How to Install Google Camera on any Android Phone – 100% Complete Guide

Do you want to install Google Camera on your Smartphone? Then this guide is for you.

When it comes to smartphone cameras, Google’s Pixel devices are always a bigwig! They are well known for their amazing picture quality. I’m pretty sure that you have already wondered how Pixel devices manage to get such astounding shots in a single click! Well, I would like to break the answer into two parts:

  • Firstly, their most advanced camera hardware. This includes flagship-grade smartphone camera sensors, Image Singal Processor(ISP), lens, etc.
  • Secondly, Google’s AI-based Google Camera algorithm and other software optimizations or collectively, the Google Camera app!

So now you have seen the two most important factors behind the fantastic picture quality of Pixel devices, what do you think is the eye-catching part which aids Pixel devices in smashing away its competitors?

Yes, its the Google Camera app that keeps the Pixel Cameras on top of the hill.

Now, what if you also want some similar appealing camera outputs in a single click? Well, we have a solution for this. Since most of us cannot afford a Pixel device, still, we can make use of the Google Camera app to get some outstanding outputs on the go, even on our budget centric devices!

Sounds great, right? Well, then keep reading this article till the very end to install Google Camera on your device right away!

How to Install Google Camera on any Android Phone – Complete Guide

Table of Contents

  1. What is Google Camera or GCam?
  2. How to check if your device supports GCam?
  3. What is Camera2api
    1. Checking Camera2api Support Level
  4. Enabling Camera2api
    1. Camera2api by editing build props
    2. Camera2api by flashing patch
    3. Camera2api using Magisk module
  5. Downloading and Installing Google Camera apk
  6. GCam download links
  7. Wrapping Up

What is Google Camera or GCam

Well, some of you guys might be wondering what exactly is the Google Camera. Let me explain; the Google Camera is the official camera app released by Google back in 2014. It was initially available for all Android devices running Android 4.4 Kitkat and further. Later, Google discontinued providing Google Camera and removed it from the Google Play Store. As a result, making the app only available for its Nexus and Pixel lineup of devices.

So how exactly are we going to install Google Camera on our devices?

To be precise, the GCam app, which we are going to install on our non-Pixel devices, are ported versions of the original Google Camera app. Thanks to those awesome developers who tweaks the original Google Camera, thus making it supported for our non-pixel Android devices.

So now you have got a simple idea on Google Camera, well let’s check if your device supports GCam or not.

How to check if your device supports Google Camera

Checking the GCam compatibility of your device isn’t hard. Before we test this, here are some of the basic requirements to install Google Camera on your smartphone.

  • Camera2api: I’m quite sure that you have already heard the term Camera2api while searching for GCam guides. Well, don’t worry, I will explain it sooner in this article.
  • Snapdragon/Exynos processor: Yes, the processor on your smartphone matters too. GCam ports are mostly available for Qualcomm’s Snapdragon centric devices, followed by Samsung’s Exynos based devices. Well, that doesn’t entirely mean that your non-Snapdragon or Exynos devices have zero chances of installing Google Camera.

For example, the recently launched Redmi Note 8Pro, which comes with a Mediatek Helio G90T chipset, now supports GCam!

  • Availability of Ports: Even if your device is exceptional regarding the first two points, you will require a ported Google Camera application for your device. But chill out, I can assist you in finding out Google Camera ports for your device.

What is Camera2api

As it is the primary thing when it comes to GCam, I have decided to give you a quick note on Camera2api. As the name suggests, it’s an API(Application Programming Interface) that helps in getting better access to your smartphone camera controls such as shutter speed, ISO, night sight, RAW image capture, HDR+, etc.

Before Camera2api, devices were using Camera API, which only provided minimal controls over your smartphone camera. With Camera2api, developers can gain more control over the system, thus making it possible to develop camera applications with improved functionalities.

Although Camera2api was introduced back in 2014 by Google, most phones come without Camera2api enabled out of the box. Not sure if your device comes with Camera2api or not? Well, let’s check it out!

Checking Camera2api Support Level

To check the Camera2api support level of your device, you need to Install the Camera2api probe application from the Google Play Store. If you have done that, open the app, and you will be able to see a similar screen as below.

Here you can see the Camera2api support level(Hardware Support Level) of each camera on the first page.

If your device falls in the Level 3 or Full (Fig-1)Category, your device supports Camera2api by default. If so, you can install Google Camera app right away.

Fig-1
Install Google Camera
Fig-2

The rest of the devices or the devices showing Legacy (Fig-2)does not come with Camera2api enabled out of the box. So if you are one of them who does not have Camera2api enabled on your device, keep following this guide.

Enabling Camera2api

Enabling Camera2api on your device isn’t a big task. Some of the budget devices these days come with Camera2api enabled out of the box, thanks to various OEMs. However, if it’s not allowed yet, don’t worry, I will help you out.

To enable Camera2api on your device manually, you will need to install any Custom recovery on your device. While in some cases, you will need to root your device as well. As soon as you have done that, you can follow different methods to enable Camera2api on your smartphone. Some of the most natural ways are listed below. You can choose any of these methods to enable Camera2api and install Google Camera.

[ Note: Have doubts about rooting your device? You can refer xda for detailed guides. Further, feel free to post your queries in the comment box. I can help you. ]

1. Camera2api by editing build props

This is one of the most natural methods to enable Camera2api on your smartphone. As the title suggests, you will need to edit some parts of the build props code to enable Cmaera2api. For this, you need to download the build prop editor app from the Google Play Store.

As soon as you have installed the build prop editor, open the app and grant root access.

Now tap on the edit icon, shown in the image below.

You are almost done, go to the end of the text editor and add the following line of code and hit the save icon.

                              persist.camera.HAL3.enabled=1

Hurray, you have successfully enabled Camera2api!

2. Camera2api by flashing GCam enabler (no root)

This is yet another method as well as my method of choice for enabling Camera2api.

For this, you don’t need to install any applications. Instead, you will need to download a small zip file that contains everything to get the Camera2api access.

Now if you have downloaded the file, let’s move on to the first step.

Switch off your device and boot to custom recovery mode.

Choose the Install option, and you will be asked to select the file to be flashed on your device.

You will see a similar interface if you are using TWRP Custom recovery.

Select the downloaded zip file and tap on the Install Image button.Install Google Camera

Now swipe to start flashing the Camera2api enabler zip.

When the flashing process is completed, click to reboot your device.

You have successfully enabled Camera2api! Now move on to the next step to download and install the GCam app.

3. Camera2api using Magisk Module

Yet another secure method, here, you will need to install a Magisk Module using the Magisk manager app to enable Camera2api on your smartphone.

Open the Magisk Manager app and go to the modules section.

Tap on the add icon present at the bottom.Install Google Camera

Now browse through the file manager and go to downloads.

Select the Camera2api enabler module and install it.Install Google Camera

That’s it. You have successfully enabled Camera2api. Restart your device, and you are all set to download and install Google Camera on your Android device.

Downloading and Installing GCam app

You are almost there! The only thing left is to find and install the right Google Camera apk available for your device. For this, I would suggest you go through celsoazevedo or xda to find the best ones available. Telegram Channels and communities are some alternative sources for GCam ports. So, check out any of these sources to download GCam port apk for your device.

Note: You can easily search your device name in the Telegram Search box to check whether there are active communities for your device.

Now, if you have done that, let’s install Google Camera apk right away. You will require to give proper permissions to install the apk as its downloaded from out of Play Store.

GCam Download Links

Google Camera download links for some of the popular devices are listed below. You can click to download and install Google Camera using these links :

Wrapping Up

So that’s all about installing Google Camera on your Android device. I hope you are ready to use GCam now! Now you will experience some real boost in your camera performance using the GCam app. Share your experience as well as doubts or queries in the comment section below. I will be there to help you out. And if you find this article helpful, do share it with your friends, so that they could also install Google Camera and explore a whole new world of photography.


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Arun Govil
Hey there! I'm Arun, an 18-year-old Computer Science student from Kerala. Besides writing, I love spending time on Coding and Music.

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