Google’s hardware event has been chock full of information on new devices, but camera software has also gotten some TLC. The company announced a ton of Pixel 8 features exclusive for shutterbugs and video editors.
The new Best Take feature solves the issue of, uh, one person looking really gross in group photos. When enabled, the software takes a series of photos in quick succession and you can actually mix and match faces to create the perfect group shot, sort of a face-based riff on the pre-existing Magic Editor tech. Grab a face from one photo and slap it on the next. If you have a friend who truly relishes ruining group shots, they likely won’t be able to.
Speaking of Magic Editor, it’s getting a boost thanks to the power of generative AI. The new version now allows you to circle objects to reposition them in the shot and pinch to resize them. There are also a number of background presets that are accessible via a single tap. This technology’s advancing quickly and it won’t be long before you have absolute and total control over every aspect of your photos after the fact.
The Guided Frame feature has been enhanced and now operates via both the front-facing and rear-facing cameras. This tool is great for capturing centered shots of important subjects, like faces, pets, dinners and documents. It works rather simply, with the phone emitting a series of vibrations to let you know when an object is perfectly in frame, even if you aren’t looking at the display.
Magic Eraser is dipping its toes into the world of video. The new Audio Magic Eraser helps you delete unwanted sounds from videos. It looks to work as quickly and simply as its image-based cousin, splitting a video’s audio track into layers and allowing you to delete individual sounds. For instance, if there’s an ambulance blaring in the background at your kid’s birthday party, just get rid of that ambulance. We were impressed by this feature, though we noted that it didn’t entirely eliminate unwanted audio artifacts, instead significantly reducing them in volume.
Finally, there’s a new feature called Video Boost that upscales footage using HDR technology. Basically, it sends the entire footage to Google’s servers where it’s split into individual frames. Each frame gets the HDR treatment before being recombined into a video and sent back to your phone. This won’t be available until a software update launches in December.