Google Photos Portrait Blur will be available for all Google One subscribers
Google Photos on Android is one of the most popular apps that users make use of on a daily basis. It’s packed full of features, and on Google Pixel phones, has some pretty exclusive integrations. Now, one of those exclusive integrations is now being made available to Google One subscribers, and it’s improving too. Google Photos’ Portrait Blur is coming to all devices, and it will support more subjects too.
To be clear, Google Photos Portrait Blur has always been available on Google Pixel smartphones, but it only worked on people. If it couldn’t detect a face, it didn’t work, and there was no way to get around that. Now though, it works on objects, pets, and people, and on all Android devices with at least 3GB of RAM and running Android 8.0 or above. It requires a Google One subscription if you’re not using a Pixel device, which will set you back, at minimum, $1.99 a month. You can also pay $9.99 for a year’s subscription at the most basic plan, though there are other subscription tiers, too.
This isn’t the first feature to go behind a Google One exclusive paywall. The company has previously brought features such as HDR, portrait light, and color focus to other Android phones through a Google One subscription, though they remained free on Pixel devices. If you think that you’ll use these features more to edit your photos though, then paying $1.99 a month may be worth it to you to leverage Google Photos’ AI prowess.
To be honest, while it’s a useful feature and might be fun to play around with for some, it likely won’t be better than the portrait mode that your phone likely already supports. What’s more, photos taken in portrait mode in your phone’s camera app will likely save a copy of the photo without portrait mode as well, meaning that you’re not getting anything extra by using Google Photos instead to edit a picture after the fact. Some phones make use of a telephoto camera for these kinds of photos though, and that might be where Google has an advantage.
In the same announcement, Google also announced that everyone would be getting new features in the Messages app.