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OneDrive might be getting a Pixel-style Magic Eraser tool as well (APK teardown)

The feature could use generative AI to in-fill user-selected removed areas in a photo.

Published onMarch 12, 2024

Google Pixel 7 Pro Magic Eraser
  • Microsoft has been spotted working on a “Magic Erase” feature within OneDrive for Android.
  • This feature could be used to remove areas and infill them with generative AI.
  • We’ve seen similar generative AI-drive eraser functions within Google Photos and even within Microsoft’s Photos app on Windows.

Every tech company is finding ways to incorporate AI into its product, with varying levels of success. Within smartphones, we’ve seen companies use their AI smarts to good use with features like Google Photo’s Magic Eraser, Audio Magic Eraser, and Magic Editor tools. Microsoft is also betting big on AI to beat companies like Google, so it should come as no surprise that the company is working on incorporating similar AI Magic Eraser-like functionality to its OneDrive application.

An APK teardown helps predict features that may arrive on a service in the future based on work-in-progress code. However, it is possible that such predicted features may not make it to a public release.

In the latest Microsoft OneDrive v7.1 beta 1 on Android, we’ve spotted strings that indicate that Microsoft is working on adding a “Magic Erase” feature that will use AI for generative erasing functionality.

<string name="magicErase_GenerativeEraseLabel">Generative Erase</string>
<string name="magicErase_autoApplyLabel">Auto apply</string>
<string name="magicErase_autoApplyToggleAriaDescriptionWhenOff">Use erase button to remove the area. Enable auto apply to hide brush tool options.</string>
<string name="magicErase_autoApplyToggleAriaDescriptionWhenOn">Remove area after each brush stroke. Disable auto apply to show brush tool options.</string>
<string name="magicErase_autoApplyToggleAriaLabel">Auto apply</string>
<string name="magicErase_autoApplyToggleOff">Off</string>
<string name="magicErase_autoApplyToggleOn">On</string>
<string name="magicErase_calloutHeaderText">Remove distractions</string>
<string name="magicErase_calloutMainText">Brush over the entire area you want removed from your photo. This feature uses AI to infill the removed area and may not be perfect or what you expect. If you find the results to be unexpected, please send us feedback.</string>
<string name="magicErase_canvasAriaLabelWithAppliedBrushedMasks">Applied erased area in view. Select more areas on the photo to remove.</string>
<string name="magicErase_canvasAriaLabelWithNoPreviousEraseOperation">Original photo in view. Select areas on the photo to remove.</string>
<string name="magicErase_canvasAriaLabelWithUnappliedBrushedMasksToggleOff">Unapplied selected areas in view. Select more areas on the photo to remove. Select the erase button to erase the selected areas from the photo.</string>
<string name="magicErase_canvasAriaLabelWithUnappliedBrushedMasksToggleOn">Unapplied selected area in view. Erase is being applied.</string>
<string name="magicErase_maskBrushPickerAddToSelectionAriaDescription">Brush areas of the photo to add mask to the erase operation.</string>
<string name="magicErase_maskBrushPickerAddToSelectionAriaLabel">Add mask</string>
<string name="magicErase_maskBrushPickerClearAriaDescription">Select to clear all selected areas.</string>
<string name="magicErase_maskBrushPickerClearText">Clear</string>
<string name="magicErase_maskBrushPickerEraseAriaDescription">Select to erase the brushed areas.</string>
<string name="magicErase_maskBrushPickerEraseText">Erase</string>
<string name="magicErase_maskBrushPickerRemoveFromSelectionAriaDescription">Brush areas of the photo to remove masks from the erase operation.</string>
<string name="magicErase_maskBrushPickerRemoveFromSelectionAriaLabel">Remove mask</string>
<string name="magicErase_notificationMagicEraseProcessingCompleted">Area or object erased.</string>
<string name="magicErase_notificationMagicEraseProcessingFailed">An error occurred. Please try again later.</string>
<string name="magicErase_notificationMagicEraseStillProcessing">Erasing area or object in the selection...</string>

As we can see from the strings, the Magic Erase feature will allow you to remove areas that you want removed from your photo. Similar to other implementations, you can select areas with a brush to mask them for removal. The feature will use AI to infill the removed area.

Microsoft does include a warning that the removed area may not be perfect or what you expect it to be, which is a standard warning for such AI products.

If you’re wondering, OneDrive already includes a photo editor within its Android application. In the current version of the app, you can do simpler adjustments like cropping, leveling, adjusting values for brightness, contrast, exposure, and more, applying various filters, and even doing markup. We tried the beta but could not activate the AI Magic Erase feature, so it is likely that it is gated behind a server switch.

It remains to be seen if and when Microsoft releases this feature. Considering that the stock Photos app on Windows also has AI-based generative erase features, there’s a good chance that this in-development feature will see the light of day.

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