Google Photos premium features may expand with paid editing tools

It seems Google Photos will get new editing features in an upcoming version, but they may be locked behind a paywall, at least based on reports from some users. The company has been slowly adding premium features to its Photos app, the most recent being a premium subscription feature for getting monthly photo prints.

Details about the new feature come from an APK teardown by XDA, which reported evidence earlier this year of features that would be offered exclusively to Google One members. It seems the newly deployed Google Photos 5.18 update includes strings referencing 'extra editing features' that'll be offered to Google One members.

Based on the app teardown, Google Photos users will soon see prompts encouraging them to sign up for a Google One subscription in order to get extra editing features — though there is no mention of what those features are, there are some potential hints.

At least one person reports seeing a 'color pop' editing feature that requires a Google One membership to access, indicating the kind of offerings Google may be considering as Google One exclusives. The app teardown notes strings referring to photo filters like Skypalette Airy, Ember, Afterglow, and Stormy.

There's likewise mention of preprocessing options called Vivid, HDR, and Dynamic — but, unfortunately, there's no way to know at this point whether Google plans to make these filters and editing tools exclusive to paying customers.