Google updates Pixel 2 camera software to access Pixel Visual Core

Alex Kidman 6 February 2018 NEWS


Google's Pixel 2 camera just got a whole lot better at taking great photos.

Google's Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL represent the search giant's take on what would make an "ideal" Android device, with a clean and light install of Android, a promise of the latest Android updates first and no vendor bloatware to make the whole experience laggy.

The single lens camera on the Pixel 2 is demonstrably one of the best on the market, especially for a single lens solution in a market where dual lenses are fast becoming the norm for premium handsets, and even mid-range devices.

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    That's because the Pixel 2 relies heavily on machine learning and AI to automatically tweak photographs after they're taken for the most pleasing results. While smartphones aren't going to challenge DSLRs for photographic supremacy any time soon, the Pixel 2 certainly shows what's possible with a single lens.

    Google has just announced that Pixel 2 owners should find the quality of their photos even better from now on, thanks to the release of the Pixel Visual Core software. The Pixel Visual Core is a Google-designed Image Processing Unit (IPU) co-processor built into every Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL.

    However, at launch, the IPU wasn't being addressed by the Pixel in third party applications, which meant that snaps taken in Instagram, Snapchat, Whatsapp or other popular photo apps weren't quite as sharp as they might have been. Google had promised that it would release the Visual Core update "in the coming months", and it's now set to release as part of the Google February updates for Pixel devices.

    What do I need to do to enable Pixel Visual Core?

    Not that much! Your Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL should receive the February Security update in the next few days, and the update for Visual Core is part of that package. So if your phone tells you there's an update to run, all you need to do is download it, let it install and reboot, and you should be good to go.

    One of the key advantages of the Pixel platform is the regular release of security updates which you should be enabling regularly in any case simply to keep your phone secure.

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