Yesterday was the first Monday of June, so Google published a new Android Security Bulletin. It’s also been 3 months since the last Pixel Feature Drop, so Google took the opportunity to also drop a new set of exclusive features for Pixel users. Many of the features announced by Google haven’t rolled out yet, though the latest Google Camera update brings at least one of the promised features: time-lapse astrophotography.
Google Camera 8.2.400 is now rolling out on Google Play (H/T cstark27 and MwPratama), and after installing it on a Pixel 4 running Android 11, we noticed that the astrophotography video feature has been added. If you navigate to GCam’s Settings > Advanced, you’ll see a new “enable time lapse for astrophotography” toggle with the description “export photo and time lapse. Uses more storage space.” In the astrophotography tip that’s available in the Night Sight mode settings, a new line has been added that says “wait at least 2.5 minutes to capture a time lapse in addition to a photo.”
I haven’t had the chance to test this feature yet since it won’t be nighttime for several hours and there’s a ton of light pollution in my area, but I’m sure we’ll see sample videos posted all over social media soon.
As for the other feature coming to the Google Camera app — ie. Locked Photos integration — we haven’t spotted that yet. There’s supposed to be a toggle in the top-right corner that lets us choose between saving to the photo gallery or the Locked Folder in Google Photos, but since the latter feature hasn’t rolled out yet, it likewise hasn’t been enabled yet in Google Camera. However, we can confirm that the Locked Photos feature should go live soon, as code for it has been added to the latest GCam and Google Photos versions. Locked Photos is code-named “mars”, while the time-lapse astrophotography feature is code-named “kepler” as we suspected.
You’ll have to wait for Google to push the Google Camera update to your device as Google blocks sideloading updates to the app. We’ll be digging into the latest release to see what else we can find.