Skip to main content

Google Camera 8.1 brings Pixel 5 redesign and Cinematic Pan to past Pixels

Coinciding with the launch of the Pixel 5, the Google Camera app got an update to version 8.0, bringing a clean redesign to the app. Today, Google Camera 8.1 has begun rolling out, bringing that same design to older Pixel phones.

For the past month, owners of the Pixel 5 have had essentially exclusive access to the latest redesign of the Google Camera app, as version 8.0 of the app only rolled out to Pixel 5. The redesign reorganizes Google Camera’s many features from along the bottom bar and adds features like Audio Zoom and quick, one-tap zoom adjustments.

Unlike any version before it, it was not possible for most to sideload the Google Camera 8.0 update onto older Pixels to get the latest features. A reliable method to sideload was ultimately discovered but required you to factory reset your phone, an inconvenient step many were not willing to do.

This afternoon, Google Camera 8.1 began rolling out via the Google Play Store, and as confirmed by @KaKito_24 on Twitter, the update is appearing for owners of the Pixel 4 XL. Our APK Insight team took a closer look and found that, unlike Google Camera 8.0, this build of Camera 8.1 is marked as compatible with all Pixel phones, dating back to the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL.

With the update installed, devices like the Pixel 4 now have access to some of the new video stabilization features, including Cinematic Pan. Our team is actively investigating what features Google Camera 8.1 brings to older Pixels as the update gradually becomes available.

Update 11/13: According to reader reports, the cinematic pan seems to only be arriving on the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL, not any of the earlier Pixels. We’ve yet to confirm way or the other for the Pixel 4a.

Unfortunately, sideloading the update still seems to no longer be an option for those looking to get Google Camera 8.1 onto their Pixel as soon as possible. Even on the Pixel 5, there seem to be errors related to verification. Simply put, the best way to get Google Camera 8.1 onto your Pixel phone is to wait for it to arrive normally from the Google Play Store.

Has the Google Camera 8.1 update arrived for your older Pixel phone? Let us know in the comments if you spot anything new or interesting.

More on Google Pixel:

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

You’re reading 9to5Google — experts who break news about Google and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Google on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel



Avatar for Kyle Bradshaw Kyle Bradshaw

Kyle is an author and researcher for 9to5Google, with special interests in Made by Google products, Fuchsia, and Stadia.

Got a tip or want to chat? Twitter or Email.