Every device has its own stock camera app, which is usually good enough for most situations. However, many people are still interested in the Google Camera, due to some unique features it offers. While it’s technically a Google Pixel exclusive, some developers have managed to port it to a lot of different devices, including the latest Samsung flagships. Here’s how you can install the Google Camera on Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus Exynos!
What is Google Camera?
Google Camera is the default camera app, which Nexus and Pixel devices have been using for years. Google has decided to restrict it to its own devices only, so they could optimize it for the best results. This app can fully take advantage of the Camera2 APIs, which means that you get more settings and a complete Pro mode. Additionally, the app is known for its clean pictures and superior HDR, which Google calls HDR+. This may already sound intriguing, but that’s just an overview.
If we go more in depth, we can find some valuable tools and feature, which can really upgrade the camera experience. For example, we can mention Portrait Mode and Lens Blur, which can create amazing bokeh effects. Moreover, there’s the newly released Night Sight mode, which can shoot some truly wonderful long-exposure night pictures. On top of that, we have the ARCore integration with Playground AR, which can bring animated 3D objects into the real world.
Install Google Camera on Galaxy S9/S9 Plus Exynos
Porting Google Camera to non-pixel devices is never easy, especially when dealing with heavily customized Android versions. Moreover, when we consider the international models of the Galaxy S9 and S9+, there’s also a completely different processor to deal with. Fortunately, thanks to the awesome XDA community and developers, working ports are now a reality. Now let’s get to the instructions to install Google Camera on Galaxy S9 and S9+ Exynos.
Google Camera on Android Oreo – Samsung Experience 9
If you’re on your stock Oreo firmware, this is the option which will probably work best for you. Firstly, we want to thank iDan, Barmenchik, and Defcomg for this release, which comes in two different versions. More specifically, you can use 3.5 for unrooted devices, and 4.1 for rooted ones. For version 3.5, you simply have to download the apk and install it on your S9 or S9+. Once you grant the permissions, Google Camera will be working just fine.
Instead, if you want the more updated version 4.1, you have to flash the library fix first. While the apk is universal, this fix is not, so make sure you choose the correct one. When you have both files downloaded, flash the patch via TWRP, reboot the device, and proceed to install the app. You can find all download links and XDA support thread below.
- APK Download: Google Camera for S9 and S9+ Version 3.5 No Root
- APK Download: Google Camera for S9 and S9+ Version 4.1 Root
- Patch Download: Library Fix for Galaxy S9
- Patch Download: Library Fix for Galaxy S9+
- XDA Thread: Google Camera for S9 and S9+ Exynos
- XDA Post: Google Camera 4.1 Update Root Only
Google Camera on Android Pie – Samsung One UI
Samsung One UI Beta has opened the doors to the public few weeks ago, and many people are already testing it. The final release is coming in about one month, but, if you’re curious, we have published a beta update tutorial, as well as a comprehensive review. Anyways, let’s get back to Google Camera; with the Android Pie update, the previous ports aren’t compatible anymore. Luckily, there’s another one shared by the developer Arnova8G2, which appears to be working on the latest Android release.
Keep in mind that it’s still an experimental build, so you may encounter some bugs. For example, video recording may crash, and portrait mode doesn’t seem to be accessible. We’ll probably see a tailored version when Samsung will release the public One UI update, so patience is the key. In order to get it on your device, you just need to download the apk and install it without any extra steps. We’ll leave the download link below, along with the original XDA post.
- APK Download: Google Camera for Galaxy S9 and S9+ Exynos Experimental
- XDA Post: Google Camera for Galaxy S9 and S9+ Exynos Test
Google Playground AR Support
Google Playground AR is an important AR Stickers update, released at the Pixel 3 event. Playground takes advantage of the ARCore framework, in order to generate virtual 3D objects in the real world. Being a Google Camera add-on, it automatically becomes a Pixel exclusive. As a result, you cannot download it through the Play Store even if you have the Google Camera port. Luckily, Arnova8G2 has managed to create an apk, which can be installed on many different devices. The main requirement is having Android Pie, so you’ll need to update to One UI Beta, or wait for the final release. Anyways, if you have the opportunity to try it, we recommend you check out our recent article about it!