You may find some instruments locked behind a paywall the next time you dive into Google Photos’ editing suite. Google is introducing a new take on its color pop feature as part of an ongoing rollout that users can apply to any picture, not just those that have depth data.
The catch is that before you can tweak your images with the latest color pop, you’ll need to subscribe to Google One. When Google first began rolling out users of the Photos feature, it seemed to be turning a previously free tool into something you have to pay for, but according to the company, that’s not the case.
“Color pop is a feature in Google Images that continues to be available to anyone to use for photos with depth information (such as portrait mode) at no cost,” a company spokesman told Engadget. “As part of an ongoing rollout that started earlier this year, members of Google One can apply the functionality to many more people’s images, including those without comprehensive details.”
Shortly after we published this article, a reader informed us that Google Photos' Color Pop feature is locked behind a Google One paywall. I reached out to Google for confirmation but haven't heard back yet. https://t.co/99dsMWcKe1 pic.twitter.com/NOWepbpXkH
— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) November 6, 2020
More paying features may also be on the way. 9to5Google and XDA Developers find evidence of new functionality, as well as text snippets that encourage users to subscribe to Google One to access them, by digging through the code of the current version of Images.
“You can get access to additional editing features as a Google One member,” says one of the lines of text contained in 9to5. “With a Google One membership, unlock this role and more,” notes another.
At $2 a month to join Google One’s first paying tier, using some of the latest features Google is introducing to Photos won’t cost you too much. As long as you pay for one of the more expensive levels, you will also get access to the VPN recently introduced by the company as a bonus.
But it is likely to frustrate certain individuals that you have to pay a fee to access a range of more advanced features of Images.