Google has recently released an update to its Pixel camera app, introducing a revamped interface aimed at improving usability. Initially believed to be a Pixel 8 exclusive, the update is available for older models as well. As someone who loves taking photos with my phone, I’ve had the opportunity to try out this new app UI for about a week now, and overall, I’m quite impressed. However, there is one change that I find extremely annoying.
The old Pixel camera interface served its purpose when the app’s capabilities were limited. However, with the addition of new features like various video modes, long exposure, and action pan photos, the interface became more cumbersome. The Pixel 8 series is set to introduce even more unique camera options, making a revamp necessary.
The latest update separates photos and videos into two main sections, which makes it easier to navigate and understand. This is particularly beneficial for video modes like Slow Motion, Timelapse, and Cinematic Blur, which are now no longer hidden within layers of menus. Additionally, the stabilization feature has been moved to the overlay settings, and the Pan mode has its own tab.
In terms of photography, the update separates Long Exposure and Action Pan modes, which were previously bundled under Motion mode. The Panorama and Photo Sphere modes have also been promoted to the top picker. Personally, my favorite change is the placement of Night Sight next to the main Photo mode. It allows for faster access, which is particularly useful for low-light photography.
However, there is one change that has been bothering me since the update was installed on my Pixel 7 Pro. Google has flipped the positions of the camera switch (selfie) and camera roll (preview) buttons. As someone who frequently taps the preview button to check the quality of my photos, this change has disrupted my muscle memory. Instead of viewing the preview, I often find myself accidentally switching to the selfie mode. It’s a small change but has proven to be quite frustrating.
I believe Google could have implemented a simple solution to address this issue. Rather than forcing users to adapt to the new button placement, they could have offered a setting that allows users to choose the placement of the selfie and preview buttons. This way, right- and left-handed users could customize the placement according to their preferences.
In addition to this change, there are several other improvements I would like to see in future updates of the Pixel camera app. One of them is the addition of a dedicated button for 10x zoom. While the Pixel 7 Pro has excellent zoom capabilities, there is currently no easy way to access the 10x zoom functionality. Having a button next to the 5x zoom option would greatly enhance the user experience.
Furthermore, a better interface for macro mode and improved zoom options while shooting panoramas would be welcome additions. Additionally, I am curious to see how Google plans to implement a manual mode, which has been rumored to be coming with the Pixel 8 Pro.
Overall, the recent update to the Pixel camera app has brought significant improvements to the interface, making it more user-friendly. However, the flipped button placement has proven to be a frustrating change for many users, including myself. By offering a settings option to customize the button placement, Google could easily resolve this issue and ensure a smoother user experience for all.