Google recently revealed that some of the new camera features that arrived with the Pixel 4 such as the astrophotography feature in Night Sight will make their way to older Pixel phones too. Making good on its promise, Google has begun the rollout of a new update for the Google Camera app that adds the astrophotography mode to the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3XL, as well as the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL. In addition to the Astrophotography mode, the Google Camera app v7.2 also brings a new camera UI that looks more like the one we saw on the Pixel 4 pair.
The Google Camera v7.2 update is now available to download via the Play Store. We can confirm that the updated build of Google Camera app is available for all older Pixel smartphones, which include the Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 3a, Pixel 3a XL, Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixel, and Pixel XL. However, the new features and changes it brings varies from phone to phone. For example, the Pixel 4 and first-gen Pixel both now have identical zoom-exposure sliders, but only the Pixel 4’s drop-down window offers RAW and motion control.
As for the astrophotography mode, it currently appears to be available only on the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3a pair, just as Google had promised earlier. The Pixel and Pixel 2 have officially not received support for astrophotography mode, but it is available with a Google Camera app mod created by senior XDA-Developers member cstark27. We’ve tried this Google Camera app mod and can confirm that Astrophotography mode works on the first-gen Pixel as well, but the output will obviously vary. You can download the Google Camera app v7.2 mod’s APK here.
Google Camera app’s UI has also received a makeover with v7.2. For example, the camera modes are now located at the bottom, while the shutter button, photo preview, and camera switcher buttons sit above in a line. The row at the top for timer, flash, and HDR controls has been removed, and in its place, a small drop-down arrow has been added. Tapping on the arrow button opens a small window where toggles for HDR, RAW, Motion, Timer, Flash and aspect ratio can be found.
The Settings button has been moved below the dropdown window for quicker access. Earlier, users had to visit the ‘More’ section to open the Settings page. The Google Camera app’s home screen now shows a dual slider scheme – the vertical slider is for adjusting exposure, while the horizontal one is for zoom control. It must be noted that this is not the dual exposure slider control feature that debuted on the Pixel 4, allowing users to adjust brightness and shadows. The dual exposure slider control and Live HDR won’t come to older Pixels.