Older Pixel phones to get some new Pixel 6 series camera features after update
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These days we are seeing quite a few jealous Pixel users who have an older model and wish that they had the features available on the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. According to XDA, once Google drops version 8.4 of the Google Camera app, some features found on the Pixel 6 series will be available on older Pixel models. No, you shouldn't expect your older Pixel to get features such as Motion Mode, and Face Unblur.
Some Pixel 6 series camera features are coming to older Pixel handsets with the latest update to the Google Camera app
Nor is the Magic Eraser feature, which removes unwanted people and things from a photo, officially being made available to older Pixel phones. However, sideloading a specific APK with Google Photos 5.64 included on models from the Pixel 3 Series up to the Pixel 5 will add the Magic Eraser to those phones. This proves that as much as the Pixel 6 line depends on the Google Tensor chip for those great new AI and Machine Learning based camera features, the Magic Eraser can get by without the Tensor chip.
Magic Eraser on the Pixel 4a. Credit-XDA
XDA says that the Magic Eraser can not be used on any phone running the Android 12 beta even if it is equipped with the aforementioned Google Photo 5.64 app. There was also some speculation that some handsets running Android 11 were showing up with the Magic Eraser feature if version 5.64 of Google Photos was installed, but that appears to be "fake news."
XDA did manage to get Magic Eraser working on the Pixel 4a and the feature worked as intended
It's time to pick up the Google Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro
The features coming to older Pixel models include the ability to use Night Sight to view photos snapped in low-light conditions without having to switch modes. The addition of new zoom buttons to quickly zoom in or out. You can still access and use the full zoom slider by pressing and holding on a zoom button or pinch-zoom.
And three new video stabilization modes are added; Use Locked when recording a long performance when you're trying to look away from the camera; Active is used in heavy moments; Cinematic Pan is employed when recording smooth panning shots.
It is in your best interest to wait for the Google Camera 8.4 update to hit the Google Play Store
The Timer Light, which debuted on the Pixel 6 series, will be added to the Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a with the next Google Camera update. This feature, which needs to be toggled on to use, uses the flash to countdown when a timer is about to go off and a photo is about to be taken. And the exposure option can be disabled to keep the viewfinder from becoming too cluttered along the right edge.
After the Google Camera update, you'll see that the image of a gear is next to the chevron icon to show users that they can access the settings by swiping down on the display. In theory, this might make it quicker for users of older model Pixel models to find where they have to go to disable features like Night Sight. On the Pixel 6 series, the Settings icon is on the left, but it has been moved to the center on the older phones receiving the update.
While you could use the APK and sideload the update, your best bet is to wait for version 8.4 of the Google Camera app to reach the Google Play Store and then update your phone. Pixel users in the past were able to add features found on the latest Pixel model to older handsets. For example, when Google pushed out Night Sight to the Pixel 3 series with an update to the Google Camera app back in 2018, the update also added the feature to the Pixel 2 line even though it was not included in the changelist.