How to pixelate or blur content on a photo on OnePlus phones
Taking photos and screenshots is a part of our daily lives for smartphones now. Whether it’s to capture a moment for posterity (read “social networks”) or as proof of something (“let me send you a screenshot to prove it”), rarely goes a day when we don’t hit the camera shutter or button combo necessary to capture what is on our smartphone screens. But not every photograph or screenshot we take has everything we want in it. Sometimes both have elements that either are not necessary. Or maybe something we’re not comfortable sharing. It could be the words on a sign, the name or phone number in a message, or even the face of a bystander.
There are ways to deal with this, of course. There are a number of apps that allow you to erase parts of photos, and Google’s Magic Eraser is known for removing objects from photos as if they never existed, but they only work in cases where you want to completely remove something from a photo.
What if all you want to do is hide a name, a number or just a face? In short, what if you want to let the viewer know that something was actually there, but don’t want them to know what or who it was? This is often the case when sharing screenshots with the intention of hiding personal information or perhaps hiding a person’s face in an image for the sake of their own privacy.
How to pixelate a photo on OnePlus phones
Well, you can do this by pixelating or blurring the content of an image. While there are apps that allow you to do this on most devices, OnePlus users with phones running OxygenOS 13 have had the feature baked into their phones and even have automatic name recognition in case of screenshots of messages. It’s not completely out there and needs some discovery, though. So if you have a OnePlus phone running OxygenOS 13, here’s how to pixelate content on a photo or screenshot.
Pixelated content on an image
Step 1: Find that image
You start by getting the image whose parts you want pixelated. You can either go to the camera app and snap one or go to the gallery (called ‘Photos’ rather confusingly on OnePlus devices, as Google Photos is also called exactly the same) and select the photo.
Step 2: Let’s look at edits
Have you taken your snap or found the one you were looking for? Well, just go to the Edit button that you will see among many options below the image.
Step 3: Choose the flavor of blur
Scroll a bit and the Pixelate option will appear. Select this. Now you will see four options – Pixel, which pixels the content; Smudge, which, as the name indicates, stains matters; Dots, covering the section with whitish dots; and Blur, which blurs content. There’s a lot to choose from here, but we’ll go with pixelation. Select Pixels.
Step 4: Let it Pixelate
After selecting Pixel, simply move your fingers over the areas you want to pixelate – you can pixelate more than one if needed. If you think you got it wrong, just go back to where you started by pressing the Undo arrow (a counter-clockwise arrow) to undo the pixelation.
Step 5: And save the day and the photo
Once you’ve pixelated a section of the image to your heart’s content, simply click the check mark icon in the bottom right corner to exit the Pixelate screen. When you’re done, select Save in the bottom right corner and you’ll have an image with pixelated parts!
Pixelated content on a screen
The process of pinning content on a screenshot taken on a OnePlus is a little different. Proceed like this:
Step 1: Take screenshots of the screen
Get things started by taking a screenshot. This is usually done by pressing the volume down and showing the lock/unlock buttons at the same time. The screenshot will be taken and displayed in a corner of the screen. Tap it to enter the screenshot editing menu.
Step 2: Choose your pixelation option
You’ll see Pixelate in the very second option from the left here, right after Markup. Tapping on Pixelate will give you three options in the form of icons – Pixelate, Dots and Blur, which are the same as discussed earlier. You don’t get a Smudge option here. Choose your option here (Pixelate, as we’re mainly talking about that).
Step 3: Pixel, share or save and exit
As in the case of the image, just run your finger over the part of the screen you want to Pixelate. Again, you can select multiple regions and also undo Pixelation using the Undo arrow above the screenshot. Once this is done, tap either the Share icon or the tick at the top right. Sharr will open the options where you can share your pixelated screenshot while tapping the tick will simply save the image to the gallery.
Pixelation of content automatically in chat screenshots
This is a particularly cool feature on OnePlus devices. OnePlus phones can actually detect names and profile pictures in a screenshot of a chat and pixelate them automatically. It works especially well when it comes to WhatsApp screenshots. Here’s how you can use it.
Step 1: Take a screenshot of your chat window
Again, just press the screen lock/unlock and volume down buttons at the same time to take a screenshot. This time save it to the gallery (Photos app).
Step 2: Go to edits and choose to Pixelate, the auto mode
This is where it gets interesting. Open the screen and select the Edit option. Scroll and go to Pixelate and select it. This time, you’ll see an Auto option right above the four common options that we discussed earlier in this story – Pixel, Smudge, Dots, and Blur.
Step 3: Ok, OnePlus, Pixelate automatically
Tap Auto and the app will automatically cover the sender’s name on the chat box with a gray band and darken their picture. It works especially well in WhatsApp!
Step 4: Pixel some though if necessary and exit
If you need to Pixelate some more content, do so by selecting the option and simply moving your finger over it. When you are done, press the tick option at the bottom right corner and then the Save option that appears in the same corner in the following window. That’s it!
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