Category Archives: Snapseed

Snapseed gets refreshed with presets, reorganized tools, and perspective

More power & speed for the millions of people who use Snapseed every day:

We’re excited to announce that Snapseed 2.18 has started rolling out today to users on Android and iOS. This update includes a fresh new UI, designed for faster editing with more efficient access to your favorite features.

You’ll find Looks are now available from the main screen, making it easier than ever to apply your customized filters to your photos. Looks are a powerful way to save your favorite combinations of edits and apply them to multiple images. We’ve added 11 beautiful new presets (handcrafted by the Snapseed team) to help you get started – give them a try!

We’re also bringing the Perspective tool to iOS to allow you to easily adjust skewed lines and perfect the geometry of horizons or buildings.



Snapseed gains Double Exposure, Face Pose, and more

The team esta en fuego!. On the heels of recent releases that added sharable looks, curves, and more, comes some new hotness:

Snapseed 2.17 starts rolling out today and it brings you three new awesome tools:

  • Double Exposure allows you to blend two photos and choose from blending modes that are inspired by analog film techniques as well as digital image processing.
  • Face Pose lets you correct the pose of portraits based on three dimensional models.
  • Expand allows you to increase the size of your canvas and fill up the new space in smart ways with content from your image. 

Enjoy, and as always, please let us know what you think.


Big Snapseed news: Save & share presets, apply selective Structure, and more

So, this happened. 🙂 In Snapseed 2.16 on iOS & Android, you can:

  • Edit faster by using reusable “looks”: save the edits on any photo as a look, and apply saved looks to other images.
  • Share looks with friends and other users by generating a QR code for each.
  • Apply Structure to individual areas of your photo via the Selective tool.

And on Android you can:

  • Automatically correct the perspective of your photos using the the enhanced Perspective tool.
  • Find inspiring tutorial content via the Insights stream. [already available on iOS]


The QR-based sharing is a fun twist. The team writes,

You now can easily share these looks with your friends and followers. Snapseed will generate a QR code that embeds your look. Scan this QR code [below] in Snapseed to apply the look to the current photo. You can easily share it through social media, on your web site, or by email and instant messaging! 


New Snapseed update tweaks Text, Perspective, and more

Just a little sprucing up for the holidays:

Both on iOS and Android, text in the Text tool can now be easily centered vertically and horizontally. Also, we’ve refreshed the presets of the Face filter, giving more options for fast and easy enhancements.

On Android, the Perspective tool brings back the old horizontal and vertical adjustment modes that many users asked for. With this addition, Perspective lets you apply any kind of transformation and perspective adjustment you can think of.

Also on Android, you can now choose the target folder for exporting a photo, allowing you to store it on an SD card or elsewhere. To enable it, just go to the settings menu for exports.



Snapseed enhances White Balance, raw support, and more

More powerful & easier to use; I’ll let the team explain:

Snapseed 2.13 started rolling out today. This version includes an improved UI for selecting and changing parameters. In addition to swiping up and down to choose parameters, you can now also tap the adjust icon on the bottom bar to bring up a tap-enabled parameter selector. The selected parameter will always be shown as a slider at the top of the screen. To adjust the parameter you can still swipe left and right anywhere on the screen as before.

On iOS, this release now also includes the dedicated White Balance tool that got launched on Android a while ago. This tool allows you to adjust the colors in your photo to look more natural. Just choose the auto correct option, or use the included color picker for fine control.

Finally, when opening raw images that have been captured with a creative setting on your camera Snapseed will now show the default raw colors. Previously the embedded color profiles sometimes limited the creative choices in editing your raw files.

Your feedback is, as always, most welcome!


You can now edit your panoramas in Snapseed

I was really annoyed & frankly embarrassed to find not long ago that when I used Snapseed to edit a panorama (captured via either my iPhone’s built-in pano mode or via Google Street View’s 360º capture), then tried to post it to Facebook, its magical pano-ness would be lost & the image would be rendered as a flat JPEG instead of as an interactive pano.

Happily this has been fixed, and if you install the latest update to Snapseed, you should be able to edit panos, then upload them in interactive form. (This works for spheres shown via, too.) Take it for a oh God don’t let me say spin and let me know if you hit any snags.


Workflow tips: Getting RAW files into Snapseed

 Now that 144 camera models (see list) are supported in Snapseed on iOS, how can you get images from them into the app? Ah, glad you asked. Here’s some info from Snapseed Help:

Lightning to SD Card Camera Reader: will read all supported RAW files and allow the user to import them to the Camera Roll. Note: Some DNG files may appear blank in the interface and Camera Roll but will be shown correctly in Snapseed. Check it out in the Apple Store.
Lightning to USB Camera Adapter: can be used in combination with a camera’s USB port or even a USB SD card reader to read all supported RAW files and allow the user to import them to the Camera Roll. Check it out in the Apple Store.
EyeFi MobiPro: RAW files can be transferred to an iOS device via Wifi using “Eyefi Mobi” app and selecting share/save photo. Photos will be saved as RAW files to the Camera Roll. Note: This requires iOS 9.3.4.
Google Drive: Select a photo in Drive, tap on the dot dot dot icon, then select “send copy”. Drive will download the file. Select “Save Photo” to save it to the Camera Roll, or “Open in” to directly open it in Snapseed. Note: This requires Drive v4.12 and iOS 9.3.4.
Apple Mail: Email a RAW file, fully download it in Mail, then open the photo preview and tap the “share” icon. Select “Save Photo” to save it to the Camera Roll, or “Copy to Snapseed” to directly open it in Snapseed.


New Snapseed delivers RAW, Face filter, White Balance, Perspective, and more

I’m delighted to say that Snapseed now supports raw image editing on both iOS & Android:

The new RAW tool opens automatically when Snapseed detects a RAW file and works seamlessly with other Snapseed tools, such as Healing, Brushes, Frames, Text, HDR, and Details. Editing changes can be saved non-destructively, or exported as JPG in high quality. Some of the available adjustments for RAW include Structure, Tint, Shadow control, Exposure (-4.0 to 4.0 f-stops), and Temperature (1.700°K to over 8.000°K). Anyone using Snapseed 2.9 and an Apple USB SD card photo adapter or WiFi SD card can now work with RAW images. 

Here’s a RAW-vs.-JPEG comparison:

Raw vs jpeg

 Meanwhile the new Face filter lets you brighten faces, smooth skin, and make eyes pop.

Want more? Okay, here’s more:

Also on Android: new Perspective and White Balance tools. Perspective straightens lines in your image by removing the perspective effect from the original image. White Balance offers fine color balance control with pinpoint precision via an eye dropper tool.

Lastly, you now have greater control over image saving:

In addition to UI improvements and bug fixes on both Android and iOS, you can now set the preferred JPG compression rate, or even save lossless (PNG) when exporting.

Enjoy, and as always, please let us know what you think!

Check out Snapseed’s new built-in tutorial stream

Apply a saved look to your image just by tapping it in a tutorial (stored in the “Insights” drawer at the bottom of the home screen).

Snapseed 2.7 is rolling out today and we’re excited to introduce Snapseed’s new Insights stream on your iOS device! Insights offers helpful editing tips directly within Snapseed: quick tutorials, pro editing tips, and inspiration from great photographers are now at your fingertips, with new content published often.

In addition, both updates on Android and iOS have minor bug fixes and adjustments.

Feedback is, as always, most welcome!


Snapseed 2.6 enhances B&W, WB

Rolling out today on iOS & Android, the release delivers some bigger stuff…

  • A Blue filter in Black and white – this creates a high contrast black and white image by pushing blue tones white and yellow tones black (check out the image for a comparison of all color filters)
  • White Balance in the RAW editor on Android – use the color picker to select a neutral color in the photo for automatic corrections, or choose from 8 different presets like Tungsten, Daylight and Sunny
…plus some smaller tweaks:
  • Added Talkback capability for Healing tool on Android – with Talkback enabled, the Healing tool will announce where the patch is being applied
  • Fixed a crash on iOS when flipping images under specific conditions
  • Minor bug fixes


Snapseed 2.5 delivers faster batch editing, image flipping

It’s now much faster to apply the same edits to a number of images in sequence:

Apply Last Edits from the Main Screen. Use this feature to apply the same edits on a new photo that have been applied to the last saved photo. This feature only applies adjustments that have no local dependencies (i.e. no crop, transform or brush filters)

You can also use a new toggle switch inside the Straighten filter to flip an image horizontally:

Horizontal flip. Use this feature to horizontally mirror a photo, for example to fix front camera selfies which did not get mirrored correctly by the camera app.


And last but not least:

On Android Snapseed now displays more photo metadata information, including a map if the photo contains GPS information.

[YouTube] [Via]

Snapseed 2.4 introduces negative structure, more

Available today on Android and iOS, the new release introduces several enhancements

  • Negative Structure in Details (great for smoothing out noise; see before/after below)
  • Style selectors that automatically scroll to next item
  • Better histogram
  • Bug fixes

Additionally on Android, Snapseed now offers optimized on-screen controls for TalkBack accessibility mode. On iOS, Snapseed now supports RTL (right to left) screen layouts.


A tiny Snapseed tweak that makes me very happy

TL;DR: Press & hold to compare (iOS only for the moment).

Snapseed’s unique interface for selecting parameters (dragging up & down on screen) & adjusting them (dragging left right) long seemed to dictate that the app couldn’t use what’s become the standard gesture for toggling adjustment preview. Instead you had to press & hold the little preview icon in the upper right of the screen.

Now, though, you can simply press & hold on the app main screen (to compare the original image to the current state) or within individual filters (to compare just that filter’s adjustments to the previous state). The exception here is with brush-based filters (Healing, Brush): in those pressing on the screen obviously applies a brushstroke, so you still need to rely on the preview icon there. For its part the icon remains visible everywhere it was already.

Snapseed for iOS gets a faster image picker, more

It’s a small thing, but I can’t tell you how much more I enjoy using the image picker in Snapseed for iOS than its predecessor. Grab the latest update (2.1) and check out the enhancements. From the team post:

  • A new image picker provides much quicker access to photos
  • Editing session is preserved when switching to another app
  • Style menus in filters are opened by default
  • Filter names are displayed in the title bar 
  • Tap to hide controls on main screen to see the image without distractions
  • When zoomed in, the image can be moved so that the navigator doesn’t obscure any part of the image
  • Filter selector displays 3 columns in landscape orientation on iPhones
  • Bug fixes and stability improvements


Snapseed goes raw! DNG support arrives on Android.

I’m delighted to say that DNG files, shot directly on Android phones or converted from other formats, can now be edited in Google Snapseed for Android. When you open these images in the new Snapseed 2.1 (rolling out now, so please check back in the Play Store if it’s not yet available where you are), a new Develop filter module gives you great control over highlights, shadows, and white balance—just as you’d expect when working with raw.

Some phones can shoot DNG photos in the phone’s built-in camera app, including LG G4, HTC One M9, OnePlus One, Oppo N1, Oppo N3, and Oppo Find 7. Others require a third-party camera app to shoot DNGs, including the Samsung S6, Samsung S6 Edge, Nexus 5, and Nexus 6. Devices need at least 1.5GB of RAM & good OpenGL support.

Happy shooting, and please let us know what you think!

Raw vs jpeg

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!

Why don’t Snapseed edits show up in Lightroom & other apps?

[Update: This issue is addressed by the “Export flat” option added in Snapseed 2.0.2.]

TL;DR: If your file-transfer app of choice doesn’t recognize edits made by Snapseed & other iOS8-compliant apps, please ask its developer to update it.

With iOS8 Apple introduced a great system for non-destructive editing: Apps still write out new images, but instead of having those show up separately in one’s Camera Roll, they now show up sitting atop the original images. Under the hood, your iOS device still retains the original pixels & the new pixels, but it stacks them together with the list of edits that turn the original into the output. That way you can always revert to your original pixels, and the editing app can keep its edits flexible (by re-reading the original pixels + list of edits, letting you get back to where you left off).

Supporting this new system requires updating one’s app to use new APIs introduced with iOS 8. Snapseed has of course done this, as have Google Drive, the new Apple Photos, and many other apps. Some apps haven’t yet been updated, however, so they read only the original pixels on the device. Notably, when you connect your iOS device to a Mac & transfer images via Lightroom or Apple’s Image Capture utility, or when you browse your Camera Roll using Dropbox, you’ll transfer only original pixels. This isn’t unique to Snapseed: try making edits in Camera Plus, Camera+, or other iOS 8-savvy apps & you’ll get the same results.

We know that the problem is very frustrating, and people understandably blame Google, but our options for dealing with it are limited. As other apps get updated, the problem will go away. In the meantime, we could add an “Export flat JPEG” command, or something similar, but that’s hardly ideal. Photographers shouldn’t have to think about this stuff, especially if doing so means choosing between non-destructive editing & being able to transfer your work.

So, we’re considering next steps. What would you find most useful?

Snapseed 2 has arrived!

I’m thrilled to announce that Snapseed 2, the next generation of the award-winning mobile photography powerhouse—has arrived and is ready for download on iOS & Android. Key new features:

  • Non-destructive editing via Stacks allows you to re-edit or undo any change. You can also copy edits from one image to another.
  • New tools including Lens Blur, Tonal Contrast, intelligent perspective Transform, and Spot Healing.
  • Selectively apply filters and effects to parts of the image using the Brush tool.

We’ve also added long-requested features like zooming, undo, highlight adjustment, and more. I think you’ll find that you can work both faster (moving edits among images) and with more precision (using brushing to fine-tune the whole image or even individual filters). We’d love to see what you create & to hear your thoughts, here and in the user-to-user forum.


Here’s an ultra quick tour:


A non-destructive Snapseed engine arrives on iOS

I’m delighted to say that we’ve rewritten the Snapseed editing pipeline from the ground up, making it non-destructive & setting the stage for a really exciting future. Just yesterday it arrived on iOS inside the new Google+ app (which, by the way, offers to back up all your photos & videos for free). Engineer Todd Bogdan writes,

Easily perfect your photos with a powerful new editing suite in the Google+ app for iPhone and iPad. With these Snapseed-inspired tools you can crop, rotate, add filters and 1-tap enhancements like Drama, Retrolux, and HDR Scape, and more. Add a personal touch to your photos, then easily share them with friends and family. As an added bonus: you can start editing on one device, continue on another, and revert to your originals at any time!

The overall workflow is a work in progress (e.g. right now you don’t get an interface for re-editing your adjustments), but stay tuned: we’re starting to cook with gas.