Google Pixel 2 phones have a better performing camera compared to the iPhone 8 Plus. Soon, a new software update will make it even better. In the days to come, a software update will put to work Pixel Visual Core, which will improve the photography features and enable third-party photography apps to take HDR+ quality images.
It turns out that Pixel Visual Core is Google’s first custom system-on-a-chip (Soc) to handle camera image processing. Google Pixel 2 phones have a dormant PVC chip as Google has yet to activate the feature through the software update. Given the capacities of the HDR camera at present in Pixel 2 and Pixel 2+, the software update is going to make things only better for users.
The Pixel Visual Core comes with an octa-core Image processing unit, which can handle a trillion operations per second, the company says. Also, it is capable of processing the HDR+ image around “5X faster” reducing the power consumption to “less than 1/10 of the energy” than it currently does.
“To expand the reach of HDR+, handle the most challenging imaging and ML applications, and deliver lower-latency and even more power-efficient HDR+ processing, we’ve created Pixel Visual Core,” Google said in a blog post.
The chip will enable the user to capture images irrespective of the quality of the lighting. Ranging from low light sky to dusky to a sunny environment, Google has developed the HDR+ algorithms in a way that images would be just perfect. According to the Menlo Park, California-based company, the algorithm of the new software has been designed after years of experience in terms of intelligent processing.
“In the coming weeks, we’ll enable Pixel Visual Core as a developer option in the developer preview of Android Oreo 8.1 (MR1). Later, we’ll enable it for all third-party apps using the Android Camera API, giving them access to the Pixel 2’s HDR+ technology,” the search giant said.
The HDR+ would be the first application to run on Pixel Visual Core. Since Pixel Core is programmable, Google is already in the process of preparing the next set of applications. So, going forward, the Pixel 2 will deliver even better images as Google improves the machine learning and imaging application to use Pixel Core. “The great thing is that as we port more machine learning and imaging applications to use Pixel Visual Core, Pixel 2 will continuously improve. So keep an eye out!” the company says.
Another unique feature of the Pixel 2 phones is the Google lens, a sort of visual search engine. The user can search the location simply by pointing the camera at a landmark, object or storefront. This is a quicker way of accessing the reviews and store hours. Apart from the pictures, the Google lens is also capable of finding out web addresses and phone numbers from signs.
Google also introduced a ‘Portrait’ mode, which focuses more on the subject than the background objects. All other smartphones such as Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8, iPhone 7 Plus and 8 Plus render the same effect through the second camera lens. Google, however, delivers the same effect through the software, so even a regular version of a model (not only the plus version) has the feature.