Fans of the desktop version of Snapseed were mortified when Google acquired Nik Software and then discontinued their favourite program. But now it’s back, though in a different form. It’s now been integrated into the Google+ photo tools, so you can apply all those wonderful Snapseed effects again, but this time within your web browser.
It’s free, it’s available right now, but there are three things you will need.
1) A Google+ account. If you don’t have one already, see Part 1 of this 3-part Google+ Snapseed mini-series. It’s really easy, and it takes just a few minutes.
2) Google Chrome. You’ll need to be using Chrome as your web browser, but it’s free, it’s a really good browser, and if you’re not using it already, now’s a good time to try it out.
3) Uploaded photos. See Part 1 of this series to see how to do this. You can upload as many standard size images as you like. They’re resized to 2048 pixels along the longest edge (about 3 megapixels). You can upload full-size images but there are storage restrictions.
Once you’ve uploaded some pictures and taken a look around the Google+ photo tools, you’ll be keen to start exploring the Snapseed editing tools, and here’s the image we’re going to work on.
We’ll see if we can give this a retro look using the Google+ Snapseed filters.
01 Choose your photo
Once you’re logged into your Google+ account, you view your pictures by using the drop-down menu at the top left of the Google+ window and choosing Photos. You’ll now see an Albums button on the top button bar, where each album is displayed as a thumbnail ‘cover image’. You click an album thumbnail to view the contents – this is the album we created in Part 1.
To view and edit a photo, just click on it in this album view.
02 Viewing a single photo
Here’s the single photo view. As you can see from the buttons along the top of the screen, you can Share, Edit, Tag people and create a Slideshow with your pictures. Over on the right, you add a caption, view the photo details, add a comment and more – but we’ll leave all that for another time and concentrate on the editing tools.
Incidentally, if you think your pictures look better than you remember, that’s because Google+ has an Auto-enhance option that’s enabled by default. You can disable it via the More menu, but you might not want to bother because it does a pretty good job.
What we want now, though, is the Edit button…
04 Edit mode
And this is what you see in the Edit mode. Over on the right, you’ll see icons for each of the Snapseed filters – the Google+ version is just the same as the desktop version, so if you’ve used it before you’ll feel right at home.
You’ll have to scroll up and down in this right panel to see all the options. We’re going for the Retrolux filter here, which is right at the bottom of the list.