Hidden code shows Google reaching for your wallet with the Photos app
UPDATE:According to Engadget, Google will keep a free version of the Color Pop filter available to one and all. Another version of Color Pop that can be used with any photo, not just the ones with depth information, will be hidden behind a paywall and will require a subscription to Google One to access. Google released a statement to Engadget that said, "In Google Photos, Color Pop is a feature that continues to be available for anyone to use, at no cost, for photos with depth information (such as portrait mode). As a part of an ongoing rollout that began earlier this year, Google One members can apply the feature to even more photos of people, including those without depth information."
Many Android and even some iOS users like to use the free editing tools available on the Google Photos app. But strings of code found by XDA in version 5.18 of Google Photos indicate that there are plans underway to place some editing features behind a paywall. The strings include sentences such as "Get extra editing features with a Google One membership" and "Unlock this feature and more with a Google One membership." As the accompanying screenshot can attest to, Google is planning to make the Photos editing features available as part of a Google One cloud storage monthly subscription.
While it isn't clear exactly which features will be placed behind the paywall, some of the hidden code mentions filters named "Dynamic, HDR, Vivid, Afterglow, Airy, Ember, Luminous, Radiant, and Stormy." One popular filter that is apparently headed to a spot behind the paywall is Color Pop. This filter removes all color from a photo except for one selected by the user.
Google has been adding features to Google One. Last month the company launched a monthly subscription plan that sends subscribers 10 high-quality photo prints from their phone for $6.99 per month. Google One also offers a free Virtual Private Network (VPN) to subscribers.