrait mode). As a part of an ongoing roll out that began earlier this year, Google One members can apply the feature to even more photos of people, including those without depth information.

That said, Google wouldn’t tell us which other editing tools and features it might decide to exclusively offer to its Google One subscribers, saying it had “nothing to share.”

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With monthly subscriptions that start at $1.99 per month (for 100GB of cloud storage spread across your Google services), Google One isn’t terribly expensive. Also, used for Android device backups, and the company recently announced that it’s adding a VPN feature for Google One subscribers on the $9.99/month (2TB storage) plan. But the notion that you soon might have to pay a recurring fee to unlock everything Google Photos has to offer is still pretty frustrating. Maybe this is the cost of all that free photo storage.

Keywords: google photos, google photos editor, google photos editing features, how to edit photos in google photos