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Google Pixel 4 could get audio zoom, live HDR, more nifty camera features

It looks like Google is working on a variety of new camera features for its Pixel 4 series. Here's what they might do.

Published onSeptember 9, 2019

The Pixel 3 had loads of camera features, but the Google Pixel 4 might up the ante.

We’ve touched on Google Pixel 4 camera leaks in recent days, including the presence of 8x zoom (likely hybrid or digital), a telephoto secondary camera, and a so-called Motion Mode.

The leaks aren’t stopping here though, as XDA-Developers forum member cstark27 has uncovered numerous references to upcoming features in version 6.3 of the Google Camera app. It’s also noted that these features are all marked as “experimental2019,” which suggests they’re limited to the upcoming Pixel flagships for now.

Read: Google Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL — More evidence for 90Hz display refresh rate

For starters, the app contains references to so-called AudioZoom technology, presumably allowing users to focus on audio from a specific subject (e.g. one person talking in the distance or a musical performance on a crowded street).

Google wouldn’t be the first manufacturer to adopt this feature, as we previously saw it on HTC’s 2017 and 2018 flagships, followed by the Galaxy Note 10 series. We’ve also seen similar audio recording functionality on LG’s high-end phones. But Google will likely take advantage of Android 10’s native support for directional, zoomable microphones to enable this feature.

What else is coming?

Google Pixel 4 XL Side by Side Render

The second upcoming feature uncovered by the XDA forum member is Live HDR, which could be a way for users to preview the HDR effect in the viewfinder itself before hitting the shutter key.

Live HDR could be a great tool if you’re unsure about taking that snap in HDR, saving you the effort of taking a photo you don’t like in the first place. But hopefully we don’t have a stuttering viewinder as a result of the app constantly having to deliver an HDR preview.

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The camera app also contained references to a so-called Mesh Warp feature. This seems to be related to a perspective-correction algorithm for selfies, demonstrated by Google engineers earlier this year. The algorithm promised to reduce instances of warped faces and bodies in wide-angle selfies. It seems like the Pixel 4 series will only have one selfie camera this year, but here’s hoping it’s a wide-angle snapper that features this algorithm.

Google’s Pixel flagships usually get launched in early October, so we’ll likely have to wait until then for confirmation of these features and other details. What would you like to see in the next Pixel though? Give us your wishes below!

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