This story was originally published and last updated .
Got a Pixel? Then you've got one of the best damn cameras in all the Android land. But hold the phone: Your kickass camera can do even more than you realize.
Sure, it takes incredible pictures — but that's just scratching the surface of the Pixel camera advantage. Google's homemade phones have thoughtfully created photo-related software with all sorts of scrumptious smarts baked in. And that means they're overflowing with useful tricks and tucked-away options that are all too easy to overlook.
In honor of my new Pixel Academy e-course — a totally free seven-day email adventure that helps you uncover tons of next-level Pixel treasures — I wanted to share some of my favorite hidden Pixel camera possibilities with you, my favorite Android Police pals.
Just a few days after we covered some possible upcoming features for the Pixel phones thanks to a teardown of the Pixel Tips app, Google officially introduced them as part of the first "Pixel feature drop." Other than memory enhancements to the Pixel phones, you'll find app-specific improvements in this update such as the option to add blur to any picture in Google Photos, automatic Call Screen support for robocalls, and improvements to Duo.
You might think on-boarding applications like Pixel Tips are annoying and don't bring much value to advanced users, but as it turns out, the app hides a few unannounced features in its code. A teardown brings to light Google's work on cards and passes support in the long-press power menu, automatic call screening in the Phone app, background blurring and auto-framing for Duo, and a post hoc Portrait Mode for Photos.
Earlier this month, Google pushed up a Play Store listing for its new Search Suggestions app for Pixel phones, which powers — as you'd likely guess from the name — both the search functionality inside the Settings app and the suggestions which appear at the top. Now three more Pixel-specific apps have hit the Play Store: Pixel Tips, Connectivity Health Services, and Voice Action Services. Pixel Tips powers an animated guide that introduces you to your Pixel 3, Voice Action Services is connected in some imprecisely defined way to voice-based Assistant actions, and Connectivity Health Services does...