Google Enables Pixel Visual Core For 3rd Party Applications on Pixel 2

Pixel 2’s Visual Core will allow for better photos on 3rd party applications

The Pixel Visual core that Google secretly snuck onto the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL is finally active for 3rd party applications. While the visual core was put in all of the Pixel 2 family of devices since launch it wasn’t used until Google released Android 8.1. This allowed for slight speed improvements but ultimately only gave users slight speed improvements.


Today that all changes with Google enabling the Visual Core for 3rd party applications. This will allow for 3rd party apps to use the HDR+ functionality that made the Pixel 2’s camera the best on the market. What makes a phone’s camera great isn’t it’s photography ability under ideal circumstances but how well it takes photos in situations like poor lighting. HDR+ was Google’s solution for that and it allowed for Google to surpass all other phones in image quality.


Even with the iPhone X’s launch after the Pixel 2, the Pixel line of phones is considered the best on the market when it comes to the camera. This has lead to many tech Youtubers deciding that the Pixel 2 (or XL) was the best phone for them to carry. Ultimately the biggest issue with the Pixel 2’s camera was that it wasn’t able to perform as well in 3rd party apps like Snaptchat and Instagram. That all changes today.



Google has fully enabled HDR+ in 3rd party apps that decide to take advantage of it. Today Google’s post specifically mentions Instagram, Snapchat, and WhatsApp. 3 of the largest photo sharing applications on the market. Hopefully, most applications that use the camera quickly update to support the camera API’s needed to take advantage of HDR+.


The app that I’m hoping gets Visual Core functionality

The main app I am personally hoping gets updated is the app DJI uses to control the Osmo Mobile 2 as that should be arriving shortly. The Pixel’s key advantage in the camera department is image processing so in 3rd party apps like the one DJI uses to enable the more advanced features of the Osmo Mobile actually take a hit in quality when used on the Pixel. This is why most reviews of a product like the Osmo Mobile feature an iPhone rather than the Pixel.


Only time will tell if the Visual Core actually get apps to take advantage of HDR+.

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