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Google Camera 8.1 starts rolling out to older Pixels (Update)

Update: Storage Saver mode makes it easier to save more photos on Pixels, but seemingly comes at a cost.

Published onNovember 18, 2020

google pixel 4 xl oh so orange camera module
  • Google is apparently pushing out the Google Camera 8.1 update to older Pixels.
  • The update includes a new UI and Cinematic Pan functionality.
  • A Storage Saver mode is now also available on select Pixel devices.

Update: November 18, 2020 (5:20 AM ET): Google Camera 8.1 now brings a Storage Saver mode to the Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G. Spotted by XDA, the mode lets users easily adjust capture settings to reduce the storage size of photos and videos. Check out a screenshot below.

Switching on low storage mode may drop the resolution of photos, save shots in JPEG only, “store videos efficiently,” or disable Motion Photos. It’s unclear if the feature is available on older Pixels.

Original article: November 13, 2020 (1:35 AM ET): The Pixel 5 features an overhauled Google Camera experience, including a new user interface and a few extra features. Now, it looks like the update is finally being pushed out to older Pixels via the Play Store.

Twitter user Kelvin Peralta confirmed receiving Google Camera 8.1 on their Pixel 4 XL via the Play Store, posting a screenshot of the updated camera app as well. You can check out the screen below.

Google Camera Pixel 4 XL Kelvin Peralta
Twitter user Kevin Peralta

The update brings the Cinematic Pan feature and aforementioned new UI to the Pixel 4 XL, but there’s no word if Night Sight Portrait is available too. Nevertheless, Cinematic Pan is one of the more notable Pixel 5 camera features, enabling smooth, panning video.

We haven’t received the Google Camera 8.1 update on our standard Pixel 4, so presumably Google is doing a small rollout before making it available to more users. Furthermore, Android Police reports that sideloading the APK doesn’t seem to work without jumping through a few hoops. So you might just have sit tight and wait for Google to push that button.

Are you seeing the Google Camera 8.1 update on your older Pixel? Let us know in the comments section!

Next: Google Pixel 5 tested versus the best Android camera phones

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