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Home > New Gear > Google Camera (GCam) on your smartphone: why and how to enjoy it
Google Camera (GCam) on your smartphone: why and how to enjoy it

Google Camera (GCam) on your smartphone: why and how to enjoy it

By  Evelyn Garcia 2019-06-05 5813 0

Many of you have chosen Google Camera (GCam) as the application for your smartphone's camera. We review this application and the installation methods according to your model.

Gcam is the abbreviation for Google Camera. This is usually a camera application that you can download to get some of the camera features (HDR+, Portrait Mode, Night Vision, Photo-sphere, Photobooth, Lens, Focus Effect, Panorama) found on Google Pixels.

On many smartphones, users experience better photo quality with the Google Camera application. But is that always the case? Not really. For low-light shooting or portrait mode, most users consider Google Camera (GCam) better than their camera's default Camera application. However, Google Camera does not support all the features of your smartphone, such as additional cameras (ultra wide angle, zoom, etc.).

Why does Google Camera do better than OEMs

This is because the Google application uses some Google libraries that OEMs (manufacturers) are not allowed to use, they must then develop their own libraries. Fortunately, many developers have the Google Camera (GCamera) application, you will find the list of devices at the end of the article. Google Camera (GCam) can nevertheless work in a very random way depending on the port of the application but also on the compatibility with your smartphone.

How to install Google Camera (GCam) on your smartphone

Unfortunately, as you can see below, Google Camera is no longer available on off-pixel smartphones, so you must manually install a version compatible with your device.

First thing to know, Google Camera generally works quite well on Qualcomm Snapdragon and Samsung Exynos processors, if you have a smartphone with a Mediatek or Huawei Kirin processor, it will not work. There are exceptions, however, but stability is unlikely to be achieved.

Let's start by checking the compatibility of the Camera2 APIs on your smartphone (we've been talking about it since 2014). On a pixel, the level reached is level 3. You can check this with the application below. You have to look at the Hardware Level Support Category.

▪ Level-3 - The OEM of the camera has added additional features to the camera hardware, including RAW image capture.

▪ Full: the smartphone supports all the main features of the Camera2 API.

▪ Limited - The phone only supports some of the features of the Camera2 API.

▪ Legacy - Your Android smartphone only supports the features of the Camera1 API. So, no support for the Camera2 API.

If the Camera2 API is not enabled on your smartphone, all is not lost. It is possible to activate them from an alternative recovery from your smartphone, unfortunately the manipulation is not simple. We recommend that you back up your smartphone's data before you start this operation.

If your smartphone supports Camera 2 APIs, most of the time, you will just need to install an APK file (tutorial). There are also configuration files to place on your smartphone, the settings.xml. Be sure to download the right files compatible with your smartphone.

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