In 2018, Google Photos chief David Lieb, dropped a teaser at Google I/O 2018 about its Colorize feature for the app.
The company had announced some upcoming nifty features for Google Photos like Colorize, and Color Pop, which allows its users to apply black and white filters to photo backgrounds and give it a pop!
Colorize, on the other hand, worked impressively during I/O 2018’s on-stage demo, as Google’s artificial intelligence analysed a picture of an old picture taken using a camera, adding color to it instantly at the tap of a button.
However, Colorize wasn’t deployed as quickly as Color Pop that came just days after I/O 2018, and went under for more than a year now.
Although it feels like its been a long time coming, Lieb alluded to the soon-to-come feature in a tweet posted on May 6, 2019.
2/ Here’s a photo of my 104yo grandmother on her wedding day, colorized with Google Photos on my phone. (You can see we have some work to do; my grandfather didn’t wear pink pants to his wedding!)
Lieb’s tweet was in response to Mashable’s article which called out the tech giant for its silence around the new feature.
In his first response, Lieb said that Colorize is in the works, and that the company just didn’t want to rush things.
Colorize is designed to convert black and white images to full color, instead of you having to do the process manually by adding color to different parts of the photo.
If you’re trying to achieve color when transforming a photo, the accuracy bar is pretty high, which makes it a hard enough task for humans.
The challenge, however, has been in training a machine to do the conversion, which explains why the announcement has come over a year later.
Lieb’s tweet had a photo from his 104-year-old grandmother’s wedding day, which brought out a hint of what Colorize can do. According to him, the feature is a work in progress, and hopes that a beta version will be available soon but there’s no mention of timelines.
As much as we’d like to colorize our old black and white photos asap, we’re not sure how long it will take, but at least we have Google’s assurance that they’ve not given up on this project.
It may be taking longer than we’d like, but at least we know Google hasn’t given up on the feature entirely.
Elsier is an avid tech writer, who loves mobile apps, games, music, and cars. When she’s not catching up on the latest in tech, she’s binging on reruns of her favorite series.