How to install Google Camera on any Android device

Pixel 3 XL 8

Google’s Pixel devices are known just for two things: their software and their camera. However, it is the latter one that is more renowned. The cameras on the Pixel devices are known to be at the top when it comes to performance. That being said, the fact is that their performance is heavily dependant on the software optimization. The Google Camera app uses a lot of machine learning to enhance the images and make them look better.

Also read: Google Pixel 3 XL review: shoots drool-worthy images that will persuade you to make a switch

Now, as the scene would be, the community has since then managed to port the Google Camera apk on other devices as well. However, with so many different devices out there, what’s the right way to install Google Camera? Well, if you’ve been baffled by the same question, read on, as we show you how to install Google Camera on any Android device.

What you need – Camera2API

The first and foremost thing that you’ll need for Google Camera to work on your device is Camera2API. Basically, Camera2API is a setting embedded inside your device’s build.prop file. Google Camera makes use of this API to work and give out better performance. On some devices, this API is enabled by default. However, on other’s, you are required to manually enable it.

To check whether your device supports Camera2API or not, download the Camera2 API Probe app to your device. Once you open it, grant it the required permissions and see the status of your Camera2API. As shown in the screenshots below, if you have Camera2API enabled, it will show a checkmark in green in the hardware support level.

Camera2API support missing (left), Camera2API support granted (right)

My device doesn’t have Camera2API enabled. What now?

I’m sure a lot of you must be getting the left-side image, which shows no access to the Camera2API. Well, don’t get disheartened yet, as there is still a way out. However, do note that since the setting is within your build.prop file, you’d need root access to modify it. The root process for each device is different. In case you don’t know how to root your device, do drop in a comment below and we will assist you in the process. We at Mr. Phone recommend using Magisk for root, but if you want to use SuperSU, that’s okay too.

Now, once you have root access on your device, install the BuildProp Editor app. Open the app and grant it root access. Once done, add the following line to your build.prop file:

persist.camera.HAL3.enabled=1

Once done, tap on save and reboot your device. The Camera2API should now be enabled on your device.

Alternatively, if you prefer using Magisk, you can also download a Magisk Module for it. Simply download the Camera2API enabler Magisk Module from here, and install it via the Magisk Manager. It helps enable Camera2API on your device systemlessly, so you get the benefits of the API without actually modifying your system files.

Installing the right Google Camera

Now that the Camera2API is enabled on your device, here comes the tricky part. Selecting the right Google Camera mod for your device. You see, there are a couple of modders out there, that take the original Google Camera app and modify it to work on a wide range of devices. However, not all the ported APKs work and they also produce different results. As such, there is no hard and fast universal law to Google Camera mods.

In order to install Google Camera on your device, head over here to see the full list of all the apk ports till date. Depending upon your device, you’d have to resort to certain developers. Arnova8G2 is the most popular one, with BSG (MGC) reported to work on devices where Arnova8G2 fails. The link maintains a record of the most recent ports, so ensure to always use the latest mod. All you need to do is download the apk and install the app for it to work. 

Google Camera Comparison

Now, I’m sure a lot of you would be wondering how much of a performance improvement does the Google Camera bring about? And on which smartphones is it even worth it? Well, we went ahead and did that thinking for you as well. Below is the link to our extensive and in-depth Google Camera comparison of the GCam mod installed on the Mi A2, the Poco F1, and the OnePlus 6T. So make sure to check that out as well. And see if Google Camera even makes sense for you or not.

No APK works for me. What now?

So you tried a lot of APKs, continuously installing and uninstalling and again installing Google Camera APKs but to no avail? Well, don’t lose hope yet. Just drop down a comment below with your device name, and we will personally help you out. 

Go ahead and try out Google Camera mod on your device today. Also, make sure to leave a comment with your photo samples below. Also, do note that Google camera apk is not always stable and sometimes comes with a lot of bugs. So please, go head and install with caution. 

Varun Mirchandani

Varun is your go-to guy for everything related to technology. Someone with a keen interest in the Android world, he installs a new custom ROM every week and is always living on the bleeding edge of technology. When not writing for Mr. Phone, you can find him gaming on his beastly gaming rig which is also his prized possession.