Here's what me and my team have been spending the last few months on and why I haven't posted many pictures lately: a pretty cool non-destructive photo editor, now shipping in the Android KitKat Gallery (and AOSP!)

The editor is pretty powerful, works on tablet and phones, handles full-size image processing, zooming, re-edit, image exports, user presets, etc. This new version also adds more powerful specialized tools (graduated filters, per-channel saturation controls, local adjustments, etc.)

#Android   #KitKat   #PhotoEditor   #AOSP  
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109 comments
 
Thank you for delivering it to AOSP. :-)
 
That's awesome, Nicolas, congratulations to you and your team!
 
The Gallery editor has just been getting better and better with every release. Did you guys add color temperature or white balancing back?
CC Kuan
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Will you be adding Clone and Heal tools, and/or porting it to earlier Android versions? It looks great.
 
+Jesse Jackson nope, on this version we do have auto white balance though as one of the tool (and of course, you can color correct using curves, but er... probably not the most intuitive way).

+CC Kuan Nearly all of the editor is in AOSP, I'm sure someone will port it back.
 
kit kat only or play upgradeable for those of us with TI chipsets? ^^^ nevermind. I just read through. Not ready to retire my gnex.
 
This is insane! Can't wait until I finally get my hands on an N5 (Or the update comes to my N7 - whichever comes first!)
 
Great shot of the Singapore CBD there. Is your office in Singapore?
 
I took the shot while on vacation a few years back.
 
There's one point on the video that it looked like Snapseed's selective adjustment.
 
+Nicolas Roard can you please explain how the "non destructive" on jpgs works? What happens at the end, when I save the picture? Where are the modification steps saved? 
 
+Jens Ansorg the original jpeg is moved to a hidden directory. The jpeg processed by the editor replaces the original, but keeps a reference to the original, plus a list of edits. When you re-edit a processed jpeg, the editor detects that it's pointing to an original jpeg and load this one instead, and then apply the list of edits on the fly. If you send the processed jpeg to someone else, they will just see it as a normal jpeg.
 
it would be nice if this is released thru the play store for devices that can't run kit kat (yet) 
 
Looks great! Any plans on providing it (or similar) as a Chrome App too?
 
Looks awesome but I'm still missing the pen to mark areas on screenshots...
Sean G
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Nice work... Watch out +Adobe. Wow! Googlers are becoming a Huge Army of Software engineering madness!
 
It looks great :)

Just to be totally clear on this. This is the new AOSP open-source image editor?
 
that's is great.
please i want to start learning android
how can i joint your team
 
+Edouard Tavinor All you see Except the "Local" edits and the Frames. Those were plugged in from Snapseed.  AOSP has a different "Frames" set.
 
My wife showed our 6 year old this video on her laptop, he said "Daddy can do it on cell phone"  I guess he knows what I do.
 
Congratulations ! That's one very impressive photo editor !
 
Non-destructive, finally someone gets it. Listen up Microsoft, this is why I never rotate anything in my photos folder and why I have a crick in my neck!
 
If everyone would kindly report +asad khan for pornography, child pornography to be exact. That's fucking disgusting.
 
Awesome, I'm looking forward to giving it a spin! My Nexus 5 arrives on Monday. The camera was the one area I wasn't expecting much improvement in... Glad to be proven wrong on that account!
 
Awesome... Any plans for an IOS version?
 
Can't wait for to use this
 
search Photo Editor on Play. Dev.McGuyver. is THE best on Play.
 
So where should I edit my photos?
Android Gallery?
Snapseed?
Google+ Photos?
I am a little confused right now. What's the "Google way"?
 
i would defiantly pay for this app, damn its cool!!
 
That's looks like I could really have some fun with that app, looks very useful. Nice app.
 
+Alex Reusch Google+ Photos is the most "Google" with full integration with g+ including processing in the cloud and synchronized with the web. Android Gallery is mostly AOSP with all local processing. Different features will appeal to different users. Think sedan vs truck both from Toyota, learn the features and decide which you need.
 
+Nicolas Roard Great Job! Was that pic taken with an N5. And can we look forward to a KitKat video editor? 
 
+Alex Reusch I'd say, edit them where it's the most convenient / comfortable for you -- Snapseed has more ready to use "looks" and good tools with a lot of tweaking allowed, but doesn't do full res images and is destructive. The Gallery editor is more oriented toward precise photo editing and flexible workflow, allows non-destructive edits and full-size processing, and is integrated with Gallery (duh), but doesn't ship with the Snapseed looks. Both are usable on your device without needing an internet connection, so the choice between them would probably depends on which UI you like the most and which features you prefer.

The other choice, more integrated with Google, is the G+ Photos editor, which actually allows non-destructive edits and saving in the cloud (yay!), but has less tools and effects than Snapseed or the Gallery Editor for now.

+Tee YingKiat no, it works with JPEG files (i.e. what the device Camera uses).

+marc lindner no, that pic was taken by +John Hoford a few years ago I think, I'd guess with a nikon dslr.
 
All the shots seen were taken by me on a Nikon D300 or D800. The system can work with 36MP JPEGs.  Gallery can import JPEGs using a cable and PTP. It has no support for RAW at this time.
 
+Nicolas Roard thanks for your viewpoint. My question is: G+ Photos supports also local photos on the device and offers the full Android sharing options (not limited to G+). Why did you Guys not take the chance and integrate all the functions (incl. HDR processing) into G+ Photos? You could have unified the photo editing tools into one. What's the real requirement for developing three different tools? That's for me a waste of important resources. Don't want to be offensive, but I don't understand why Google missed the chance for the KitKat release...
 
+Alex Reusch I am not sure I understand what important resources   are being wasted.

G+ Photos offers a great unified photo experience across Web, IOS and Android. It does support Local editing with the same feature set as the Cloud, IOS and Web. It is optimized for the needs of the majority of Google users.

Android photo editor is a local only mostly AOSP editor.  Its model of interaction is more incremental and precise.  

People with  a background in Photoshop  or Lightroom will like Android Photoeditor . 

People with a background  Photoshop elements, Instergram and Snapseed will like  G+ Photos.

Many will try both and decide which they prefer. 
 
+John Hoford So in your eyes, this answers the question why there are 3 different tools necessary? I am a Lightroom and Nik Collection user. Normally shoot in RAW with my more serious camera gear. I should have the necessary background. Still, I don't get it... Why are for a mobile phone experience, three overlapping tools available? Simply add an advanced editing function for enthusiastic users to G+ Photos and your done. Is this waste of resources? Hmmm.... let's think... Yes? I have the feeling that there is still a lot of silo based thinking within Google. It seems that there is no information exchange between the teams of Android and G+. Maybe even competition. Is this good? I have my doubts.
 
would also love to see RAW editing.  Increasingly I'm photographing events on my DSLR then transferring them to my tablet there and then for quick editing and upload.  Would be great to use the RAWs when necessary - shame to have powerful tools and then be stuck having to start from the JPG.

I'm on 4.3 at the moment, and tend to use the Gallery app editing, which I find fine for quick in the field stuff - straighten, crop, minor exposure adjustments.  (all my fireworks photos this weekend have only been edited with the Gallery app and G+ photos)
 
also is there a cloning/healing brush function?  That would be very handy for me to do on the move.
 
+Alex Reusch the team that worked on this worked on G+. The features in each are the best that could be offered at the time given the constraints and needs of all involved. If you like G+ photos it gets better and better.
Jun Yoo
 
That's stunning.
 
Completely agree with +Alex Reusch it feels disjointed and is a bit frustrating. Also while G+ may be non-destructive it only allows you to have one version of the image unless you download it change the name and re-upload...this is very annoying....
 
Would be nice if it supported raw format images.
 
Nice job guys. I am LR and Nik user. Would really like this as a desktop app of some sort. I don't like editing on the device. I'm holding off on a LR 5 upgrade until I see where this goes. Please bring to desktop like Snapseed. Cheers!
 
+Nicolas Roard , quick question on the side. The "camera import"  (I usally import pictures from my DSLR) feature that was a part of the Gallery but kind of got moved to a side of its own in 4.3, is that something you have been working on too? I like the improvements it got for 4.3 (i.e show when scanning, better sorting by date etc) but it broke full screen view, at least for me. So I'm hoping this feature is  further improved in 4.4, but it's hard to find any information =)
 
Does this Photo Editor have a name or anything like the "Focal" etc or is this going to be the replacement slash updated variant of the "Gallery" ?  

Also is this currently released/available on 4.4 "KitKat"? all Variants? or is this a customized version? I saw you added in there that it is also available on "AOSP" so is there a Compiled/Decompiled /Recompiled Apk? Or is this something that will only be found as a system file within the Rom/etc ? [btw I'm not too sure on which method being used or what would be the correct terminology used. I'm not too familiar with APKTools whether its to Decompile, Recompile or just plain Compile? Not too sure which one would be correct term to use or if any of them are even a possible method to convert a system file like, "Photo Editor" from 4.4 KitKat into an Apk to be used and installed on other devices that are compatible ??  Anyways, Thank you for all the hours of code, Thank you to everyone else who helped out &  put in work.
 
+Martin Nilsson I don't think there was improvements on the Camera import in 4.4 (it got a revamp in 4.3)

+Robert Doyle No name -- it's just the "Gallery Photo Editor" that you can access from Gallery. It's available since JB-MR2, and is available on 4.4 (that's the version shown in this video) in Nexus devices. As such, its code source is also available in AOSP (the android open source project). It's not available as a standalone APK at the moment (someone can take the AOSP code and create an APK though).
 
The nondestructive feature seems like more trouble than it's worth; it messes with the chronological ordering of the photos by making edited photos seem like they were just taken, it stops the ability to access the original and edited copies at the same time, and at least once it messed up and stop me from being able to restore to the original. A way to turn this off would be nice.

On a brighter note, the hidden drawing feature is a nice touch.
 
+Kurt Bryant The export is similar to the old save. Also if you edit online photos they end up in the "Edited Online Photos" folder.
 
+Kurt Bryant what do you mean by it messes with the chronological ordering? the edited image is going to replace the original one, it should still be at the same place. As John says, you could also use "export" instead of save if you want to have the same behaviour as before.

If you have reproducible cases for this, please file bugs :)
 
The bugs seem to have stopped and fortunately for the photo I was unable to restore I was able to get the original out of the folder it saves the originals to despite the Gallery app not restoring it. Hopefully the bugs were just a one off :)
 
Great job... Just what I need. However, when I save the edited photos, they go into Edited Photos Online... I just want them to replace the edited file! Surely I must have missed something?
 
+Nicolas Roard can you tell me why on my droid...when I use the camera icon to post/share a picture there is no way to get to my albums? 
 
I do love the progress. But I also agree that across the board, photo management with Google products is a disjointed cluster**. I use the various products, but I feel like I'm walking on thin ice. None of them do everything, so my photo management has become horribly fragmented. There is no one central place where photos are managed and can be backed up.

Picasa Desktop
Google Drive
Picasa Web
Google+ Photos Mobile
Google+ Photos Desktop (experience is different)
Android Gallery
Snapseed

Now my head hurts.

 
If I open an image, crop it, add a colour filter and a frame, hit save and exit the app, there doesn't seem to then be a way to for example remove the frame, or to remove all effects, it seems a little pointless to have non destructive editing if you cannot remove edits, the only way I've found to retrieve the original image is to browse to the .aux directory and copy the original out, but i can only do that since I'm rooted, i think you should rename 'save' to overwrite because that is what it does for most people.
 
+Daniel England I think that folder's accessible without root, but either way because this problem seems to crop up occasionally I've started to export edited photos rather than save them.
 
+Daniel England if you go to menu->reset it doesn't remove the effects? Or you can also remove effects using the "show applied effects" bar (by sliding them out)
 
I assumed that is how it would work but it doesn't, if I open a pic and add a frame and save it, the edited version replaces the original and the backup goes to the .aux folder, if i open it again, reset does nothing, the effects stack shows as empty and if i add a filter and hit save, the new version replaces the frame version and the frame version goes to the .aux folder so i then have 2 backup. So basically it treats it as a new image each time it's opened. I am using OMNI Rom so maybe it's an issue with the port, so I'll put a bug report in with them :D
 
+Nicolas Roard where is the hidden directory where the gallery editor saves the original? I'm on vacation and took a lovely photosphere pano today, loaded it in the editor to apply some effects, and hit the save button. Clearly the editor is not compatible with photosphere images because all I'm left with is a corrupt file now. The consequence of that is that I can't reload it in the editor to apply the "Reset" option, and I'm pretty desperate to get the original back. I don't have root. Where do I look?
 
It's in the same directory as your photos, in my case on my internal SD under DCIM/Camera/.aux
 
Ouch, if that's the case then I believe it's simply destroyed my original pano. Very sad - seems like it needs a more robust backup mechanism before it attempts to save changes.
 
The directory is empty? Or you can't see it? Did you check your external card too?
 
There is a .nomedia file inside the .aux directory which may be stopping you from seeing the image, try downloading an independent file explorer
 
I see the ".aux" directory, but there is no copy of the original file there - or anything with todays date. I can see older files in there. The thumbnail has gone blank in the gallery view. If I click the blank thumbnail I see a verison of the edit image. If I try to open the editor it flashes "Cannot load the image!". I have no external card, it's a Nexus 5. I think it's safe to assume it's lost at this point.
 
Oh dear, that's a shame, sorry to hear that, does seem weird that it didn't create the backup, maybe Nicolas knows something I don't.
 
Update: Daniel, you are my hero. I was on the verge of giving up when I decided to browse the file system in ES Explorer on the device vs. on my Win 7 system/MTP. The file is there in ".aux" per the device, and I was able to recover it. The file is not listed by the Windows 7 system (in MTP or PTP mode). I have no idea why that is. I think if Nicolas is reading this, a smart option to have is one to restore or access the original image without having to successfully load it in the editor first.
 
Oh I think that's possibly down to a bug in android where new/moved files don't get shown on the pc unless you restart the phone, SD Scanner by Jeremy Erickson will refresh media for you it's a good app to have handy. But yes I agree I think there must be a better way to do this. Glad it's sorted.
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