Google is rolling out an update to the Pixel Camera app a month after the last release, with version 8.6 introducing a handful of Material You tweaks and Speech enhancement for the rear Pixel 6 lens.
Update 10/26: Google is widely rolling out a minor update to Camera 8.6 this afternoon with version 8.6.263.478604508.17 for the Pixel 6 Pro and older. We haven’t encountered any user-facing changes and this is likely just a bug fixer.
It comes as version 8.7 remains exclusive to the Pixel 7 series with a handful of user-facing changes independent of the new camera hardware. Highlights include the return of Frequent Faces, a removal of the Google Lens shortcut, a new location for the Lock Folder, and various icon tweaks. Google Camera 8.7 could come to older Pixel phones with the December Feature Drop and Android 13 QPR1.
Update 9/2: Version 8.6.263.471358013.15 of Google Camera widely rolled out on Friday afternoon as a small patch. There are no apparent changes on the phone.
The corresponding Wear OS update (8.6.263.471358013.15) is a bug fixer after the initial update last month. The on-watch camera preview looks higher-res, while various buttons no longer have graphical errors.
Update 8/25: Another change made by Google Camera 8.6 sees the default wide/zoom out increment go from .6 to .7x in the pill-shaped switcher above the shutter button. We’ve seen this change on the Pixel 6a (114° field of view, 12MP) and 5a (117° FOV, 16MP), while it’s presumably also the case on the 5 and 4a 5G.
You can pinch out to get back .6x, while the difference is not that significant. This matches the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro which has been .7 (only) since launch.
Update 8/18: A new version of Google Camera 8.6 is widely rolling out today: 8.6.263.461063035.12 to 8.6.263.463689965.13.
This is most likely a minor update, but should be seeing wider availability with the launch of Android 13 on Monday. Camera 8.6 has not rolled out for Pixel phones running Android 12 or older.
Update 7/28: Google Camera 8.6 on the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro (which we have since gotten the update on) enables “Speech enhancement” for the rear camera.
At launch, this feature was just for recording video with the front-facing camera and works to reduce unwanted noises like “wind, traffic, and crowds.” It’s now available on the rear camera for 1080p (FHD) at 30FPS capture.
Original 7/27: The primary visual change today is to the “Modes” tab at the end of the carousel. The buttons for Panorama, Photo Sphere, and Lens are now placed in a rounded rectangular container instead of being directly overlaid on the live preview.
Besides that Material You housing, those access points have also been moved down the screen to aid reachability, especially if your thumb is situated for tapping the shutter button.
Lastly, the buttons are now themed with Dynamic Color, like other key elements in the UI (e.g., mode switcher and Locked Folder shortcut), instead of just being black on a white background.
Camera 8.5 vs 8.6
We received Google Camera 8.6 on a Pixel 4a (running Android 13) this afternoon, but the new update is otherwise not yet widely rolled out via the Play Store.
The last gap between updates was a little over (version 8.4) two months (8.5), so this release is definitely coming sooner than expected. It presumably also contains bug fixes, but Frequent Faces is still disabled as far as we can tell.
More on Google Camera:
- Likely camera sensors for Pixel 7, 7 Pro, and Pixel tablet uncovered in code
- Google Camera ‘temporarily disabled’ Frequent Faces on the Pixel
- Lightweight ‘Camera Go’ app renamed to ‘Camera from Google’
- Comment: Google needs to keep improving Pixel camera hardware alongside software tuning
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