Latest Google Camera update brings Pixel 6 settings to older Pixel phones

Timer light, optional exposure controls, and a clearer settings shortcut are among the changes

The Google Pixel 6 and 6 Pro launched with plenty of exciting new camera features, and while not all of those will trickle down to older Pixel phones, some improvements to the Google Camera app usually do arrive at some point. That time appears to be now, as the latest version of the app brings a few little quality of life changes to the camera experience on Pixel 5 phones and earlier.

Google Camera just started rolling out via the Play Store, according to via 9to5Google, and while it’s not yet widespread, it is available for download from APK Mirror. GCam updates are hit and miss when it comes to sideloading, and this one is no different. I’ve been able to install and use it on the Pixel 5 without issue, and 9to5 says it also runs fine on a Pixel 4a. When I tried it on a Pixel 4, however, the app starts before quickly crashing, so I would recommend waiting for the update to come from the Play Store if you don’t want to risk losing the use of your camera.


When you do get it, the new version includes the Timer light feature that will use the rear flash to indicate the clock running down (it stops at 2, though, which I find to not be super helpful). There’s also the option to turn off the manual control sliders for exposure, which is handy if you never use them and would rather have a cleaner viewfinder. Lastly, a settings cog has been added to the arrow that indicates how you can get to the settings — either by tapping the icon or swiping down anywhere on the screen. This should make the route to the camera’s settings a little clearer for some users.

So we’re not getting any of the more exciting Pixel 6 camera features such as Action pan or Long exposure, but at least older Pixel phones will have settings parity. You can, at least, try the excellent Magic Eraser on almost any Pixel device running Android 12 — just follow these steps to give it a go.

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