Google is rolling out an update to the Pixel Camera app a month after the last release, with version 8.6 introducing a handful of Material You tweaks and voice enhancements to the rear Pixel 6 lens.
Update 26-10: Google is rolling out a major update this afternoon for Camera 8.6 with version 8.6.263.478604508.17 for the Pixel 6 Pro and older. We did not encounter any user-oriented changes and this is probably just a bug fixer.
It’s because version 8.7 remains exclusive to the Pixel 7 series with a handful of user-centric changes independent of the new camera hardware. Highlights include the return of Frequent Faces, a removal of the Google Lens shortcut, a new location for the Lock Folder, and several icon changes. Google Camera 8.7 could be coming to older Pixel phones with the December Feature Drop and Android 13 QPR1.
Update 9/2: Version 8.6.263.471358013.15 of Google Camera was widely rolled out Friday afternoon as a small patch. There are no obvious changes to the phone.
The accompanying Wear OS update (8.6.263.471358013.15) is a bug fixer after the first update last month. The camera preview on the watch looks at a higher resolution, while several buttons no longer have graphical errors.
Update 25-8: Another change made by Google Camera 8.6 causes the default wide-angle zoom/zoom magnification to go from 0.6 to 0.7x in the pill-shaped switch above the shutter button. We’ve seen this change on the Pixel 6a (114° field of view, 12MP) and 5a (117° FOV, 16MP), while this is presumably the case on the 5 and 4a 5G as well.
You can squeeze to get 0.6x back, while the difference isn’t that big. This matches the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, which has been .7 (only) since launch.
Update 18-08: A new version of Google Camera 8.6 is widely rolled out today: 8.6.263.461063035.12 up to 8.6.263.463689965.13.
This is most likely a minor update, but should see wider availability with the launch of Android 13 on Monday. Camera 8.6 has not been rolled out for Pixel phones running Android 12 or older.
Update 7/28: Google Camera 8.6 on the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro (which we’ve since gotten the update on) turns on “Speech Enhancement” for the rear camera.
At launch, this feature was only for recording video with the front-facing camera and works to reduce unwanted noises such as “wind, traffic, and crowds.” It is now available on the rear camera for 1080p (FHD) at 30FPS recording.
Original 7/27: The main visual change today is the “Mode” tab at the end of the carousel. The Panorama, Photo Sphere, and Lens buttons are now placed in a rounded rectangular container instead of being placed directly over the live preview.
In addition to the Material You housing, those access points have also been moved down the screen to make it easier to reach, especially if your thumb is to tap the shutter button.
Finally, the buttons are now themed with Dynamic Color, as are other key UI elements (e.g. mode switch and Locked folder shortcut), instead of just being black on a white background.
Camera 8.5 vs 8.6
We received Google Camera 8.6 on a Pixel 4a (with Android 13) this afternoon, but the new update is not yet widely rolled out via the Play Store.
The last gap between updates was just over (version 8.4) two months (8.5), so this release is definitely coming sooner than expected. It also presumably includes bug fixes, but Frequent Faces is still disabled as far as we can tell.
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