According to XDA Developers, Google is testing locking the Color Pop feature in the Google Photos app behind a paywall, requiring users to sign up for a Google One subscription to access this feature, and presumably other photo-editing features in the future. From the report: Shortly after we published our teardown of Google Photos 5.18 confirming that a Google One paywall for photo editing features is in the works, a reader in the comments section informed us that the Color Pop feature is locked behind a Google One membership for him. We’ve attached the two screenshots shared by the user, and we’ve also added two screenshots showing off the Color Pop feature in action (this was from a Google account that doesn’t have a Google One subscription). The feature essentially keeps the subject in color while turning the background black and white (or vice versa), allowing the subject to “pop.” It’s a fun feature, and seemingly one Google thinks is advanced enough to convince people to pay for. It’s unclear what other premium editing features will be put behind a paywall. However, we recently uncovered strings of code in version 5.18 that suggest Google will introduce preprocessing suggestions and a Skypalette feature, which will include new filters to help users edit the sky. UPDATE: Google has clarified that the Color Pop being reported above is not the same Color Pop feature that’s available in Google Photos today. “Right now in Google Photos, Color Pop is only available on photos taken in portrait mode, meaning there is depth information available, which is especially helpful in making the background of an image pop,” reports 9to5Google. “The version of Color Pop that will be locked behind Google One will work on photos without depth information. Likely this version attempts to use machine learning to automatically differentiate the foreground from the background.” “More importantly, this means that Google Photos will not be putting an existing feature behind a Google One paywall. Instead, it seems Google intends to create new features to incentivize Google One subscribers.”

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