Get even more out of your mobile camera thanks to the Google camera app.
What if the advances made by Google in the field of computer photography were on your mobile, simply by installing an app? That has been the goal of a good number of developers and members of the Android user community for several years, through the project known as GCam or Google Cam Port. It consists of carrying the Camera app included on Google Pixel devices, with all the functions and systems that make this software unique, to the maximum number of devices possible, regardless of brand or model.
And the truth is that, until now, the project’s journey is more than promising. In recent years we have been able to see how even the cheapest mobiles they can offer a very worthy photographic experience simply by installing one of these modified variants of the Google Camera.
However, there are so many variants, versions, configurations and aspects to consider, that sometimes it can be somewhat confusing know which is the suitable GCam apk for our mobile. So in this guide we are going to explain step by step everything you need to know about GCam, also known as Google Camera or Google Camera, in addition to offering some tips to get the best photos using this modified Google camera app.
What advantages does GCam provide compared to the camera app on your mobile phone?
First of all, it is necessary to mention that GCam is not something as simple as a third-party camera app such as Open Camera, Manual Camera, FV-5 Camera or Moment Pro Camera. The main peculiarity of this application, and where its appeal really lies, is the fact that incorporates the photographic processing algorithms that Google includes in its Pixel, as well as many of its most popular functions, such as the portrait mode, night vision, Super-Res Zoom, tracking focus and more.
And is that since the Google Pixel is nothing special when it comes to the hardware of their cameras –At least during its first three generations–, Google decided to focus all its efforts on software and artificial intelligence to offer one of the best photographic experiences ever seen on an Android mobile. But given the freedom of the Android platform, all these advancements were only exclusive to the Pixels for a few months, until the developers got down to work.
To this day, we can find Google Camera versions compatible with most popular Android smartphones, which allow you to obtain captures with a style and quality similar to those of the images output directly from the Pixel camera. This has led many people to completely stop using the native camera app on their phones, to switch to only use GCam.
On which mobiles can GCam be installed and used?
Unfortunately, there is no single version of GCam that works the same on all Android devices. The diversity of processors, Android versions, photographic configurations and other aspects is one of the biggest challenges that the GCam developer community must face when developing its variants.
However, it is easy to deduce if our mobile will be compatible with the Google Camera apk by examining a series of requirements. To get started, if the device has a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor –You can check if it is so with an app to know what components your smartphone includes— we will have a lot of gained ground, given that GCam usually works with virtually all Snapdragon-based smartphones.
If, in addition to that, the terminal is relatively popular and has a wide community of users and developers behind it, it is very likely that there is at least one compatible version of GCam.
Taking all of the above into account, XDA-Developers offer us a list of brands and devices compatible with GCam –We will update this list over the months, as new compatible terminals appear–:
ASUS: ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M1, Zenfone 5Z, Zenfone 6, Rog Phone, ROG Phone II
Essential: Essential Phone PH-1
HTC: U10, U11, U Ultra, U12 +
LeEco: LeMax 2, LePro 3
Lenovo: Lenovo K6, P2, ZUK Z2 Pro, ZUK Z2 Plus
LG: G4, G5, G6, G7 ThinQ, G8 ThinQ, V11, V20, V30, V35 ThinQ, V40 ThinQ, V50 ThinQ
Motorola: Moto G5 Plus, G5S, G5S Plus, Moto G7, Moto G7 Power, Moto G7 Plus, Moto X4, One Power, Z2 Play, Z4
Nokia: Nokia 8.1, Nokia 7.1, Nokia 8, Nokia 8 Sirocco, Nokia 9 Pureview, Nokia 7 Plus, Nokia 6, Nokia 5, Nokia 7.2
Oneplus: OnePlus 3, OnePlus 3T, OnePlus 5, OnePlus 5T, OnePlus 6, OnePlus 6T, OnePlus 7, OnePlus 7 Pro, OnePlus 7T, OnePlus 7T Pro, OnePlus 8, OnePlus 8 Pro
Razer: Razer Phone, Razer Phone 2
Samsung (Snapdragon processor): Galaxy S7 / S7 edge, Galaxy S8 / S8 +, Galaxy S9 / S9 +, Galaxy S10 / S10 + / S10e, Galaxy Note8, Galaxy Note9, Galaxy A80
Xiaomi: Xiaomi Mi 9, Mi 9T, Mi 9T Pro, POCO F1, Mi A1, Mi A2, Mi A2 Lite, Mi A3, Mi MIX 3, Mi MIX 3 5G, Redmi Note 7, Redmi Note 7 Pro, Mi 5, Mi 5S , Mi 6, Mi 8, Mi MIX 2S, Mi MIX 2, Mi MIX, Mi Note 3, Redmi 3S, Redmi 4X, Redmi 4 Prime, Redmi 5A, Redmi Note 5/5 Plus, Redmi Note 5 Pro, Redmi Note 4 Redmi Note 3 (Qualcomm processor), Redmi Note 2, Mi Max 3, Redmi K20, Redmi K20 Pro, Redmi Note 8 Pro
Where to download the modified Google camera app
If you have been aware of GCam development for a long time, you will know that Finding a version compatible with your mobile is not as simple as going to Google Play and downloading the app.. To ensure optimum performance, it will be necessary to find and download the appropriate GCam apk file.
Through Celso Acevedo’s blog, we found each and every one of the variants and different versions that exist of GCam. Therefore, it will be there where we will resort to download the desired apk. In some cases, we can find versions compatible with a good number of devices –Is the case of the versions of Arnova8g2, for example–, but the best will be investigate in the forums of each device through portals such as XDA-Developers or HTCMania to check which variant works best for each specific terminal. It may also be a good idea to join the official Google Camera Ports Telegram channel where the new versions available will be published.
What versions of GCam are there?
GCam development is not unified, but there are several developers who decide to develop their own solutions with more or less functions, or adapted to one or the other devices. Below we offer download links for some of the most popular variants. As I say, there is no one better than another; they are simply different and adapt to different needs.
Arnova8g2: It works only on mobile phones with API camera2 enabled, with a Qualcomm processor –also some Exynos and Kirin–, and with 64-bit ROMs. It does not work on mobiles without RAW capture support. Stable versions are released on a monthly basis. The beta program receives new versions on a weekly basis. It is considered one of the most stable versions.
cstark27: based on builds from Arnova8g2, but optimized to work on some specific smartphones such as those of the LG G and LG V series or the OnePlus 6 and 6T. New versions every week.
BSG: Versions mainly oriented to work on Xiaomi mobiles. However, most of releases They are also compatible with other Qualcomm Snapdragon platform-based terminals.
Configure GCam: how to import XML files
Usually, just enough install a compatible version and start taking photos to notice the difference in the quality of the images. However, you can still go further.
The vast majority of ports GCam offer the possibility of configure advanced camera aspects such as HDR + mode parameters, night mode, saturation, and more. However, it is likely that most users on foot are not willing to spend time doing dozens of tests to discover what is the best setting for your devices.
Fortunately, many of the GCam variants offer the possibility of import configuration files in XML format, that once applied will automatically adjust the most appropriate parameters for take the best photos. In our OnePlus Mobile GCam Installation and Configuration Guide we explain this process in more detail.
As with the applications themselves, there is no configuration file teacher works equally well on all models, and therefore it will be necessary to explore between the different forums of each device to know the opinion of the community. Once chosen the XML profile to be imported, the steps to follow are simple:
Open a file explorer and go to the root of the internal memory of your mobile. There should be a folder called “GCam”. If not, you can create it yourself.
Inside that folder, create – if it doesn’t already exist – another folder called Configs, where you will paste the XML file that you have downloaded.
Open GCam and double-tap the blank space under the camera’s shutter button. A popup menu will appear.
In the dropdown, select the profile you have downloaded, and click on “Restore”.
Wait for the app to restart.
Thus, the Profile will be applied and the camera parameters will have been modified accordingly. Now you can start taking photos with your mobile, and enjoy the image quality offered by the Google camera app with the appropriate settings.
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