Google unveiled the new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL earlier this month, and first-generation Pixel owners might not find anything that would make it worth handing over a giant pile of cash to upgrade. One thing that may entice some is the Pixel 2 Google Camera app, which supposedly was going to be exclusive to this year’s Pixels.
However, the app can apparently be loaded onto some other Android devices, giving some a chance to try it out without upgrading to one of the new Pixel 2 handsets. XDA-Developers found a way to extract the Pixel 2 Google Camera app and a few other software features that are debuting in the new Pixels.
The Google Camera app features the company’s HDR+ technology, which enables users to snap photos that look amazing without having to edit the RAW image files, XDA explains. The Pixel 2 Google Camera app includes several other new features as well, which is why many are happy to learn that this app can be side-loaded onto other Android devices. The new features include Motion Photo, Portrait Mode, Face Retouching and others.
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XDA shared the APK for the Pixel 2 Google Camera app, which includes Motion Photo and Face Retouching. The app will work on Google’s first-generation Pixel and Pixel XL. Motion Photos are video clips that are about three seconds long and include a snippet of what happened immediately before your photo and immediately after. Apple added a similar feature called Live Photos a couple of years ago in iOS 9.
The developers at XDA tested the APK they’re offering for download on a Google Pixel XL that was running on Android Oreo, and apparently, Motion Photo does work. Some testers reported that Face Retouching and Portrait Mode aren’t working in the APK, but results will vary depending on which Google device you’re using and which version of Android is running on, as some are reporting that Face Retouching is working.
Unfortunately, the file will only work on Google devices, which means first-generation Pixels and Pixel XLs and newer Nexus devices. However, non-Google device users can get a taste of Google’s HDR+ technology via the unofficial Google Camera port that was also shared by XDA. Pixel and Pixel XL users seem to be getting the best results and more of the new features added by the Pixel 2 Google Camera app, although Nexus users are reporting significant performance from the most recent update.