Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Android 15 to Offer High-Quality Mode for Webcam Feature on Google Pixel Smartphones: Report

Android 15 is set to arrive in the second half of 2024 with several new features in tow, and these features are expected to arrive on Google’s Pixel phones, before they make their way to other Android-powered handsets. While we recently got a look at a handful of new features with the release of Android 15 Developer Preview 2 last week, the company is also reportedly working on improving a feature that lets you use your Android phone as a webcam.

According to a recent Android Authority report, the webcam feature introduced on Pixel smartphones will receive an upgrade on Android 15. The publication previously tested the webcam feature on the Pixel 8 Pro alongside Apple’s Continuity Camera for iPhone models that offers the same feature and found that the latter offers far better video quality. Google could reportedly close this gap with the next version of Android.

When Android 15 arrives later this year, the webcam mode will reportedly feature a new HQ button that turns on a high-quality mode, as per the report. Unlike the default mode that has been available since Android 14, this mode is said to disable power optimisations that sacrifice video quality in order to conserve battery, resulting in improved video recorded while in webcam mode.

It is currently unclear what impact enabling the high-quality battery will have on battery life, compared to the standard mode. Google’s webcam feature only works in wired mode, so the connected USB cable could help reduce the battery drain to some extent, but users who are expecting to take longer calls might want to consider switching to the regular mode.

Support for the new high-quality mode is already enabled on the latest Android 12 DP 2 release, and users who have installed the preview on their Pixel smartphones can now test out the feature and compare it to the original mode. 

Google is working on several improvements to existing features, while adding a few new ones to Android 15. These include native support for satellite connectivity, improved NFC functionality, better support for apps on foldable phones’ cover screens, and support for configuring app archiving. All of these features are likely to make their way to the final release when it is released in the second half of 2024.

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