Google is kind (or maybe bold) enough to back up all your photos as you take them. Google+ Photos has some solid editing tools to go along with that functionality, and now it's getting a little better with two new features. You'll be able to go back and tweak a previous edit, and G+ will also be able to apply filters to your photos as part of the Auto Awesome process.


The re-editing thing is possible because Google's editing tools are non-destructive – that is, the original version is left intact. Starting today, you can use desktop Chrome to adjust previous edits. Here's the gist from Googler John Nack.

  • Suppose you want to re-crop a photo but leave the other effects alone. Or keep your choice of frames, but turn up the brightness and contrast.
  • Now you can, and you don’t have to start from scratch. Just open your photo in the Chrome editor, click on “Edits,” and you’ll be able to adjust the edits you’ve already made.
  • When you settle on a look you really like, you can also copy those edits and apply them to another photo


There are already various trendy filters available in Google+ Photos, but now Auto Awesome will be able to apply those filters auto-magically to landscapes and cityscapes (and maybe more stuff, but that isn't clear). As with all automatic edits on G+, you can discard them and get the original photo. It sounds from the description like Auto Awesome isn't going to apply any heavier filters – it's just going to make the subject "pop" with the HDR Scape. Both updates are rolling out today.

[+John Nack]

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • Nasko Hristov

    In a parallel universe, Vic Gundotra would have showed us these tweaks tomorrow. ;(( I miss him already.

    PS: FIRST!!!

    • shonangreg

      Nobody else gives a sh!t if you're the first poster. Say something worthwhile and you might float to the top and stay there. Otherwise shut up about it.

  • Nick Riley

    Wish this app would be just like a Gallery, with different albums (based on folders), but with its fresh interface and all the fancy editing thingies...
    I just can't get used to have my photos, wallpapers, screenshot and other downloaded pics all in one place...

    • sdcoiner76

      If you want to only look at items on your device you can select "On Device" in the Photos app menu. This area also lets you delete photos off your phone while still keeping them on G+ Photos.

      • Pratik Holla

        They had it differently before and I liked it better tbh. They had local and "in the cloud' before which was easier to understand. The current setup of 'All' and 'highlights' is just confusing. They should just move the highlights to the drawer and place the Local tab back in view.

        • sdcoiner76

          I agree the "On Device" should switch places with the "Highlights" tab.

  • http://raincitybadger.com/ amoosefloats

    More reason to love google+ photos and auto upoading to Google.

    • AbbyZFresh

      This. It's time to decouple Photos from G+ like they did Hangouts.

      • Andrew

        Or at the very least, allow access to G+ Photos through GDrive, and also allow you to upload photos to GDrive and have them accessible by the Photos interface.

        • Joris Griffioen

          It's already possible via a semi-hack:

          You can make G+ Photo's import photo's from Google Drive automatically. So then you only need to use a third party tool like Cloudii to get your photo's into Drive and you're done.

          The problem is it is kinda janky, Cloudii isn't perfect and the sync to G+ Photo's can get a bit messy sometimes.

          Google should just create a Photo's folder in my Drive and smack my photo's in there, arranged in folders like the albums are. Then of course also cross-sync so when I move stuff around in Drive, G+ listens to it..

          Doesn't seem like rocket science for El Goog. I just want my pictures on my own PC thankyouverymuch.

    • Pratik Holla

      The photography side/communities of google plus are just awesome. Thats what keeps me going back to the service. You can't find something like that with garbage thats on the FB newsfeed.

  • DrakeTungsten

    What happened to the ability to cut/trim videos?

    • Paul_Werner

      At the moment that's still tied to the "Gallery" app

      • DrakeTungsten

        I had trouble with that this past weekend. There's an edit icon on the videos in Photos but it's greyed out, and movie maker wasn't working. I tried gallery but didn't see it. Found it now, thank you!

  • Altos

    I really want to love Google+ Photos, but the fact that there's still no desktop client to manage pictures makes it a useless service for me.

    • http://www.droid-life.com/ Steve B

      But there is a desktop client...

    • Vladimir

      There is Picasa for uploading photos from PC.

    • http://nicholashrycun.com Nicholas Hrycun

      or just get the little app photos+ for windows. I import all my photos into lightroom and then my photos are automatically backed up into google+. Even all of my old photos in my lightroom library.

    • sdcoiner76

      You could use Picasa. I used it for years but honestly I now use the web interface to manage pics. There used to also be software that google had that would sync pics from your desktop to the web but it recently went into hiding (I could only find it on their support page). Seems like something might be up in this area (or I could just be wishful thinking).

  • jeffhesser

    I wish there was a way to make something into a 'story'. I posted a whole chunk of awesome vacation photos (complete with location data) but it seems to feel it's not worthy of putting together a story for them. =[

    • sdcoiner76

      I hope this is announced tomorrow. The fact that users can't make their own stories is criminal. Also, wish that Stories could be converted to a physical format.

    • Jakst

      Another problem with stories is that edited photos are added to the day of edit, not the captured date. I wish I could move things around more freely

      • jeffhesser

        That might explain why I jacked up any chance of a story. I had the crazy idea of trying to actually edit the pictures I took on my trip before allowing Google access to them.

  • Larry Simpson

    I used to use google photos before they brute force integrated it into google+. Haven't since. It's time to deintegrate g+ already.

    • sdcoiner76

      Probably won't happen since so many photographers use it on Google+. Also Photos was always integrated into G+. You might be thinking of Picasa Web Albums.

  • DanSan

    excuse the ignorance. i use dropbox to auto backup all my photos. i assume the google photos app does the same thing. I've always been hearing about this auto awesome effects. it only will work if i enable google to save all my photos right? Other than that I dont have to do anything?

    • NinoBr0wn

      Yes you can turn it on or off. I like how it backs up photos not even from the camera now.

  • http://victorhaggqvist.com/ Victor Häggqvist

    Hoping for the online G+ Photo editor to go purely HTML5. I don't do flash. For the record, I don't use any of the public features of G+.

    • Simon Renard

      it's not using flash. It's using a mix between HTML5 and NACL.

  • http://nicholashrycun.com Nicholas Hrycun

    Now they just need the liquify tool...for you know...

  • Joris Griffioen

    They really need to integrate the gallery app and make it a seamless experience.

    Right now there are 3 galleries on my device:
    1. AOSP Gallery, which when sliding left goes to the camera, but when going up only goes to it's own start screen
    2. The gallery that you slide to from the camera, that looks like the AOSP gallery, but when going up goes to the Photo's app (!!) and has subtle differences in the interface
    3. Photo's app, which has a completely different experience from the former two (even when coming there from the camera gallery) and offers no similar way to go back to the camera, no way at all actually.

    It's a fucking mess.

    • shonangreg

      To add to the mess, if you try turning off the photo backup, it won't work.

      After repeatedly finding photos on Plus that I didn't want there*, I went into the settings on my Photos app and turned off Auto Backup. A couple of weeks later, I got a message from Google saying my new Auto-Awesome photos were ready. How is that even possible? I checked from my desktop PC, and sure enough, google had been backing up my photos the whole time Auto Backup was turned off.

      I then went into Device Settings on my S5 and m N7 and unchecked photo sync and photo backup and everything plus. After a reboot, they were selected again! I had to deselect them three or four times before it finally took.

      I've totally lost faith in google for handling my photos. After having another problem with the MyTracks app and its photos, I cannot even figure out how to find duplicates and delete the ones I want. All the Drive/Plus/Picassa/Panoramio/MyTracks google photo offerings are hopelessly screwed up. I'd like to delete the whole lot, but I do have some photos I want to preserve. I just can't figure out how to delete everything else.

      "Do No Evil" might as well be, "Bend over and spread 'em".

      * The automation of "Back up local folders" on Photos -- Auto Backup leaves much to be desired. I want to opt in to each folder added, not constantly watch as it invades the Viber image cache this week, and who knows where next week.

  • w

    Google+ desperately needs an update that uninstalls this crappy app.

  • Christopher Wice

    I love the stories feature but it seems to have been disabled a few weeks after launch.
    Has anyone here had stories generated from their photos this month (June 2014) ?

  • James Sully

    I'm just sick of my album art being backed up. Is there any way to prevent that?

  • Will

    Google stories is not working for me. I have my photos auto backed up location on and still no story created . Does any one have a solution?

  • Lilia Nina

    Does this post to g+?