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Google Camera 5.2 for Pixel and Nexus phones gets new features

Two new features and a revamped settings page are the highlights of the latest update to the camera app for Pixel phones and select Nexus devices.

Published onMarch 16, 2018

  • Google Camera version 5.2 gets a revamped settings page with icons akin to the global Android settings.
  • A new feature is the ability to double-tap the camera viewfinder to either zoom or switch cameras.
  • The app will also now give you a warning notification when your camera lens is dirty.

The Google Camera app that is on the Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, and some select Nexus devices is getting an update today, bringing the app to version 5.2. Most of the changes in this update can be found in the settings menu, but there are a few brand new features as well. There is a workaround for people who own non-Google devices, but it may be a while before these new features make it to the third-party app.

First up, the settings page now features graphical icons to help you navigate around. The icons look a lot like the global settings currently found in Android Oreo, not the colorful settings found in Android P.

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Savvy camera users will note that the grid options that used to be on the top bar of the camera viewfinder are now located in the camera settings. The options are the same (off, 3 x 3, 4 x 4, and golden ratio) but now just a little harder to get to. You might be happy that the setting was moved because most people don’t switch grids too often, or you might be upset that there are now more taps to change your grid.

Next up is a new feature that allows you to change what double-tap does. You can now have it zoom (the default setting) or switch the camera. If you don’t really use zoom too much but take a lot of selfies, you’ll probably love this new change.

Another brand new feature is the “Show dirty lens warning” toggle. This does exactly what you think: it warns you when the camera app thinks your lens is dirty. If you’re like us, you’ll just wipe the lens on your shirt when you get the warning, because we’re professionals. The toggle is set to “Off” by default.

If you have a Pixel or supported Nexus phone, let us know in the comments how the new camera features work out for you!