Google smartphones have not made it to the top list of phones with great quality cameras until recently. Most of its brands especially Google Nexus range had cameras with an average picture quality. This forced the company to take this feature seriously and apply the advancement on its Pixel smartphone range where the camera quality has significantly improved. Therefore, Google has come up with Google camera 5.1 version of an Android app which will be part of its Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL phones by default.
The app captures the moments beautifully with the help of Google’s HDR technology. Some of the interesting features in the camera app include Motion Photo, Face Retouching and Portrait Mode along with some minor additions.
This app does not support AR stickers on any other device other than Google’s brand new duo app. Although the user can activate motion photos on Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL by downloading the 5.0 version. However, the camera app will not work on other third party devices due to its inability to sync or due to the risk of device crashing once the user tries to install them. Hence, the new app is only feasible for the Pixel and compatible Nexus devices.
Also Read: What are the Google Pixel 2 specs?
Exposure Auto Focus Lock feature
Google has also included a very convenient add-on in the new app which is called the ‘exposure auto focus lock’. It is available through a separate icon above the exposure slider on the right side of the screen. Once the users adjust the exposure by tapping and dragging their finger on the screen and selecting the object of focus, these settings can be locked into a place by simply tapping the new icon. Later, the settings will remain intact even if the user moves or touches the device.
Although this feature was part of the original app available on Pixel devices but it required you to press and hold the empty space on the screen after adjusting the exposure of the shot. However, this would not affect the end result but very few users knew about it in the first place.
Some changes in icons and features
The new app has changed the placement of the top tool bar which included shortcuts for flash, auto focus, HDR+ and other features. It now exists in the hamburger menu on the top left side of the interface. Once you tap on the hamburger menu, almost all the tools are present except for a minor change, i.e. the ‘Lens Blur’ option is now represented by a tulip icon instead of the shutter.
The user will also notice that the dual-LED flash light of the device is very strong once it takes a shot. In addition, the front camera also provides a ‘face retouching’ option which will make the skin texture slightly blur and retouch small spots. Some people might argue that this feature was already present in many cameras in the past, however, Google camera app makes it more automated with a simple tap. The users don’t have to worry about constant changes as the app will smooth out their skin textures.
Furthermore, the title bar’s color has been changed to light grey instead of black while the ‘volume key action’ has been shifted to ‘gestures’ option instead of the ‘general’ section at the top of the menu. Depending on user feedback, a few changes may be expected as Google can move volume key feature as many people might not see this feature as a ‘Gesture’.
Most of the features discussed above are currently not part of the Google Camera build 5.0 yet a few original characteristics are seen in Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL devices. For instance, ‘HDR+ enhanced’ has become part of the on/off toggles and the photo viewer has been changed significantly that looks similar to the Google Photos.
The prime reason behind this change was company’s intent to maintain a sync across its mobile software portfolio. The company has added a few additional features in its Android app to see how users are managing their own albums and watching sideshows.
Finally, majority of the new features do not appear on all Nexus devices which is supposed to be officially compatible with the camera app.