Google Pixel Camera App Could Soon Debut Trick Time-Lapse Astrophotography Mode

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Google's upcoming Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro Android flagships are still months away from launching, but leaked information on both devices is coming in at a furious pace. Over the past few weeks, we've seen convincing renders of the devices, alleged specs, and reports on possible features.

Today, however, we're learning about a new feature that could shortly be on the way for all currently-supposed members of the Pixel family. The folks over at XDA-Developers tore down the latest version of the Pixel Tips app from the Google Play Store. After performing some code sleuthing, a new "CameraAstrotimelapseSettingController" class was discovered within the app.

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Google Pixel's current astrophotography mode

The "CameraAstrotimelapseSettingController" tooltip is activated with version 8.2.3 or higher versions of the Google Camera app. Unfortunately, given that the latest publicly available version is 8.2.204 and no pre-release versions are making the rounds, there's no way to test this feature out using current hardware.

However, it's surmised that it will encompass a new astrophotography mode that allows you to capture images of the night sky over a set time period. This new mode is a significant upgrade from the current astrophotography feature, which is limited to just a single image with an exposure time of up to 4 minutes.

The Realme 8 Pro can perform a similar feat with Starry Mode (see the stunning results above from Realme France). Still, we'd imagine that Google might be able to one-up that implementation either in overall image quality or with a greater abundance of user-selectable features for night sky watchers.

The combined time-lapse with astrophotography mode is expected to be available in an upcoming Pixel Feature Drop for the Pixel 3, Pixel 4, and Pixel 5 product families. Once that "drop" occurs, we'll be sure to report back with our findings on how it performs in the real world.