New update lets Pixel 2 owners shoot brighter and clearer photos in Instagram, WhatsApp and Snapchat

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Google made a big noise about the Pixel Visual Core co-processor inside the Pixel 2 smartphones at its hardware event last year. But it simply laid dormant waiting for a command to bring it life and chomp through trillions of calculations, to deliver better photos. Well, with a new update rolling out to the Pixel 2 smartphones, Google has awakened the sleeping giant.

A new update on the Google Blog, has announced that a new software update, which is currently rolling out to both the Pixel 2 and 2 XL smartphones, will enable the Pixel Visual Core co-processor.

As explained in our detailed review of the Google Pixel 2, the Pixel Visual Core was designed to (drastically) improve image quality for third-party apps that let you take photos.

Until now, the HDR+ goodness was limited to the Pixel 2’s default Camera app. Third-party apps (like WhatsApp’s camera), that you used to click photos could not take advantage of those Google smarts to deliver better quality imagery.

With the Pixel Visual Core enabled, owners of the Pixel 2 will now be able to use the power of computational photography and machine learning (stuff that powers HDR+ on the default Camera app) to drastically improve photo quality when clicking using apps like Instagram, WhatsApp, and Snapchat.

The updates are rolling out over the next few days and will also come with other Pixel software improvements as well. Google will also add some fancy new winter-sport themed augmented reality (AR) stickers later this week. So if you see the notification for an update on your Pixel, we recommend you download it right away!

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