Google Photos app finally gets a redesigned video editor on Chromebooks

About six months ago, Google announced and released a revamped video editor for its Google Photos app on Android and iOS that gave it new life and the same visual style as the previously recreated photo editor. Both are nice changes to the app that really take usability and design to the next level. Unfortunately, this video editor was not mentioned for release on Chrome OS at the time, although Chromebook owners would install the same Photos app from the Play Store. Today everything has changed – by updating the Google Photos app, you should now be presented with the new video editor!

By selecting a video in your library and pressing the “Edit” button, you can choose “Adjust” and you should see the same editing tools as the image below. Each tool is presented as a circle or bubble icon and you can touch and swipe left and right to drag the panel. Once you have selected one of the following options, you can then move your finger left or right on the notched slider to increase or decrease a value.


  • Brightness
  • Contrast
  • white dot
  • Strong points
  • Shadows
  • Black dot
  • Saturation
  • Heat
  • Tint
  • complexion
  • your blue
  • Thumbnail

The revamped editor also features options for video stabilization, cropping, exporting HDR shots, applying filters, and even marking live playback with a pen or colored highlighter! Curiously, the markup tool only applies visual marking to the video as a whole, not just to a chosen frame. It acts more like a custom watermark drawing than an actual video editing marker, but it’s still awesome that Google added it here!

Whichever way you choose to use it, it’s a fantastic tool to have around. This way, you won’t need to use an external editor for visual editing. I’m just a little disappointed though, because when I think of “the video editor”, I assume you’ll be able to cut strips of video, move them around and re-stitch them – you know, like a ” ‘video editor’. I hope Google adds it one day, and its exclusion is very strange if you ask me. Another thing missing is the ability to use this ‘video editor’ through the Google Photos web app I think the company can apply the same touch and swipe controls and visual style to the PWA as it does to the Google Play app.


Finally, I’d like to see a native video editor – perhaps this one, with the addition of splice tools – make its way directly into Chrome OS’ native media app, accessible via opening a photo or video in the Files app. If the company found a way to cook this directly, I’m sure it would make a lot of people happy. Since Chromebooks aren’t really meant to be used as workstations (although they can!), I’m not sure if Google would add this directly into the OS, as video render times would be atrocious. Instead, I can see it’s limited to the app and PWA and renders your videos on Google’s server – much like Clipchamp and WeVideo.

Progressive Web Apps are a natural extension of operating system capabilities, so bringing some of these features directly into Chrome OS may not even be necessary for the next few years. Aside from the visual style of Google’s apps and services matching the operating system very cleanly, they should be more capable of working offline over time. Let’s discuss the new video editor design in the comments – do you think Google will bring this to the web? Is there a future where it will be accessible locally on your Chromebook as a system web app?

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