New Google Camera update brings some Pixel 6 features to its predecessors

Google Pixel 6 Pro Camera App
Google Pixel 6 Pro Camera App (Image credit: Nick Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google Camera has received an update that allows some Pixel 6 camera features to be used on older Pixel phones.
  • These features include timer light, manual exposure controls, and a swipe gesture to quickly access the settings.
  • The update is not yet widely available, but it can be sideloaded on the Pixel 5 and 4a.

Google has started rolling out an udpate to the Google Camera app that should make your older Pixel phones feel a little like the Pixel 6 series, at least when using the camera. The latest version of the Camera app now includes the timer light, optional exposure controls, and an easy settings shortcut, as per 9to5Google.

Perhaps one of the most notable changes with Google Camera version 8.4 is the addition of timer light to the Pixel 5 and 4a. Previously exclusive on Google's best Android phones this year, the feature turns the LED flash in your rear camera into an indicator when the clock starts counting down.

Google Camera also added a new gesture to open the camera settings with quick swipe down. This is indicated by a cogwheel icon with an arrow pointing down in the viewfinder. You can either tap it or simply swipe down to pull up the settings menu.

Finally, Google added a new section called Manual Controls in the Settings menu. This lets you disable the manual exposure control sliders in order to keep your viewfinder clear of clutter, if you're so inclined.

The features are being rolled out now through the Play Store, though it may not be immediately available on your older Pixel phone. That said, you can pick it up from APK Mirror, if you don't mind your phone crashing after opening the Camera app.

Google Pixel 6 Kinda Coral Render

Google Pixel 6

The Pixel 6 is the first Google phone to include a custom-built processor, which enhances the overall phone experience with more powerful machine learning capabilities. The display is faster, with a refresh rate of 90Hz.

Jay Bonggolto
News Writer & Reviewer

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.