Snapseed and Google Photos

If you want to edit, even if only in a minor way, the photos on your smart device (phone or tablet, Android or Apple), two offerings from Google should be tried first. If you’re an Android (Google) device user, it’s a no-brainer.

The Google Photos app will be installed on your device when you get it, and all you need to do is install Snapseed from the Google Play store. If you’re an iOS or iPadOS (Apple) device user then there’s a couple of extra steps you need to do before you can get started.

This guide concentrates on Snapseed. I’ve written about Google Photos previously and I’m providing links to them below. I’ll check to see that things haven’t changed materially since I published these posts …

Getting to grips with Google Photos – needs some updating and revising, and links need to be checked.

More Google Photos – some simple image manipulation – basically sound, but I need to check to see if there are any additional tools added.

Sharing an image (or album) from Google Photos – should be just about up-to-date.

How do you delete photos from Google Photos? – more recent so I’m assuming that it’s good-to-go, but I’ll check of course.

Although Snapseed is intended for use on smart mobile devices, you can install it on either a Windows PC or a Mac, but I have no experience of doing this, so it would be a project you would be taking on ahead of me. So for that reason I’m only looking at the app that you can download either from the Google Play, or Apple App stores.

So for camera users (rather than smart phone users), you will first of all need to get the photos onto your device. This could be by a direct cable connection from your camera to your phone, or by transfer using Bluetooth or WiFi, but more likely might be by using a SD-card cable like this one I have for the Apple gear. [It will either have to have a Lightning or a USB-C connector – check first before buying one.]

Apple USB-C to USB-A connector with USB-A SD-Card slot

The image(s) thus transferred will be added to your photo library be it Google Photos, or Apple Photos. Another way of adding photos on your computer to your Google Photos would be an Upload to – you will need a Google account to do this. This is how you would do it …

Select Import to Upload images to Google Photos
Select images from the Computer (or from Google Drive)

You could decide to use Google Backup to synchronise all your photos from your iPhone (or iPad) to Google Photos as an “easy” way of getting the photos on your Apple device into Google Photos, but this is not necessary to use Snapseed as it can access your Apple Photos directly; so I don’t because I’m already backing-up my photos to iCloud. [I only discovered in November I was also sync’ing to Google Photos, so I stopped doing that then and saved some Google Drive storage, and a whole lot of complications about knowing what was where.] But if you want to synchronise from your Apple Camera to Google, this is how you do it from the Google Photos app on your device …

Instructions on how to synchronise Photos on Apple devices to Google Photos

You should now install the Snapseed app on your device(s) from the Google Play, or Apple App stores, if you haven’t already. If you’re an Apple user you might choose to install the Google Photos app at the same time – although you don’t need it to use Snapseed, but you might just like to compare how it works.

Next up, if you’re an Apple user you need to allow access to your Photo Library to Snapseed (and optionally Google Photos). This will allow both apps (on iOS) to access the Photos in your Camera Roll on your iPhone or iPad.

Setting up Google Photos and Snapseed to be able to look at Apple Photos on device(s)

So now your ready to start editing. Open the Snapseed app on your device – you are prompted to Open from device (ie look at the images in your Photo Library), or you can access the camera to take a shot, or Open latest image that you’ve taken. The steps from then on are relatively straightforward and you will have selected the image that you want to Use.

Open Snapseed and look at the photos on your local device
Select an image to edit, and click-on Use
… and so start editing.

That’s about it. This video (recorded from my screen, hence background noise and rather low audio volume) gives a reasonable introduction on how the Snapseed app works …

A brief (14mins) introduction to editing photos using Snapseed

Here are some links that you might find of interest:

Complete Guide To Using Snapseed To Edit Your iPhone Photos

How to Edit Photos in Snapseed

Using your Android camera to take photos; but I believe all Android phones have slightly different camera interfaces, so you’re better off researching that for yourself. [NB If you have come across a really good guide, let me know and I’ll add it to the list here.]

How to Use the Camera on an Android Phone: The Basics Explained

Then for the iPhone …

How to use iPhone Camera: A guide for beginners and pros

A Beginners Guide To Incredible iPhone Photography

How To Use The iPhone Camera App To Take Incredible Photos

I hope that helps. Please advise if you come across something that doesn’t quite work for you, it might be my notes!!!

More Google Photos – some simple image manipulation

Following up from my earlier post which covered uploading images from your mobile device, or camera, to Google Photos; this post picks up from the point where the images have been uploaded and gives you an idea of what simple editing you can do to your photos. This Google article  with separate tabs to follow for Computer (browser-based), Android and iOS (iPhone/iPad) sets out the scope of the things that you can do. For this post I’m only looking at what you can do on a Computer, from your browser.

What I’m going to do is to take the “featured” image from the earlier post and show a few screenshots of things that I have done to it, perhaps to improve it – although that might be rather difficult as it’s a rather boring subject. So here’s the original photo (unedited), taken with my Sony NEX-6 camera and stored onto its SD-card and then uploaded into Google Photos, using the SD-card reader on my computer.

Let’s crop it a bit to get rid of the spade handle. First I double-clicked on the image in my Google Photos pictures at and this menu appeared …

The first icon  Share allows you to Share the Image, the second icon  Edit to Edit the Image, the third to Enlarge (or Zoom) the Image, the fourth to get Info on the Image, the fifth to Delete the Image and the sixth  More gives you More Options. I clicked on Edit to Edit the Image.

Another window opens to show you this …

… you’re being offered a range of filters  Photo filters which you can apply to change the appearance of your image. I’m not going to use this option preferring to do it manually, but I’d encourage you to have a quick peak at what automatic enhancements can be made to an image from this selection of effects. For the moment I want to do a crop (change the viewing window of the image), so I’m going to click on the  Crop & rotate icon to Crop and Rotate.

On this screen, the first icon allows you to  select the Aspect ratio of the image you want (as shown above). Selecting one of these will apply an automatic crop. The second icon allows you to Rotate the Image. You can then drag the corners or edges of the image now to crop to exactly the form of the image that you want to keep. The third icon allows you to Reset your edits to start again, and Done is clicked when you’ve finished editing. So in this case, I want to keep the Original aspect ratio and just get rid of the spade handle manually ..

… so I drag up from the bottom right-hand corner, and down from the top left-hand corner to get the cropped window on the image above. I can move the crop window around the image by clicking and dragging on it until I have it just the way I want it. I could also finely rotate the image if I thought I’d not got it completely straight by clicking and dragging on the slider on the right-hand side of the image. So, having done this, I have an image I want to work with so I click on Done and I get returned to the Edit window …

… you can see I have the choice of changing the Light, Colour and Pop (sharpness) of the image. By adjusting these sliders I could arrive at something like this …

… but even finer changes can be made by clicking on the arrow against each of these elements and adjusting individual components, so I could end up with changing the Light a little and adding a Vignette to the corners with some Warmth from the Colour slider to give me this …

Now I know I’m biased, but I think that this almost becomes a reasonable picture. All you need to do is to select Save Copy from the More Options  Moremenu, return to the Photos by pressing on the Return arrow in the top left-hand corner of the screen and you can see the new processed image next to the original.

What do you think?