Just over a week ahead of the Google Pixel 4 launch, we’ve obtained what will likely be the official version of the Google Camera app to launch on the new phone. Google Camera version 7.1 preps the previously seen “Dual Exposure” controls, adds info on the downsides of saving depth data on the Google Pixel 4, and the exact apps compatible with “Social Share.”
Update 10/10: Another new feature, “Frequent Faces,” has been uncovered in an unexpected place.
About APK Insight: In this “APK Insight” post, we’ve decompiled the latest version of an application that Google uploaded to the Play Store. When we decompile these files (called APKs, in the case of Android apps), we’re able to see various lines of code within that hint at possible future features. Keep in mind that Google may or may not ever ship these features, and our interpretation of what they are may be imperfect. We’ll try to enable those that are closer to being finished, however, to show you how they’ll look in the case that they do ship. With that in mind, read on.
Last week, we obtained exclusive video evidence of a new camera feature for the Google Pixel 4 that allows for taking “dual exposure” photos. As you can see in the video below, the Dual Exposure controls are two knobs that allow you to manually adjust the brightness and darkness of your shots.
Google Camera 7.1 significantly prepares for taking these kinds of pictures, but we weren’t able to access the Dual Exposure controls from a Pixel 3. It’s quite possible that Google Camera 7.1’s Dual Exposure controls may be exclusive to the Pixel 4, but it’s too early to say for sure.
<string name=”brightness_knob_accessibility_description”>Brightness knob</string>
<string name=”brightness_knob_tooltip_description”>Adjusts brightness</string>
<string name=”shadow_knob_accessibility_description”>Shadow knob</string>
<string name=”shadow_knob_tooltip_description”>”Adjusts only dark parts\n of image”</string>
<string name=”brightness_ev_announcement”>Brightness is now %1$s</string>
<string name=”shadow_ev_announcement”>Shadow is now %1$s</string>
Saving depth data
In the Google Camera 7.1 settings, a new option has been added that allows you to save depth data when taking photos on the Google Pixel 4. The setting description lays out that the main upside for doing so is that certain social media apps can make use of the depth info. While it doesn’t expressly say so, this likely means Facebook’s 3D Photos may support the Google Pixel 4.
The downsides of saving depth data, however, may outweigh the “social media” benefits for most, depending on whether you care about motion photos.
<string name=”pref_depth_every_photo_title”>Social media depth features</string>
<string name=”pref_depth_every_photo_summary”>Depth data will be saved. This data may be used by social media apps. Motion photos will be turned off and photos may take longer to process.</string>
The folks at XDA-Developers looked into the now separate Wear OS app for Google Camera, which also received the update to version 7.1. In it, they found, and we’ve confirmed, new strings pointing to an upcoming feature, “Frequent Faces,” that didn’t appear in the phone version of Google Camera 7.1.
<string name=”pref_camera_frequent_faces_title”>Frequent Faces</string>
<string name=”frequent_faces_info”>”When you take photos with multiple people, Camera will automatically focus on the people you photograph most.\n\nFrequent Faces data is only saved on this device, and can only be accessed by this Camera app.\n\nWhen you turn off Frequent Faces, faces data will be deleted.\n\nFrequent Faces will be available when you open Camera from the lock screen.”</string>
<string name=”frequent_faces_learn_more”>Learn more</string>
From the description, it seems that Google Camera will use some of its facial recognition technology to put emphasis on certain people in group shots over others, based on how frequently you take pictures of them. For example, when taking a picture of children playing, Google Camera will try to put special emphasis on your child.
For the security conscious, Google also notes that the feature works entirely offline using on-device facial recognition techniques, and that all the related face data is deleted any time you turn Frequent Faces off.
<string name=”frequent_faces_on_notification”>Frequent Faces is on</string>
<string name=”frequent_faces_try_notification”>Try Frequent Faces</string>
For now, we don’t know whether this will launch with the Pixel 4 or sometime later, as most of these strings were promptly removed from Google Camera for Wear OS just two days later. XDA notes that Frequent Faces only briefly appears in the code for the phone version of Google Camera 7.1.
Social Share apps
Also in the strings, we’ve got a list of the exact apps and “share targets” supported by Google Camera’s new “Social Share” features. Among the apps included in this list, we find a few interesting ones like alternatives to Google’s own Messages app such as Textra and Verizon’s Message+.
- <string name=”social_app_discord”>Discord</string>
- <string name=”social_app_fb_add_story”>Add to Your Story</string>
- <string name=”social_app_fb_messenger”>Messenger</string>
- <string name=”social_app_fb_messenger_lift”>Messenger Lite</string>
- <string name=”social_app_fb_your_story”>Your Story</string>
- <string name=”social_app_google_chat”>Chat</string>
- <string name=”social_app_google_messages”>Messages</string>
- <string name=”social_app_groupme”>GroupMe</string>
- <string name=”social_app_hangouts”>Hangouts</string>
- <string name=”social_app_helo”>Helo</string>
- <string name=”social_app_imo_messenger”>Imo Messenger</string>
- <string name=”social_app_instagram_stories”>Stories</string>
- <string name=”social_app_kakaotalk”>KakaoTalk</string>
- <string name=”social_app_kik”>Kik</string>
- <string name=”social_app_line”>LINE</string>
- <string name=”social_app_sharechat”>ShareChat</string>
- <string name=”social_app_signal”>Signal</string>
- <string name=”social_app_skype”>Skype</string>
- <string name=”social_app_snapchat”>Snapchat</string>
- <string name=”social_app_telegram”>Telegram</string>
- <string name=”social_app_textra”>Textra</string>
- <string name=”social_app_tweet”>Tweet</string>
- <string name=”social_app_verizon_messages”>Message+</string>
- <string name=”social_app_viber”>Viber</string>
- <string name=”social_app_wechat”>WeChat</string>
- <string name=”social_app_whatsapp”>WhatsApp</string>
How to update?
Google Camera 7.1 will likely roll out to Pixel phones following the release of the Google Pixel 4. In the meantime, we’ve uploaded it to APKMirror for your enjoyment.
Thanks to JEB Decompiler, which some APK Insight teardowns benefit from.
Dylan Roussel contributed to this article.