It’s been a while since we’ve heard from Google’s Snapseed team (formerly Nik Software), but today we find out what they’ve been working on: building some sophisticated new photo editing features into Google+. Back in May, the company unveiled a feature called Auto Awesome that made its best guess at how your uploaded photos should look, but now the team is putting photographers in the driver’s seat, giving them the keys to a handful of really useful image adjustments.
Standard sliders are available for things like brightness, contrast, and saturation, as well as highlight and midtone contrast controls. You can also make local adjustments with a control point interface that will be immediately familiar to anyone that’s used Snapseed or Nik’s other products like Viveza or Silver Efex Pro. Snapseed filters like Grunge and Drama are also available for you to play around with.
The new editing features have been ported to Google+’s iOS and Android apps as well, writes Google’s Josh Haftel. Back on the desktop, the new features rely on Google Native Client's support for native code, so Safari and IE users are out of luck, but getting these kinds of image editing tools in the browser for free is definitely worth the download. That said, you'll still have to decide if built-in Snapseed features are a compelling enough reason to store your photos on Google+. Haftel notes that the new photo stuff is rolling out slowly, so if you don’t see it right away, you’ll need to hang tight.