One of the big selling points of the Google Pixel 6 is the camera software, and a great example of this is the Magic Eraser feature, which was a big selling point for the Pixel after its launch.
Magic Eraser lets you digitally select background elements in your photos to remove them – AI fills in the gaps to eliminate things like people, stray branches or animals that you don’t want to get in the way of your photo.
However, few people know anything important about Magic Eraser. Although you need a Pixel 6 series phone to work, you can use the effect on any image.
Google Photos to the rescue
You’d be right to think you’d need a Pixel 6 to use Google’s Magic Eraser tool, but logically, you’d also think you could only use the trick with photos taken on your phone.
That’s not the case though. To edit a photo with it, you need to open the Google Photos app, and as I recently discovered by launching this program and seeing your oldest snaps, you can also edit your oldest photos stored in Photos.
What’s more, you can even import photos to Google Photos from your PC or alternative smartphone and still edit them. You just need to make sure you do the editing on your Pixel.
This can be great if you’ve taken a beautiful photo in the past that was ruined by something in the background, or if you have multiple devices and want to make sure there’s a way to edit unwanted elements in snaps taken on other devices.
So it’s not about the camera
It appears that none of the information captured by the Pixel’s camera is actually used in the AI cut. Instead, Photos just analyzes the image and finds what should fill the gap.
For example, if you are trying to remove an item in a grassy field, the feature will see the grass around it and copy the same textures. The same happens with objects in the sea or in the sky, for example.
However, problems arise when you try to remove an object that sits over an edge as the phone sometimes can’t figure out what should be in the background.
Magic Eraser is basically a slightly less efficient version of Adobe Photoshop’s Content-Aware Fill. However, if you own a Pixel, Magic Eraser is free, while Photoshop certainly isn’t.
Google Pixel phones are still fantastic devices, and since you can use Magic Eraser on non-Pixel images, they are also useful to complement other camera phones.