Last year, the Mountain View giant had its first go at making its own SoC in collaboration with Intel. The result was a creation called “Pixel Visual Core,” a co-processor aiming at further enhancing the image quality and the overall camera experience. However, this SoC has been dormant since the Pixel 2 launch and was only recently unleashed by Google after the Oreo 8.1 update, promising better HDR+ processing and dramatic increase in processing speed. While that sounded like music to our ears at first, many apps did not support it just yet, until now.
Fortunately, Google has flicked the switch for Visual Core and added proper HDR+ support to all social media apps, including WhatsApp, Snapchat, and Instagram, as well as other camera apps. In more layman terms, this should translate to considerably better photo quality when snapping photos via any of these apps in challenging light conditions, since all social media apps will have access to that mighty co-processor. Not only that, Visual Core promises faster image processing, which is expected from a dedicated 8-core image processing chip, and improved digital zooming by adopting RAISR technologies. Last but not least, Visual Core should also lower the battery consumption while the camera is being active. Best of all, any app could gain access to Google’s magnificent homegrown silicon, provided that the developers follow Google’s guidelines in adding Visual Core support to their apps.
All that is yet to come with Google’s upcoming February monthly update. And there is even more. Google will also update the Pixel 2 devices with fresh new AR stickers themed around the seasonal winter sports so that you can take some pics with enthusiastic ice skaters or a flock of sporty hockey players.