About a week ago, Google introduced a new premium VPN feature to Google One customers at a certain tier. For paying Google One customers, it looks like that won’t be the last of the premium feature set coming soon. Evidence has surfaced suggesting that Google Photos may lock a set of editing tools behind a Google One paywall.
The folks at XDA dug into the latest Google Photos 5.18 build and noticed a bunch of lines of code with pop-ups that will say “As a Google One member, you get access to extra editing features,” “Get extra editing features with a Google One membership,” or “Unlock this feature and more with a Google One membership.”
There wasn’t an initial mention of which specific features will be paid for, but at least one person has since seen the Color Pop edit option locked behind Google One with the messages we mentioned above. There’s a suggestion to “unlock features and more storage” with a monthly Google One membership, with a minimum price listed too.
Should Google go through with this, I can’t imagine there being a positive response. Right now, Color Pop is a free editing tool. Taking away features we’ve all been using to then ask us to pay for them through a Google One subscription so many won’t need is not a good look.
Maybe we’ll get an announcement too.
- UPDATE: Google tells us that color pop is still a feature that everyone can use at no cost for Google Photos users who want to edit photos with depth information, like those you used a portrait mode on. However, the premium color pop editing option seen above is apparently a part of a feature rollout where “Google One members can apply the feature to even more photos of people, including those without depth information.”
- We’re trying to find out where (or if) this was announced previously and will update this again if we need to. I certainly get the feeling that this is news to a good portion of the media.
- UPDATE 2: In a second clarification, Google confirmed this is a new unannounced feature that they started rolling out.