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better photos with the GCamator app

Google Camera (Gcam) offers a lot of cool features (Photo Sphere mode, time-lapse / slow motion mode, Google Lens, Frequent faces, video stabilization …), but it does well with its portraits and hellish night photos . The downside is that it is an exclusive of Google Pixel devices and that it is no longer possible to install Gcam from the Play Store.

The solution is to go on the Internet to find a compatible APK file and install it on your device. Not easy to find and… a little dangerous too. GCamator is an app that will simply scan your device and offer you the correct version.

On the left, a snapshot taken with the Photo app of the very good OnePlus 6 in Night mode and on the right the version with Gcam…

Two photo apps are better than one

Note that Gcam will not replace your current photo app, it will just be added to your photo app in your app list. And that’s good, because Gcam has one flaw: it only works with the main lens of your smartphone. You will therefore not be able to use your optical zoom or your ultra wide angle for example. The solution then consists in juggling between the two apps: Gcam for portraits and photos in difficult conditions and your usual app for the rest. Afterwards, if you would rather opt to buy a Google Pixel, we recommend the Pixel 4a which is currently at 349 € at Fnac (and to 499 € in its 5G version).

Install Google Camera with GCamator

1 / Automatic detection

Install GCamator and verify that the Camera2API API is present on your device. Then go to Your Gcam and let the app select the best version for your smartphone. Sometimes the detection works poorly (as on our test OnePlus 6 with an unlocked bootloader): go to the next tab to view the list of versions.


2 / Dozens of models

Here you will find dozens and dozens of versions of Gcam for the following brands: Xiaomi, Vivo, UMIDIGI, Ulefone, Samsung, Realme, Oppo, OnePlus, Motorola, LG, Huawei, Nokia (HMD Global) and Asus. Note that the smartphone models are not listed under their trade name: our OnePlus 6 responds to the name OnePlus A6003 for example. Go to the Settings on your phone to find out their name.


3 / Install Gcam

In automatic or manual detection, download Gcam and install the APK by giving the authorization. Gcam will then be added to the list of your apps. Compare the night photos between Gcam and your usual application, you might have surprises!


4 / Additional modes

Gcam also offers a Sphere Photo quite nice and “accelerated” and “slowed” modes of the most beautiful effect. It’s up to you to juggle the two photo applications (Gcam and yours) to get the most out of your smartphone.


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