Google Photos for Android has a powerful new editor

Use AI to clean up and enhance even older archived shots.


Android’s machine learning renaissance is coming to the Photos app, company executives announced during Wednesday’s gloriously brief Pixel 5 live stream event.

To start, Google plans to augment its already useful image auto-enhance feature with machine learning algorithms that can further improve those enhancements based on the specific image you’re working on. Users will be able to apply brightness, contrast and portrait effects with a single tap to start with Enhance and Color Pop filters being rolled out in a few months. And for photographers that prefer to edit their shots manually, Google reorganized the editor layout into a scrollable bar across the bottom of the screen.

The company is also offering an AI-based lighting feature, dubbed Portrait Light, that can apply varying levels and differing positions of light and shadow to a photo you’ve already taken. Don’t let the name fool you though, this feature will work on any photo you have — even if it’s not in portrait mode or is an old shot from five years ago. The only catch is that you’ll have to be running the editor on a Pixel 4a 5G or Pixel 5 in order to use Portrait Light.