Ahead of the June Pixel Feature Drop, code in the Pixel Tips app points to Google Camera’s astrophotography potentially getting upgraded to offer time lapse video.

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.

Astrophotography time lapse

On Tuesday afternoon, Google began rolling out an update to the Pixel Tips app — version — a common occurrence ahead of a quarterly Feature Drop for Pixel phones. While much of the new “tips” are not yet live in the app after this update, our Dylan Roussel was able to track down code for a new tip related to Google Camera.


The key portion here is of course “Astrotimelapse,” which suggests the combination of taking a time lapse video with the Pixel’s excellent astrophotography capabilities. If our assumptions are correct, this could potentially allow you to record the movement of the stars in the night sky.

Unfortunately, the only other detail we were able to discover is that before showing info about “Astrotimelapse,” the Pixel Tips app will check if you’re using version 8.2.3 of the Google Camera app. As of today, the newest version of Google Camera is 8.2.2, suggesting that an update may be coming in the near future, though there’s no guarantees it’s tied to the June Feature Drop.

Google Photos locked folder

Earlier this month, during Google I/O, the company shared that Google Photos would be gaining a new “Locked folder” feature — exclusive to Pixels, at first — which allows you to keep certain photos hidden from your phone’s gallery. In the same Pixel Tips update, we’ve found signs of a “tip” about the Google Photos locked folder.


While far from confirmation, this suggests to us that the locked folder will arrive in the near future, potentially as part of Monday’s June Pixel Feature Drop.

Google Photos Locked Folder, as seen at Google I/O

Thanks to JEB Decompiler, from which some APK Insight teardowns benefit.

Dylan Roussel contributed to this article.

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About the Author

Kyle Bradshaw

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

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