If you’ve edited photos on Google+ lately, you might have noticed some handy new tools. And if they look familiar, that’s because they’re part of Snapseed: A mobile app for iOS and Android that Google bought in 2012. The new editing tools offer a glimpse into Google’s ongoing Chrome strategy: Finding ways for web apps to have the power of traditional software for mobile devices and computers.
The Snapseed tools work offline, even though you access them through the browser. How’s that work? Two of Google’s main Chrome technologies — Packaged Apps and Native Client — are the answer. These allow apps to be more robust than traditional web apps and can even be written in non-web programming languages such as C and C++. By doing this, Google is taking advantage of Chrome’s large user base to boost web engagement.
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And if you haven’t yet seen the new photo editing tools, I highly recommend checking them out. There are a number of advanced edits you can make, along with a unique selective edit tool that allows adjustment of very specific parts of your photo. Here’s one of my most recent images captured with my Sony NEX-6 and edited with Google+ using the Tilt Shift function to emphasize the farther furry friend.