The Google Photos app has already hosted AI-powered features for still photos going as far back as the Top Shot and Photobooth features added with the launch of the Pixel 3. More recent devices powered by its Tensor SoC have pushed on-device machine learning tech even further to enable stuff like Face Unblur and the Magic Eraser that wipes out photobombers, but it soon might expand its abilities to videos, too.
The launch of Google’s Pixel 8 lineup could introduce a new Video Unblur tool to sharpen videos, code discovered by 9to5Google suggests. It was found within the latest APK for the Google Photos app that the company most recently uploaded to the Play Store.
The publication managed to enable the UI for the feature after decompiling the APK, a compressed form of an Android app containing code. The tool did not noticeably alter videos, though, which suggests it’s still in development, although a launch during the Google I/O event on May 10th, where we anticipate new hardware and tons of AI-powered features.
So far, the tool sounds similar to the Photo Unblur tool Google introduced in the Pixel 7 lineup. With the help of the Tensor chip’s machine learning capabilities, the feature makes photos taken on the phone look crisp and clear. Unlike the Pixel 6 lineup’s Face Unblur feature, which sharpened faces even if there was motion blur in the background, Photo Unblur also sharpens images captured by older cameras.
Another set of uncovered features is a series of video overlays with filter effects you could add on top of your recordings. Like Unblur, these aren’t working yet, either. But some cool-sounding Overlays include VHS, Super 8, and Polaroid. Some other filters seem to be what you’d expect from some photo-sharing apps, like Black and White, Chromatic, and Golden.
Overlays may not be as exciting as the potential for what Video Unblur could do. There are already plenty of apps that can turn your videos into home movies like your dad used to record in the early ’90s — complete with the wrong date superimposed in the corner.
But even so, any video effects that can be made available to you by default without looking for a specialty app could be a real winner. And behind a strongly marketed new Pixel line of phones, these features could become accessible to many more people, especially once it becomes available to everyone — including iPhone users.