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Hands-on with Google Photos enhanced video editing tools [Video]

After a small initial rollout, Google Photos’ brand-new enhanced video editing tools should be live for everyone using the photo and video application on Android — but just what is new here?

We’ve had to wait a little while for these options to arrive on Android, as those on iOS were offered the new enhanced Google Photos video editing controls and options in 2020. Previously, you only had some basic trimming, rotation features, which is quite shocking given how video support has been in the app for quite a while.

In basic terms, Google Photos’ enhanced video editing tools now includes all of the standard photo manipulation tools. If you edit video on a PC, laptop, or on one of the numerous video editing apps on Android such as Premiere Rush, then you probably won’t switch, but there is a lot to like if you just want to make some basic edits to a specific clip on your smartphone — which is likely fine for most people out there.

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So when opening a video preview within Google Photos, tapping the “Edit” button will launch a familiar UI that contains all of the enhanced editing tools you’ll know from when tackling a still image.

You can now use the “Crop” tool to manually change the aspect ratio of your clip (either manually or through presets). In here you can also do things like rotate, and change the perspective of a video, but these tools are a little finicky and probably best left alone. Just like with a photo, the “Adjust” tab allows you to make changes to the Brightness, Contrast, White point, Highlights, Shadows, Black point, and Saturation.

Now you won’t be able to fully “grade” a bit of footage, but it’s a really neat way to make some tweaks and even fix a portion of something you’ve shot to make it easier to spot what’s going on. You don’t have to get too granular, as the “Filters” and “More” tabs help round out the UI.

All of your changes will apply to the entire video you’re editing within Google Photos, but you are able to scrub along the timeline as you’re making tweaks. This should help ensure that any changes you make don’t destroy or ruin a specific portion.

When it comes to exporting, the process is fairly fast, even on modest devices such as the Pixel 4a. You’ll likely notice faster processing if you have a top-tier smartphone with more powerful chipset. If you mess up, the original file is not affected, so you can experiment until you’re happy and just save a copy when you’re ready.

The new Google Photos enhanced video editing tools might not replace a dedicated app for tweaking a proper video timeline, but it’s nice to be able to make adjustments on the go.

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Avatar for Damien Wilde Damien Wilde

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

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