Google Photos might put some editing features behind a subscription paywall

Google Photos is a very good photograph administration and editing app. As it has grown in recognition, Google has made the occasional try and monetize Photos — most lately by launching a subscription service the place clients obtain a number of 10 printed photographs each month. But now, in response to XDA Developers (and likewise highlighted by Android Police), Google might be planning to order sure editing tips — some that have been beforehand out there without cost — for Google One subscribers. That’s one technique to begin ruining a beloved service, Google. Maybe rethink this.

Inside the code for the most recent replace to Google Photos, there are strings that clearly level to the app shifting on this path:

As a Google One member, you get entry to further editing features.

Get further editing features with a Google One membership.

Unlock this characteristic and extra with a Google One membership.

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

But these aren’t simply hidden code snippets; evidently Google is already testing this strategy with some individuals proper now, as you may see within the under screenshots shared with XDA’s Mishaal Rahman.

However, Google tells The Verge it’s not truly locking the free “color pop” software behind a paywall; it’s merely providing a new model that can be utilized on extra photographs than earlier than:

In Google Photos, shade pop is a characteristic that continues to be out there for anybody to make use of, without charge, for photographs with depth info (reminiscent of portrait mode). As a a part of an ongoing roll out that started earlier this yr, Google One members can apply the characteristic to much more photographs of individuals, together with these with out depth info.

That mentioned, Google wouldn’t inform us which different editing instruments and features it might resolve to completely provide to its Google One subscribers, saying it had “nothing to share.”

With month-to-month subscriptions that begin at $1.99 per 30 days (for 100GB of cloud storage unfold throughout your Google providers), Google One isn’t terribly costly. It’s additionally used for Android system backups, and the corporate lately introduced that it’s including a VPN characteristic for Google One subscribers on the $9.99/month (2TB storage) plan. But the notion that you just quickly might should pay a recurring price to unlock every little thing Google Photos has to supply remains to be fairly irritating. Maybe that is the price of all that free photographs storage.

Update, 7:30PM ET: Added Google assertion and clarification that the paywalled “color pop” characteristic works with extra photographs than the unique free model did.

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