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Google Announces Free Access to Magic Editor and Other AI Photo Tools

ByHuey Yee Ong

Apr 15, 2024
Google Announces Free Access to Magic Editor and Other AI Photo Tools

Google Announces Free Access to Magic Editor and Other AI Photo Tools

Google announced on Wednesday, March 10th its plans to make a slew of advanced photo-editing tools, previously exclusive or paid, free for all Google Photos users.

Starting May 15, Google is set to roll out access to features like Magic Eraser, Photo Unblur, and Portrait Light to a broader audience, including iPhone and Android phone users. This expansion also introduces these capabilities to Pixel tablets and certain desktop users, with specific hardware requirements outlined by Google for accessing these services.

Google Expands AI Photo Editing Tools

Previously restricted to Pixel phone owners and Google One subscribers, these generative AI-driven editing tools have been a highlight of Google’s photo service offerings.

  • Magic Editor: Allows users to perform complex edits such as repositioning subjects within a photo, removing unwanted objects, or altering the photo’s background.
  • Magic Eraser: Enhances photo composition by removing distractions.
  • Photo Unblur: Sharpens images that are out of focus.
  • Portrait Light: Allows users to adjust the lighting in their photos.

With the upcoming update, this tool will be available to all Pixel device users, and Google Photos users on Android and iOS will receive 10 Magic Editor photo saves per month. However, Pixel device users and Google One subscribers with a 2TB storage plan will enjoy the luxury of unlimited saves.

What’s New with Google’s Magic Editor?

The announcement marks a shift in Google’s strategy, broadening the accessibility of advanced AI photo editing features to a larger user base. This move is likely to enhance the appeal of Google Photos, offering sophisticated editing options without the need for a subscription or the latest hardware. Features like Magic Eraser, for enhancing photo composition by removing distractions, and Photo Unblur, for sharpening images that are out of focus, will now be available to everyone. Additionally, Portrait Light, which allows users to adjust the lighting in their photos, adds another layer of professional-quality editing tools at the users’ disposal.

To access these features, users will need to ensure their devices meet Google’s stated requirements:

  • For desktop access: A Chromebook Plus with ChromeOS version 118 or higher, or a system with at least 3GB of RAM is necessary.
  • For mobile users: Devices running Android 8.0 or iOS 15 or higher are required.

Google has designed these features to work across a range of devices, emphasizing that the AI processing required for these edits occurs off-device, which broadens the range of compatible hardware.

While some of the most cutting-edge features, such as Best Take and Audio Magic Eraser, will remain exclusive to the latest Pixel 8 series for the time being, the expansion of access to other powerful editing tools represents a significant leap forward in making AI-powered photo editing more accessible to the general public.

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Featured Image courtesy of CAITLIN OCHS/REUTERS

Huey Yee Ong

Hello, from one tech geek to another. Not your beloved TechCrunch writer, but a writer with an avid interest in the fast-paced tech scenes and all the latest tech mojo. I bring with me a unique take towards tech with a honed applied psychology perspective to make tech news digestible. In other words, I deliver tech news that is easy to read.

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