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Google adds editing and ‘movie’ features to Google Photos, launches PhotoScan app


Google is updating its flagship photo service today with a handful of new features timed specifically for the holidays.

Google’s interest in photography began years ago, perhaps when the company acquired Picasa in 2004, however Google’s latest service, Google Photos, is relatively new – it launched about a year and a half ago.

Today Google is introducing new editing and ‘movie’ (slideshow) features to the Google Photos app, and Google is launching a separate app, named PhotoScan, because the company wants to host and organize all of your photos, including the ones you printed on paper years ago.

PhotoScan

Google’s first standalone photo scanning app does what most photo and document scanners do, with a little twist: instead of aligning edges and cropping, the app asks you to hover over four circles across each corner of the photo to capture the image without glare.

Google says this technique was inspired by how people look at physical photographs, but it also feels a bit like taking a panorama. After trying the feature ourselves, for a moment, we found it quick and accurate. We’ll need more time with the feature before endorsing it.

Editing

Google Photos already had built-in editing features, but today Google is updating its Auto Enhance tool, and the company has added a series of artsy filters, called “looks” – a la Instagram. Google also added more sophisticated editing sliders, for adjusting “deep blues” and skin tones.

Movies

Google’s automatic slideshow creator, Movies, has existed since Google Photos’ debut, and today Google announced a few new themes for the service, including one called Lullaby (made of photos and videos of your baby, if you have a baby), one made for those who celebrate Christmas (coming in December), and another for pet owners (on National Pet Day).

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