Google Photos, Snapseed, and a Wish

Several months ago I abandoned a PC and Lightroom in favor of a Chromebook and Google+ for my photo storage, editing, and publishing needs. With great anticipation I watched the new Google Photos revealed at Google I/O. It was like Christmas and birthday all rolled into one.

Later in the day I eagerly browsed over to Google Photos and began clicking around. Presentation, nice. Navigation, smooth. So far I liked what I saw. Editing, hmm. Editing....what happened to the marvelous Google+ editing tools?

What I saw in Google Photos were very basic controls, a few filters, and a cropping tool which did not even allow selecting an aspect ratio. Very disappointing. Surely there was an advanced "Google+ Editor" in the settings menu I could turn on. Nope!


I checked Google Photos on my Android phone. Same basic editor. Except with Android there was an "edit in Snapseed" option that was not present on the web version. Snapseed is one of my favorite photo editors, and the foundation of the Google+ editor, but as an Android application it does not run on my Chromebook....or does it?

Here are the instructions: Essentially you download Arc Welder from the Chrome Web Store and the Snapseed APK which is a quick Google search away:


A few moments later I had a fully functioning Snapseed installed on my Chromebook.

Unfortunately running the Android version of Snapseed on a Chromebook is not integrated into Google Photos. I have to download - edit - upload my images.

My wish is that Google continues to develop the Photos editor, but also give the development community the API's to plug their image editing tools into Google Photos. Whether it be Snapseed, Polarr, Pixlr, or any of the other Chrome OS or Android editors, let us choose the editor that best meets our needs, and allow a workflow where, instead of download - edit - upload, we can open - edit - save. Until then I will stick with Google+, watch Google Photos develop, and continue testing the growing stable of image editors available for Chrome OS.


  1. It's like everything else Google: a work in progress. In time, Google will evolve it into a full-fledged product, the same way that they ultimately brought CRD to the Chrome OS. It's just a matter of time.....and patience, young grasshopper.

  2. I have had a fun couple of years with Chromebook G+ and Snapseed. Because of the lousy editor on Google Photos I have made an ordinary "favorites" link to bypass Google Photos and go directly to my albums and Snapseed on G+. So goodbye Google Photos I will stick with G+ photos as long as possible, and depending, perhaps goodbye Google altogether.