If you’ve been keeping up with the news in mobile devices, you’ll no doubt know that the Google Pixel phones have been consistently rated as the top dog in terms of camera performance since their release at the end of 2016. The Google camera application that works this magic was once available in the PlayStore for all devices but in later iterations, Google opted to bring new features and update existing applications on its own devices only. This led to the introduction of HDR+, a feature that makes use of the Camera2API in Android and compiles a much more detailed photo of a given subject than typical camera modes. The feature was a big hit and remained a popular choice for non-Pixel users who downloaded and side loaded the application outside of the PlayStore.
More recent additions to the camera application such as the Portrait mode, 4K Video support and Zero Shutter Lag (ZSL) were not so easy to get running on devices outside of those that Google intended, for but thanks to the work of some clever developers, these apps can now be installed on a wide range of devices with a little configuring.
The original work to port the Google Camera to more devices was carried out my a developer by the name of B.S.G, with further support by developers Arnova8G2 and miniuser123 over on the XDADevelopers forum.
Portrait Mode is the latest and probably the most sought after feature to be added to the camera. This feature uses Ai to analyse a photograph and to recognise human subjects before enhancing them and blurring the background to bring more focus on the subject. In practice, this feature actually works really well, with only the odd hi-cup in its selection, particularly around the hair of the person in the photo.
I have been able to get this application up and running on a OnePlus 3T and a Galaxy S7 Edge with relative ease and the comparison with their respective camera applications is night & day. The Google camera app is unrivalled in its ability to produce appealing, vibrant and sharp photos with the use of its HDR+ and Portrait modes and will remain my go-to camera for the foreseeable future.