Google is now enabling the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL's not-so-secret Pixel Visual Core for third-party apps, including but not limited to Instagram, Snapchat, and WhatsApp, through a software update.
It's worth mentioning that the image processor was already activated when the Android 8.1 Oreo rolled out, but that was only for the Pixel 2's main camera app.
Pixel 2 Update Flips The Switch For Third Parties
Now that third-party apps can take advantage of what the Pixel Visual Core has to offer, that means they can benefit from faster image processing — five times faster, according to Google — when it comes to using HDR+, not to mention that the Pixel 2 itself will get to save more battery life.
"Pixel Visual Core is built to do heavy-lifting image processing while using less power, which saves battery. That means we're able to use that additional computing power to improve the quality of your pictures by running the HDR+ algorithm," Google says.
A Closer Look At The Image Processing Unit
The Pixel Visual Core is a chip that sports a total of eight cores dedicated to process images with more efficiency when using HDR+, a step above the more common HDR. Just to be clear on what it does, it helps capture pictures more clearly and evenly by taking three pictures at different exposures and putting them together for the best possible output.
Here's a sample from Google:
More Pixel 2 Features Coming
Google has something more up its sleeve for the Pixel 2, promising to launch new Augmented Reality Stickers that are themed after winter sports this February, just in time for the 2018 Winter Olympics.
"Like all AR stickers, these characters interact with both the camera and each other, creating a fun-filled way to enhance the moments you capture and share," Google writes.
Here's a sneak peek at what to expect:
For those who missed it, the first AR Stickers collection went live back in December, and it consisted of stickers based on Star Wars: The Last Jedi — from AT-AT Walkers and porgs to R2-D2 and BB-8 — and Stranger Things — from the whole gang such as Mike, Dustin, and Eleven to the Demogorgon.