How To: Get the Pixel 4's Leaked Camera App on Older Pixels

Get the Pixel 4's Leaked Camera App on Older Pixels

XDA recently reported on a leaked version of the upcoming Pixel 4's camera app. By testing the app, they were able to find upcoming Pixel 4 features like a new Night Sight mode that can photograph stars. Well that leaked version has leaked itself, so now you can install it on your own Pixel phone.

This is an internal "dogfood" APK that Google released to its own employees for early alpha testing. It's a little buggy and we don't know the source of the leak, but despite that, you can tell it's official since it installs as an update to the camera app on the Pixel, Pixel 2, Pixel 3, and Pixel 3a, plus all of the XL variants. This means it was signed by Google, so you can trust that it's safe.

Step 1: Install the Leaked APK

Know that this is an alpha build of Google Camera 7.0, so you will likely experience some bugs. In testing on the Pixel 3, we found only minor issues like Portrait mode being inconsistent, but other users have reported worse, so proceed with caution. If you're on the fence, we'll outline how to uninstall the update at the end of this article, so you've really got nothing to lose.

And to reiterate, this will only work on Pixels. This APK cannot be installed on other devices. You'll have to wait for a ported version if you're not using a Pixel.

But to install it, head to the link below, then tap "Download APK." Make sure you have "Allow from this source" enabled for Chrome, then tap "Open" on the snackbar notification at the bottom of the screen. Finally, tap "Install" on the popup.

Step 2: Try Pixel 4 Camera Features

The first thing you'll notice is a revamped UI. Camera modes are now beneath the shutter button, and advanced controls are tucked away in a drop down menu that appears when you tap the button at the top of the screen. This will show different controls for each shooting mode — for instance, for Night Sight, it shows a new "Focus" option with four settings: Auto, Near, Far, and Infinity. The Infinity mode is what enables the Pixel 4's hyped ability to take pictures of the stars at night.

The Settings menu (accessible by tapping the gear icon in the drop-down menu for any mode) has a slightly different layout, though the only new option worth noting is "Save selfie as previewed." With this turned on, the mirrored image you see in the viewfinder while taking a selfie will be the final version of the captured image.

Another really cool feature is the ability to long-press the shutter button while you're in Camera mode to record a video. Perfect for those times when you realize a video might be better than a photo at the last second, the video will record as long as you're holding the shutter button. This is a feature Apple announced for the iPhone 11 Pro, so that's one more thing you can have before Apple users.

Finally, a handy on-screen level appears when you hold the phone steady for a while. The phone interprets this as you trying to line up the shot perfectly, so it offers the level for help with centering the shot on the horizon. This is another iPhone feature, though one iOS has had long before this.

Step 3: Revert to the Stable Version of Google Camera (Optional)

If you decide this leaked version just isn't for you, head to Google Camera's Play Store page. Tap "Uninstall," then hit "OK" to revert the app back to its factory version. From there, just update the app on the Play Store and you'll be back on the version of Google Camera you were using before you sideloaded the Pixel 4's.

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Cover image and screenshots by Dallas Thomas/Gadget Hacks

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