Snapseed 2.0: Does Google Plan To Pit The App Against Instagram?

I have been using Snapseed, Google’s free mobile photo editing App, exclusively over the past months before sharing my photos on Instagram. So when I read this morning that my favorite App has been completely revamped, I wasn’t even aware that it was a “much-needed overhaul”. Admittedly, it lacked some professional “Photoshop features”, but guess what, some of us like when things are kept simple (though not as simple as the Instagram editing tools).

Of course I still tapped the update button in my App Store. Curiosity 1, Anja 0. To my relief, not THAT many things had changed. Sure, the interface looks completely different; I’m not certain though if the term “modern” really nails it. I noticed that I need one more tap than before to get to my wanted settings and filters. Oh well… But behind the new packaging, not everything had changed radically.

Added features:

  • A slider for highlights in the “Tune Image” section (neat addition to the shadow slider)
  • A feature to transform the image perspective (horizontally and vertically)
  • A brush to add a different exposure, saturation, color temperature or dodge & burn effect to specific parts of the photo
  • A spot repair feature, which sadly neither offers to choose the exact pixels you want to repair, nor the pixels you want to interpolate
  • A few new filter sets (Noir, Glamour Glow and Tonal Contrast)
  • An image stack feature to re-edit the same image lateron
  • A copy feature, allowing you to copy edits from one image to another

Deleted features:

  • The Grunge filter set (not that I am going to miss them)
  • All style presets under “Vignette”, which is truly a shame as they often helped me to see at a glance how much outer and inner brightness I was looking for

I am glad that not more features have been erased, and the new ones have been added in a way that won’t disturb my current workflow, which gives me time to actually go through all new features in the coming days to test them more on various photos.

On a first side note though, the new transform and brush tools look pretty neat and could soon become part of my image editing routine. Here is a first before and after comparison, after playing with “Transform” and “Brush” for around 10 minutes.

Louvre Paris GoPro

Original GoPro photo without any edit. This one looks a bit dull and could need some straight lines.

Louvre Paris with Snapseed

Edited with Snapseed 2.0: The new “Transform” tool interpolated pixels from the Louvre building and the fountain in the foreground (that’s a terrific job!). No need to crop, and the photo looks even more fish-eye than the GoPro original, which I personally love. I changed the saturation and color temperature of single image parts with the new “Brush” tool to make them look more like taken during sunset (which actually was the case).

I certainly think today’s changes put Google a big step ahead of Instagram (with regards to photo editing), and I am glad to see that the App stayed free, without paid “pro options”.

Are you a Snapseed fan too? What are your thoughts?
Which other mobile editing App appears on your primary smartphone or tablet screen?

If you like this post, you might also like Do Photo Filters Have An Impact On You?

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5 thoughts on “Snapseed 2.0: Does Google Plan To Pit The App Against Instagram?

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