Google Photos for Chromebooks is getting a video editor and movie maker

Later this year, Google Photos will receive a major update, notable for coming first to Chromebooks. According to a Google blog post, Google Photos will get a new movie editor and video editing capabilities this fall as part of an update to Chrome OS. As it stands, users can create videos similar to the highlight clips that the app already creates automatically. You can choose a theme and people or pets you want to feature in it. From there, Google Photos will assemble a movie using video clips and images from your library. It will be smart enough to scan longer videos and pull out specific clips to include in these new creations as well.

While it’s no surprise that Google includes an automated tool, the company also offers the ability to start over and add video clips and photos in any order. The app lets you adjust things like brightness and contrast, crop clips however you like, add title cards and music, and apply Google’s Real Tone filters, which work better with non-white hairstyles and darker skin.

Google isn’t yet saying if these video-editing capabilities will be included in the iOS and Android mobile apps, but Google Photos has typically had feature parity regardless of platform, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see these tools moving beyond Chromebooks sooner. In fact, the video editor is integrated into an optimized version of the Android Google Photos app, which is specially designed for larger screens. The app also works seamlessly with the Chrome OS Files and Gallery apps, allowing you to open a video in the Gallery app and instantly push it straight to Google Photos for editing or inclusion in a new creation.

Chrome OS PDF editor


Many more useful updates are planned for Chrome OS in the coming months. Another new Google Photos feature allows Chromebooks to access your library and use those images as wallpaper. As with other Chrome OS wallpaper options, you can choose a specific album and set it to change daily. The Gallery app mentioned above will get PDF editing capabilities so you can fill out and sign forms if you’re using a Chromebook with a pen. This feature is coming next week. There’s also a new Cursive app for capturing and organizing handwritten notes; These can be copied and pasted into other apps or exported to PDFs depending on how you need to share them.

Chrome OS is also getting a new dark mode, which has been rumored for a long time. As with most other devices, you can choose a mode or have it switch automatically depending on the time of day. Some new wallpapers also come with light and dark versions that switch automatically depending on the theme you’re using.

Chrome OS background selection


Finally, Google is making some productivity improvements to Chrome OS. Clicking the date on the Chromebook shelf brings up a monthly calendar view. You can select a date to view your Google Calendar events without opening the app or website. And with Chrome OS, you can save settings for virtual desks. So if you have certain tabs and apps that you use frequently, you can enter and exit them as needed.

Most of these updates should arrive in August, although Google has specifically stated that the virtual desk update won’t be available until late September. And Google Photos’ video editing tools are slated to arrive in the “fall” – hopefully sooner rather than later.

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