Google Photos on iOS Gets Portrait Depth Editing, but it’s No Better than Apple’s Photo App

Google’s latest version of Google Photos app for iOS brings a depth-editing feature, which means that now you can pull any portrait image that you have taken on your iPhone and make an adjustment to the background blur and focus with just a few steps.

Well, I know most readers have been taking photos on their iPhone XR lately, and if you are one of them you should check out what the Google Photos could do, especially the camera tricks found on the Google Pixel 3.


First, you will have to update your Google Photos on your iPhone and go right ahead to capture some portrait photos. If you have done that, then you will also notice the depth-editing feature, which also gained the Color Pop feature which is found in the Google Pixel 3. It is, however, worth pointing out that you will have to capture a Portrait photo in order for any of these new features to work.

Colour Pop & Depth Editing on Google Photos for iOS

Check out the surprising result from the Portrait Depth Editing

In comparison, I opened the same photo on both Google Photos and iOS Photos app; and honestly, I was not expecting anyone app to perform better than the other. But if anything, I was hoping the Google Photos app to produce a better image than the iOS Photo app. Wait till you see the results of the test.

Colour Pop feature on Google Photos

The Color Pop feature, as you can see from the image above messed up the photo. Google Photos failed to detect any edge and applied the effect only on one side whereas the trees, cars etc. on the right side remained untouched.

Using the depth-editing feature, the results were the same, sadly. Take a look at the photos below, the depth slider was increased all the way up and still the background of the image, particularly the right side is still very much visible. Anyways the iOS’s Photos app, on the other hand, did a great job.

Edited in Google Photos
Edited in Apple Photo’s app

I learnt that Google Photos was unable to recognise the subject. But thankfully, you can adjust differently by tapping on the subject or background, though depending on what you want to be blurred out in your image. I also noticed that the results are comparatively better when you tap on the subject. And yes it works, but it will take some extra step which can be avoided if you use iOS’s native Photos app directly. Even then, Google Photos was awful with edge detection. Check out the image below:

Edited on Google Photos on iOS

So here’s another picture to show you how consistently the Google Photos app failed. In the picture below you will notice that the Google Photo was unable to detect the edge around the cup. Take a closer look! It looks way better on the image when edited on iOS Photos app. yes, it is not flawless, but it seems better than the one produced by Google Photos, in my opinion.

Edited on Google Photos
Edited on iOS Photos on iOS

If you have had any dealings with these apps, do share your experience with us in the comments section.