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Google Photos Now Offering 'Color Pop' Feature to Some Users, Object-Removal Tech Delayed

Google Photos Now Offering 'Color Pop' Feature to Some Users, Object-Removal Tech Delayed
  • Google Photos has started receiving a new update with Color Pop feature
  • The feature was announced at I/O 2018 to pop colours of subjects
  • Google has separately deprioritised its object-removal technology

Google Photos has started receiving a new update that brings the advanced Color Pop feature to Android devices. As demonstrated at Google I/O 2018 last week, the feature uses artificial intelligence (AI) to transform background into black and white while continuing to show colours on the subject of the photo. The update is rolling out for Android devices. Separately, Google has confirmed that the object-removal technology that it showcased at the I/O developer conference last year will take some more time to reach the masses.

As highlighted by Google CEO Sundar Pichai during his I/O 2018 keynote, the Color Pop feature is designed to make certain pictures better by dropping the background colours - making them black and white - while popping the colour of the subject. The feature works only with select images - in which the subject is easily identifiable, reports Android Police. It is said to show images once their subjects identifiable within the Assistant tab and works with devices featuring Google Photos version 3.20 or above.

You can download the latest Google Photos app from Google Play or get its APK file directly from the APK Mirror to see how you can use the Color Pop feature on your memories. It is worth pointing out that since the feature transforms images through the Assistant tab, it doesn't allow any manual implementation of colours or the black and white filter. Google may add an option to manually apply the colour pop effects in a later release. We were not able to see the Color Pop option despite having the latest build, and this it appears to either limited to a few users or those with eligible images.

Meanwhile, Google has explained why the object-removal technology it showed off last year hasn't yet come to the Photos app. Google Photos Product Lead David Lieb and Google Photos Product Manager Ben Greenwood in a conversation with XDA Developers revealed that the object-removal technology has taken a backseat to some higher-priority items. Lieb, in a separate statement to 9to5Google, confirmed that the technology, which was demonstrated to use deep learning to remove objects from photos, is not coming very soon. A tipster also informed 9to5Google that the technology so far had "severe underlying issues" that are yet to be resolved. Notably, Pichai at I/O 2017 promised to bring the object-removal technology to Google Photos "very soon" - without defining any concrete schedule.

That being said, Google Photos is growing as a standalone Photos app not across Android devices but also on the Web and on devices running Apple's iOS. At this year's I/O keynote, Pichai stated that over five billion photos viewed by Google Photos users each day. He also showcased Smart Actions that will leverage AI to recommend actions to users to improve their images.


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Further reading: Google Photos, Color Pop, Google
Jagmeet Singh writes about consumer technology for Gadgets 360, out of New Delhi. Jagmeet is a senior reporter for Gadgets 360, and has frequently written about apps, computer security, Internet services, and telecom developments. Jagmeet is available on Twitter at @JagmeetS13 or Email at jagmeets@ndtv.com. Please send in your leads and tips. More
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