Google Pixel 2 Has A Secret Weapon To Threaten Apple’s New iPhones

Google Pixel 2 Has A Secret Weapon To Threaten Apple’s New iPhones

Google’s Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL phones pack the highest-rated smartphone cameras on the planet right now, but they’ll soon be getting even better. The chip, named ‘Pixel Visual Core’, is Google’s first custom-designed co-processor for consumer products and is designed to deliver maximum image processing performance while using minimum power. Furthermore, it will enable third-party apps to use the HDR+ feature, something which is currently only possible from within Google’s home-grown camera app. However, it’s currently available only in Google’s own camera app and this means popular third-party apps, which often offer greater manual control and additional features, can’t currently take pictures of such high quality. The Pixel Visual Core chip will be turned on ‘in the coming months’ through a software update, says Google, and will enable more applications to use the Pixel 2’s camera hardware in HDR+ mode. According to Google, this means the chip can process images five times faster than the phone’s main processor while using only one-tenth of the power. This means, that the door will be open for all your favourite camera apps to take photos in HDR+ mode without the need for any new code in Halide or TensorFlow. Google’s camera app is great but lacks the sophistication of some third-party offerings. I particularly look forward to being able to save HDR+ images in uncompressed high bit-depth versions for processing in Adobe Lightroom Mobile or later on my PC.

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Google’s Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL phones pack the highest-rated smartphone cameras on the planet right now, but they’ll soon be getting even better.

It’s all thanks to a new image processing chip, currently lying dormant inside the phone, which wasn’t even mentioned in Google’s keynote at the launch of the new Pixel 2 handsets.

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The chip, named ‘Pixel Visual Core’, is Google’s first custom-designed co-processor for consumer products and is designed to deliver maximum image processing performance while using minimum power. Furthermore, it will enable third-party apps to use the HDR+ feature, something which is currently only possible from within Google’s home-grown camera app.

HDR+ is Google’s name for the image processing magic which enables the company’s phones to take pictures of a much higher quality than would normally be possible with comparable hardware.

However, it’s currently available only in Google’s own camera app and this means popular third-party apps, which often offer greater manual control and additional features, can’t currently take pictures of such high quality.

Pictures taken on Pixel 2 on a third-party app. Picture on the…

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