It’s a common joke: Hey, remember Google+? Google has made it a technically popular social network by, de facto, forcing everyone to enroll in it. But if you haven’t been on it in a while, or ever, Google is working hard to ensure you eventually use it. The latest addition? Photo editing tools.
Auto-Awesome Goes Manual
Google has actually had some fairly good photo tools to use on Plus for a while. Auto-Awesome can be a bit iffy at times, but it does actually do a pretty good job cleaning up your photos, especially sloppy snapshots that you fire off with your camera. These tools, however, are a lot more than just minor tweaks: Essentially, Google is going after Adobe with this software.
They’re using the tools provided by Snapseed, so if you’ve used that, you’ve used this. Essentially, you can do all the basic functions; crop, rotate, adjust hue, brightness and contrast, apply filters, and so on. Most impressively, you can do this to a specific area.
The tradeoff? Well, for mobile, you’ll only be seeing these in iOS and Android apps, which is hardly a surprise but might make that app more useful if you don’t want to shell out for Photoshop Touch (you should shell out for Photoshop Touch).
Desktops, though, you’ll only find these tools if you’re using Chrome, for now. Google might roll it out to other browsers at a later date, but considering they want you to use Chrome, you might finally have to knuckle under and get it if you want quick online photo editing.
The other catch is that Google is rolling these tools out slowly; you might not see them in your browser or on your app for a while. But, when you do, they’ll be right there under the Edit button… and they’ll also be completely free.
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.