As part of its almost constant evolution, the Google Photos app for Android is set to gain expanded Portrait Blur effects which will work on older images and even more subjects.

Google One and Pixel owners already have access to Portrait Blur effects in Google Photos but this requires depth information within images to be available. Thanks to this update, you’ll be able to apply the faux Bokeh effects to more subjects including pets, food, and plants. Google says that the effect can even be applied to old images within your Photos library no matter if the images were taken using Portrait mode or not. This opens up the ability to adjust existing content for a brand new look.

The feature has become a popular staple of the Pixel series thanks to excellent edge detection and the ability to fine-tune the blur effects after the camera shutter has been pressed. Sadly, the enhanced Portrait Blur feature will only be available in Google Photos for Android to those on a paid Google One plan or with a Pixel smartphone. Your device also needs at least 3GB of RAM and must be running Android 8.0 or higher to access the new tools for your favorite images.

We have seen a number of features including Color Focus, Portrait light, HDR, plus multipole preset filters move behind the Google One paywall in recent years as a way to incentivize the online backup subscription service. With that in mind, no word has been shared on if this option will be made available to those not already with a paid plan.

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Damien Wilde

Damien is a UK-based video producer for 9to5Google. Find him on Twitter: @iamdamienwilde. Email: