Magic Eraser was previously exclusive to the Pixel 6 and 7. Yesterday, the editing feature saw its availability significantly expand to any Google Photos users on Android and iOS that’s subscribed to Google One, including the cheapest plan. There are two ways to look at this move.
9to5Google has a rebooted newsletter that highlights the biggest Google stories with added commentary and other tidbits. Sign up to get it early in your inbox, or continue reading 9to5Google Log Out below:
For Pixel, this marks the loss of a very advertising-friendly capability, especially so soon after the Super Bowl ad that made a big deal about it. The Google phone’s camera capabilities can be thought of as a suite and the wider availability of Magic Eraser is chipping away at that. (Google bringing it to the original Pixel – Pixel 5a is a nice gesture for existing owners.)
Financially speaking, having a strong subscription business makes more sense for Google in the long run. Besides One, there’s Google Workspace Individual, YouTube Premium, and YouTube TV
The more interesting result of this move is how it boosts, if not reorients, the appeal of Google One as a subscription service. At $1.99 per month (or $19.99 annually), the suite of extra editing features that leverage Google’s ML prowess is pretty good. This includes Magic Eraser, HDR photo and video effect, Portrait light, Blur, Sky, and Color focus. You also get 100GB of storage (with the ability to share) and more support.
If you go to the $9.99 per month ($99.99 annual) tier with 2TB of storage, you get premium Google Meet features (like the removal of the one-hour time limit for group calls), and Google One’s VPN for Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows. Other Workspace features could be coming in the future, and there’s also 10% back at the Google Store.
In an ideal world, it would include YouTube Premium, but that’s probably cost prohibitive. I would settle for a discount however.
It took awhile for Google One – which was confusingly announced in May of 2018 but not at I/O – to build up its feature set. For the longest time, additional storage for Google Photos was the main appeal. It’s somewhat appropriate now that another Photos feature is responsible for changing that.
Google One being positioned as an affordable way to enhance apps is pretty good positioning. So far, the company’s gating of features between free and paid is more than reasonable.
Looking ahead, requiring Google One to access some of the generative AI features that are expected to come to Gmail and Docs would be rather interesting, as would making early access contingent on a subscription.
Extra storage will always be Google One’s fallback proposition, but the company really has interesting options to grow the subscription.
More Material You: Material Design 3 has been slow to expand beyond Android apps. Following Gmail last year, Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides are next. It’s somewhat surprising how much Drive on the web looks like Gmail today, while Docs strives to minimize the control strip that appears above content.
Personally waiting for Google Keep and Calendar to get Material You redesigns. The former should just adopt the dual-pane tablet layout.
Light blue is the accent color throughout with Dynamic Color not yet expanding beyond Android. That will be the challenge for cross-platform adoption going forward as the “You” part of the design language is currently missing on the web.
Coming soon: Google says users like Android’s new Predictive Back Gesture + latest look at in-app version
YouTube Podcasts: It’s officially coming to YouTube Music, and it’s all down to the UI.
Please don’t be a bug: Some users are able to open Google Maps on their phone while Android Auto is running. This can be helpful for entering places names by keyboard instead of voice and other browsing.
Moving in the right direction: The next Motorola Razr will apparently make its entire cover a display, and this brings me one step closer to “using” a flip phone-style foldable without ever having to open it. I just want a really compact phone!
What (else) is happening:
Reprieve: Google Podcasts app will remain, not merging with YouTube’s podcasting efforts
Cleaner: Google TV is getting a homescreen revamp with fewer tabs and better curation
A genuine finally: Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 tipped to adopt IP67 water resistance
New: Vodafone will adopt Google’s RCS in new deal that also puts Pixel in retail stores and more
Apple TV MLS Season Pass: Everything you need to know about watching on Android TV
Game debuted in December ‘09: Angry Birds ‘Classic’ will be removed from Android because it doesn’t have enough microtransactions
From the rest of 9to5:
9to5Mac: Apple hits ‘major milestones’ in moonshot to bring noninvasive blood glucose monitoring to Apple Watch [This “moonshot” is rather Google-y, and something Alphabet attempted with contact lenses before “pausing” in 2018.]
Electrek: Mercedes-Benz shares details of new OS, doubles down on Luminar’s lidar technology
FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.