Google Photos Gets a New Magic Editor: Here's How It Works

You'll be able to adjust where people are standing or sitting in a photo, even filling in parts of a bench or chair that weren't there before.

Gael Cooper
CNET editor Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." She's been a journalist since 1989, working at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Sidewalk, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and NBC News Digital. She's Gen X in birthdate, word and deed. If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
Expertise Breaking news, entertainment, lifestyle, travel, food, shopping and deals, product reviews, money and finance, video games, pets, history, books, technology history, and generational studies Credentials
  • Co-author of two Gen X pop-culture encyclopedia for Penguin Books. Won "Headline Writer of the Year"​ award for 2017, 2014 and 2013 from the American Copy Editors Society. Won first place in headline writing from the 2013 Society for Features Journalism.
Gael Cooper
2 min read
Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, speaking at Google IO's keynote about Google Photos' Magic Eraser

Magic Editor improves on tools such as Magic Eraser and Photo Unblur.


Even in this age of selfies, filters and ring lights, not every photo comes out perfectly. But if you own a Pixel phone, you may soon be able to use an experimental editing tool that taps into AI to fine-tune your photographs. At the Google I/O 2023 developer conference on Wednesday, the tech giant demonstrated Magic Editor, coming soon to Google Photos.

The tool does more than just lighten and brighten colors. although that's part of it. The demonstration showed Magic Editor adjusting a person in a photo to stand in a different place, as well as erasing unwanted people in the background.


Later this year, Google plans to roll out Magic Editor, which will help improve photos.

Screenshot by Gael Fashingbauer Cooper/CNET

In another photo, a child seated on a bench next to a colorful bunch of balloons was adjusted to be more in the center of the photo. To do so, the program filled in parts of the bench and balloons that were never actually shown in the original photograph.

This isn't all new. A Google blog post notes that ever since Google Photos' 2015 launch, it has used AI to organize and edit photos. But Magic Editor will take things further and offer more detailed changes.

When will Magic Editor be available?

Google didn't give a more specific date than "later this year," and said that only select Pixel phones would receive that early access. And it's a work in progress.

"While this new, experimental technology will open up exciting editing possibilities, we know there might be times when the result isn't exactly what you imagined," the blog post said. "Your feedback will be important in helping us improve it over time so you can get the best edits possible."

The post also noted that Google Photos users collectively edit 1.7 billion photos each month.

Magic Editor isn't the only new thing Google announced at I/O. The company also unwrapped the Pixel Fold, Pixel 7A, Pixel Tablet and Android 14. For more, here's everything we saw at Google I/O 2023

Watch this: Google Search Gets New AI Tools