Google is long rumored to be working on a foldable smartphone, possibly called the Pixel Fold or the Pixel Notepad. While nothing has materialized as yet, there’s more evidence that the work is ongoing behind the scenes. Google Camera version 8.6, which rolled out last week, contains the latest piece of evidence.
The latest version of the Pixel camera app has a hidden new mode codenamed “Jupiter,” which 9to5Google found while decompiling the APK file. This mode gets a dedicated button to the left of the camera switcher. The icon for it is what catches attention here. It seemingly depicts a foldable smartphone. There’s an arrow running from the back to the front, as well as a dotted line at the center. It appears to urge the user to fold the device. You can see the icon below.
This button is non-functional on Google Camera 8.6. So it’s unclear what it does. But from what it appears, “Jupiter” will let you use the device in a half-folded state, somewhat like Samsung’s Flex Mode. But that’s just an assumption. There are other possibilities too.
According to the new report, activating Jupiter mode disables the camera switcher. This could mean you will be able to only use either front or rear cameras in this mode. Perhaps you have to fold the device to use the external selfie camera. Another possibility would be that the screen will show live feedback from both sets of cameras simultaneously. A foldable display is big enough to accommodate both.
Unfortunately, we don’t have any concrete evidence suggesting the function of this button in Google Camera. But it does show the company is preparing for the launch of its first foldable smartphone. We will let you know when we have more information.
There are more hidden features in the latest Google Camera APK
In addition to the Jupiter mode, 9to5Google also spotted a couple more hidden features in the latest Google Camera APK. There’s a “Hotspot” feature that appears to be a guide to taking better selfies, similar to the existing “coaching” features but with a focus on selfies. The icon for it, which is attached below, seemingly shows a perfectly aligned selfie too.
“Use visual, audio, and haptic feedback to provide selfie guidance,” the description for Hotspot reads. The visual feedback likely means the screen will show a frame where your face should fit for the best results. The audio and haptic feedback will probably be an alert to indicate that the shot is perfectly aligned and ready to be captured.
The new version of Google‘s camera app for Pixels also contains references to two more upcoming modes or settings, code-named “Amber” and “Amethyst”. There’s not much info available about these two. The publication speculates that Amber could be a new mode for video recording. It may be limited to 1080p resolution at 30fps (frames per second). Amethyst, on the other hand, could be “a toggle in the quick settings available above Google Camera’s viewfinder.”
What’s new in Google Camera 8.6 for Pixel smartphones?
All of the aforementioned new features on Google Camera are not available to the public. These are in development and may or may not release with an upcoming update for the app. The latest update, meanwhile, contains a few new additions.
Firstly, Google Camera 8.6 enables “Speech enhancement” for the rear cameras as well. This feature was initially only available while recording videos with the front camera. It helps reduce unwanted noises like “wind, traffic, and crowds” in videos. Pixel users can now use it when recording 1080p videos with the rear camera at 30fps.
Additionally, Google Camera gets some Material You-based redesign with this release. The Panorama, Photo Sphere, and Lens buttons available from the Modes tab are now housed within a rectangular chamber. These buttons have also moved down a bit and now support Dynamic Theming. Unfortunately, Frequent Faces is still missing. Hopefully, version 8.7 will bring it.
Google Camera 8.6 started rolling out to Pixels devices running Android 13 a few days back. You can click the button below to check for an update for the app on the Google Play Store.
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