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compatible phones, where to download the latest version and how to configure the app

Google Pixel 3 photo camera

And if the advances made by Google in the field of computational photography were on your mobile, simply by installing an app? That has been the goal of a good number of developers and members of the Android user community for several years, through the project known as GCam or Google Cam Port, which consists of carrying the Camera application included in Google Pixel devices, with all the functions and systems that make this software unique, to the maximum number of devices possible. regardless of brand or model.

And the truth is that, so far, the route of the project is more than promising. In recent years we have been able to see how even the cheapest phones They can offer a very dignified photographic experience simply by installing one of these modified variants of the Google camera app.

However, there are so many variants, versions, configurations and aspects to take into account, that sometimes it can be somewhat confusing know what is the appropriate application to get the most out of the camera of our mobile. Therefore, in this guide we will explain step by step everything you should know about GCam, in addition to offering some tips to get the best photos using the modified Google camera app.

What advantages does GCam provide with respect to your mobile camera app?

OnePlus 7 Pro camera app

First of all, it is necessary to mention that GCam is not something as simple as a third-party camera app such as Open Camera, Manual Camera, FV-5 Camera or Moment Pro Camera. The main peculiarity of this application, and where its appeal really resides, is the fact that incorporates the photographic processing algorithms that Google includes in its Pixel, as well as many of its most popular functions, such as portrait mode, night vision, Super-Res Zoom, focus with tracking and more.

And since Google Pixel has nothing special about the hardware of their cameras – at least during its first three generations – Google decided to focus all its efforts on software and artificial intelligence to offer one of the best photographic experiences ever seen on an Android mobile. But given the freedom of the Android platform, all these advances were only exclusive to the Pixel for a few months, until the developers got to work.

Today, we can find GCam versions compatible with most popular Android smartphones, which allow captures with a style and quality similar to those of images output directly from the Pixel camera. This has led many people to completely stop using the native camera app of their phones, to move on to use only GCam.

Where can GCam be installed and used?

Samsung Galaxy A80 cameras

Regrettably, There is no single version of GCam that works the same on all Android devices. The diversity of processors, Android versions, photographic configurations and other aspects is one of the biggest challenges that the GCam developer community must face when developing its variants.

However, it is easy to deduce whether our mobile is compatible with GCam by examining a series of requirements. To get started, if the device has a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor -You can check if this is the case with an app to know what components your smartphone includes- we will have enough land gained, since GCam usually works with virtually all smartphones based on Snapdragon platforms.

If, in addition to that, the terminal is relatively popular and has a large community of users and developers behind, it is very likely that there is at least one version of GCam compatible.

Taking into account all of the above, from XDA-Developers they offer us a list of brands and devices compatible with GCam –We will update this list over the months, as new compatible terminals appear–:

If you've been aware of GCam's development for a while, you know that Finding a version compatible with your mobile is not as simple as going to Google Play and downloading the app. To ensure that the operation is optimal, be necessary find and download the most suitable GCam APK file.

Through Celso Acevedo's blog, we found each and every one of the different variants and versions that exist of GCam. Therefore, be where we will go to download the desired APK. In some cases, we can find versions compatible with a good number of devices –Is the case of Arnova8g2 versions, for example–, but the best thing to be research in the forums of each device through portals such as XDA-Developers or HTCMania To check what is the variant that works best with each specific terminal. It may also be a good idea to join the official Telegram channel of Google Camera Ports where the new available versions will be published.

What versions of GCam exist?

The development of GCam is not unified, but there are several developers who decide to develop their own solutions with more or less functions, or adapted to one or the other devices. Below we offer download links for some of the most popular variants. As I say, there is no better than another; They are simply different and adapt to different needs.

  • Arnova8g2: It works only on mobile phones with the camera2 API enabled, with Qualcomm processor – also some Exynos and Kirin -, and with 64-bit ROMs. It does not work on mobile phones without support for RAW capture. Stable versions are released monthly. The beta program receives new versions on a weekly basis. It is considered one of the most stable versions.

  • cstark27: based on builds of Arnova8g2, but optimized to work on some specific smartphones such as those of the LG G and LG V series or the OnePlus 6 and 6T. New versions every week.

  • BSG: versions oriented mainly to work on Xiaomi phones. However, most of releases They are also compatible with other terminals based on Qualcomm Snapdragon platforms.

Configure GCam: how to import XML files

Google Pixel 3, photo camera

Usually enough install a compatible version and start taking pictures to tell the difference in the quality of the images. However, you can go further there.

The great majority of ports from GCam offer the possibility of configure advanced camera features such as the parameters of HDR + mode, night mode, saturation and much more. However, it is likely that most users on foot They are not willing to spend time doing dozens of tests until they discover what is the best configuration For your devices.

Luckily, many of the GCam variants offer the possibility of import configuration files in XML format, which once applied automatically adjust the most appropriate parameters for take the best pictures. In our GCam installation and configuration guide on the OnePlus 7 Pro we explain this process in more detail.

As with the applications themselves, there is no configuration file teacher that works just as well on all models, and therefore it is necessary to explore between the different forums of each device to know the opinion of the community. Once chosen the XML profile that you want to import, the steps to follow are simple:

  1. Open a file browser and go to the reason of your mobile's internal memory. There should be a folder called "GCam". If not, you can create it yourself.

  2. Within that folder, create – if it does not already exist – another folder called Configs, where you paste the XML file you have downloaded.

  3. Open GCam and double-tap the blank space under the camera's shutter button. A pop-up menu appears.

  4. In the drop-down, select the profile you have downloaded, and click on “Restore”.

  5. Wait for the application to restart.

In this way, the The profile will be applied and the camera parameters will have been modified accordingly. Now you can start taking photos with your mobile, and enjoy the image quality offered by the Google camera app with the appropriate settings.

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