Google has today announced that the embedded Pixel Visual Core processor inside their Pixel 2/Pixel 2 XL handsets has been fully enabled in the latest update.
Google first unveiled the existence of the Pixel Visual Core, which enables HDR+ image quality to camera apps in Android, last year, but refrained from switching it on fully until today. From today, third party apps including Instagram, Snapchat and WhatsApp which Google named specifically as apps that will benefit from the Pixel Visual Core, will see better photos, but in theory any app which uses the camera on the Pixel 2/Pixel 2 XL will see improvements.
Google has been testing the waters with the Pixel Visual Core which utilises Google’s computational photography and machine learning algorithms in various developer previews. The full benefits of the Pixel Visual Core includes zero shutter lag as well as HDR+.
In their blog post today, Google said
Pixel Visual Core is built to do heavy-lifting image processing while using less power, which saves battery. That means we’re able to use that additional computing power to improve the quality of your pictures by running the HDR+ algorithm.
Google has supplied examples of the improvements that the Pixel Visual Core can make (Without Visual Core on the left, with Visual Core on the right):
Google has also announced that a new set of AR Stickers will also be coming later this week. Google says a Winter Sports themed AR Stickers pack will be released making for a timely launch to coincide with the opening of the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games.
Google says that the rollout of the update to enable the Pixel Visual Core will begin over the next few day as part of the February Monthly update.