Google might bring these new camera features to the Pixel 5

Google Pixel 4
Google Pixel 4 (Image credit: Future)

If Google Pixel smartphones are known for one thing, it's for being great camera phones, so Google is likely developing ways to make the Pixel 5's snapper better than the camera on the Pixel 4. We now have an idea of what some of those camera improvements might be.

The newest version of the Google camera app was just released, containing some lines of code pointing to potential new features the company is looking at, as discovered by 9to5Google - some of these could come to future phones from the company.

These lines of code aren't fully fleshed-out features, meaning they're not 'finished' yet, so it's not guaranteed we'll see all these features in Google's upcoming Pixel 5 or any other phone. Some of these tricks are already present in non-Pixel phones though, so to stay competitive Google really should develop its own versions.

New Google Pixel 5 features

Perhaps the most intriguing new feature hinted at in the Google Pixel camera app is flash intensity, as not many smartphones have this feature. By the sounds of it, it would allow you to change how bright the flash is when you take photos in dark areas.

Google already has a popular Night Sight mode for its camera phones, which takes great low-light snaps, and since flash is also for dark settings, it's not entirely clear why the company is working on two separate settings for such shots. Perhaps it's for improved front-lighting techniques in fairly well-lit situations instead.

Another feature hinted at is motion blurring, which would give action shots a bit of 'natural' looking blur like what you'd see from a DSLR camera. This is an example of Google making software do in its smartphones what hardware does for most dedicated cameras.

Next up, several smartphones now have 'audio zoom' for video recording, in which audio gets louder when you zoom in while recording, and it seems Google is working on an equivalent. 9to5Google suggests this mode might need hardware specific to future Pixel phones, though.

Finally, it seems when you record a video in the camera app of future PIxel smartphones, you might have the option of immediately sharing it to a range of apps including Instagram, Skype, Twitter and WhatsApp. It's not clear what advantage this will have over using the built-in video recorders in those apps, other than perhaps resolution (though that often gets downgraded when sharing anyway).

We'll have to see which of these features end up in the Google Pixel 5 (or future Pixel smartphones). We're expecting the fifth-generation Pixel to launch around October, so we'll hopefully find out then.

Tom Bedford

Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. He also currently works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.