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Pixel 8 Pro's Video Boost feature is almost here as code appears in Photos app

This previously announced feature brings computational AI smarts to Pixel videos.
By
November 30, 2023
google pixel 8 pro camera bar porcelain
Ryan Haines / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • A teardown of the latest version of Android’s Google Photos app shows code suggesting the Google Pixel 8 Pro Video Boost feature is coming very soon.
  • This feature allows for computational AI smarts to boost the visual look of a video.
  • Google said this was coming in December, and that’s on track.

In October, Google launched the Pixel 8 series of smartphones. During the launch, the company announced the Google Pixel 8 Pro Video Boost feature. This brings computational AI smarts to video for the first time on a Pixel. In order for it to work, you need to upload a video file to the cloud, where Google’s servers then process every single frame just like your phone would do on-device for a still photo. You then download the processed video.

Although Google announced this feature in October, the company said it wouldn’t be available until December 2023. Now, thanks to an APK teardown of the latest Google Photos app for Android (v.6.63.0.586138124), we can see Google is on track with this goal. We can also get a few ideas on how the feature might work.

An APK teardown helps predict features that may arrive on a service in the future based on work-in-progress code. However, it is possible that such predicted features may not make it to a public release.

The most interesting aspect of the Google Pixel 8 Pro Video Boost feature is that you can’t perform a boost on-device. As mentioned, you need to upload the video to the cloud, which means the feature requires an internet connection. When we found this out, we immediately wondered how this would work.

According to the latest Photos APK, you’ll probably be able to perform a Video Boost on any Pixel 8 Pro video that’s already been backed up to your Google account through the Photos app. However, if you don’t auto-upload all your video files, you’ll be able to choose a specific video on your phone to back up and then boost.

<string name="photos_blanford_auto_backup_dialog_body">To boost your videos, turn on backup in settings, or back up this individual video</string>

We can also see two of the formats in which you can download your boosted video. It looks like you’ll be able to choose between AVC (good for compatibility with many systems) or HEVC (less compatibility, but better file size/quality ratio). It’s possible there could be more options for file types when this feature rolls out, but we can be relatively certain these will be two of the options.

<string name="photos_blanford_download_for_quality">Download video for best quality</string>
<string name="photos_blanford_export_as_dialog_avc">AVC</string>
<string name="photos_blanford_export_as_dialog_export_button">Export</string>
<string name="photos_blanford_export_as_dialog_hevc">HEVC</string>
<string name="photos_blanford_export_as_dialog_title">Export as</string>

We’ll find out more about Video Boost in December. We’d imagine this feature will land with the next Pixel Feature Drop, which should land in the first week of the month. Stay tuned!