Category Archives: Snapseed

Snapseed gets a more powerful Healing Brush, more

Do you live in a world where every blemish, random bird, stray pedestrian, and telephone wire is perfectly round? Me neither!

Therefore I think you’ll really like Snapseed’s new ability to heal arbitrary-shaped regions. Just tap the filter selector, tap Healing, and then paint away the bits you’d like to omit. And of course these operations are, like everything else in the new Snapseed, non-destructive, meaning that you can go back and re-edit them and/or copy/paste them among images.

The update (2.0.4) should now be live on the App Store & Play Store. It also squashes some bugs & adds support for Traditional Chinese (Hong Kong) and Canadian French.

Here’s an animation of healing in action: 


Snapseed update enhances brushing, more

Small but welcome tweaks:

  • Brush allows working with a finer tip size and deeper zoom
  • Quick access to online resources: links to Snapseed’s YouTube channel and Google+ page in the Help & feedback menu
  • Many new languages supported: Català, Dansk, Ελληνικά, English (British), Español (Latinoamérica), Suomi, हिन्दी, Hrvatski, Magyar, Bahasa Melayu, Norsk (Bokmål), Português (Portugal), Română, Slovenčina, Українська, Tiếng Việt
  • Fixed several crashes and other bugs

The update will be rolling out today on Android devices through the Play Store and on iOS devices through the App Store.

As always, please let us know what you think & where you’d like to see things go next!

Of Photography & Bad Wine

I’ve grudgingly come to accept that most people regard photography much like I regard wine: there’s bad wine, and then there’s wine. I know there’s crap (crummy liturgical stuff, etc.), and I know that all the rest tastes pretty good. Sure, I might notice & like something outstanding, but generally good enough is good enough.

That’s how it is with most people’s photos: “Is it way too dark or blurry? Is my head cut off? No? Fine, then.”

No matter how well or poorly I do my job, most people simply won’t edit photos—at all, ever. They just don’t care. And if they do edit photos, it’ll overwhelmingly be to crop & rotate them, and maybe to brighten things up & add a filter. None of this is unique to Google: we saw exactly the same thing with Adobe Revel (built on the world-class—and for its audience, irrelevant—Lightroom engine).

So, on a per-user basis, editing hardly matters, and yet the scale at which Google operates is enormous, so the editor gets used millions of times. “A small number times a big number is still a big number.”

I’m reminded of an observation from Adam Carolla. Paraphrasing my recollection:

Let’s say you loved watermelon. If someone gave you a watermelon the size of a minivan, you’d probably say, “Wow, that’s a ton of watermelon!!” But then if you realized they carved it out of a watermelon the size of the Hindenburg, you’d probably say, “Come on, that’s all I get?!”

I’m proud of the new Google Photos editor—of the way we were able to radically streamline the UI while retaining tons of smarts under the hood (e.g. centering vignettes on faces, treating faces specially when applying midtone contrast, etc.). And I’m proud of the new Snapseed, which puts big power one tap away for nerds like us. I just have to be happy driving my fruity little minivan next to a Zeppelin—or metaphors to that effect.

Feedback, please: Snapseed-Photos integration

As Lightroom is to Photoshop, Google Photos is to Snapseed:

  • The former manages thousands of photos & offers a comparatively lightweight editor, while the latter provides maximum power.
  • Edits in the former are written in place* non-destructively, while images handed off to the latter result in newly generated copies.

On iOS & Android you can use Snapseed to edit any image in Photos by simply opening the image in Photos, tapping the overflow menu (upper right corner), and choosing “Edit in Snapseed.” This means that applying deep editing functionality requires just one additional tap relative to using the lightweight (but deceptively powerful) editor in Photos.

We think this integration works well, but of course there are always ideas on how it could be improved. Now that Photos & Snapseed have been available for a bit, how are you finding the integration? Any particular likes/dislikes/requests?


*This currently works on iOS & Web; Photos on Android writes edited pixels as new files.

Google Photos is here! Free unlimited backup & more

Google’s mission is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” A huge amount of that information is photographic (a trillion+ photos per year), and a huge amount of that is private.

Today Google Photos brings amazing search power to your pocket, letting you back up a lifetime of photos & videos—for free*—and have a virtual assistant organize them, then create amazing movies, stories, animations, and more. Check it out now on iOS, Android, and Web.

The search stuff is amazing. As my teammate Vincent Mo writes, “Can’t remember the name of that beer you had while on vacation? Search for ‘beer in Los Angeles.’ Ya, it actually works.” (I just tried it & dang, he’s right!)

My part of the team has been working hard on an ultra-streamlined yet powerful image editor, and I’ll post more details about that (and about how it relates to Snapseed) soon. I’ve also been responsible for the Movies feature that automatically creates movies from your moments (or lets you make them on the fly), plus collages, animations, and more (we’re just getting warmed up). From the team blog post:

The app can also help you quickly enhance photos and combine them in new ways to help you relive your life’s moments. In one tap, get instant adjustments tuned to the photo’s color, lighting, and subject to make each photo look its best. Press the “+” button to create your own collages, animations, movies with soundtracks, and more.

If you swipe to the left, you’ll open the Assistant view, where we’ll suggest new things made with your photos and videos, such as a collage or a story based on a recent trip you took. After previewing the creation, you can choose to keep, edit, or discard it.

As I say, I’ll share more details soon. In the meantime, we’d love to know what you think! If you have questions, ask ‘em here or check out the new help community.

Happy shooting,

*Seriously? Yes, seriously. We maintain the original resolution up to 16MP for photos, and 1080p high-definition for videos. If you want to store really high-res stuff, uncompressed raw images, etc., you still get an additional 15GB of free storage, and after that storage is super cheap (two bucks a month for 100GB, ten for 1000).


Snapseed updated: Grunge is back & more

iOS should be available soon; Android is available now. My teammate Sven Tiffe writes,

After releasing Snapseed 2, we’ve heard a lot of excited voices, but also listened to your constructive feedback. You told us and we heard you, Grunge is back!

We’ve started rolling out the Android update today, and the iOS update will follow shortly. This update includes:

  • The return of the Grunge filter
  • The ability to copy, paste and hide Control Points in Selective
  • Improved styles in HDR
  • An option to export flat copies on iOS 8 for compatibility with apps like Lightroom & Dropbox

And of course, stability and performance improvements. We’re continuously working on improving Snapseed and you can expect more in the future, so stay tuned!

Snapseed plans: The return of Grunge & more

Snapseed 2.0 is an enormous new release, and along with all the new goodness (non-destructive editing, brushing, healing, masks, new filters, etc.), a few changes have proven controversial. The team is listening (especially via the user forum) and planning improvements.

Among these, we plan to bring back the Grunge filter (not the most widely used tool—hence its removal from v2—but one with a very passionate following). We’ll also offer a way to play nicely with apps (e.g. Lightroom) that don’t yet support iOS 8’s model for non-destructive editing (see previous post). I can’t promise a specific timeframe, but stay tuned.

Thanks for all the feedback to date, and please keep it coming!