Teardowns of recent Google Photos APK for Android have pointed to Google moving certain editing features behind a paywall. An XDA report claimed that certain users are already seeing a pop-up indicating that the Color Pop editing feature in Google Photos will require a Google One subscription. The Color Pop filter in Google Photos was first introduced by Google in 2018 and keeps the subject in color while turning the background black and white. Since there was no official word from Google on this, there was a lot of confusion as to whether the company was really moving the Color Pop filter in Google Photos behind a paywall or not.
Putting an end to all the confusion, Google itself has issued a statement to Engadget clarifying that using the Color Pop filter in Google Photos will require users to have a Google One subscription. However, this will only be for photos that are missing depth information. This means if you have a portrait photo or a photo with the required depth information, you can still use the Color Pop filter in Google Photos without a Google One subscription. It is only when the one tries to use the Color Pop filter on a photo missing the required depth information that Google requires users to have a Google One subscription.
Moving the Color Pop filter behind the Google One subscription is just the beginning as it is clear that Google is looking to bring some of its advanced features under the subscription service. By adding more premium features to Google One, the company will be able to entice more subscribers to the service as well. The company recently added a VPN service to its Google One plans with 2TB of storage space.