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Google Camera ‘Smart Burst’ replaced by ‘Top Shot’ on Pixel 3

Google Camera 6.3 notably elevates Night Sight to the main interface but also removes manual white balance controls. According to the official release notes, this update also deprecates “Smart Burst” in favor of “Top Shot.”

Smart Burst was first introduced on the Nexus 6P in 2015 and a marquee feature of the original Pixel. It lets you take up to 10 shots per second by holding down the shutter button. To help with the “burst” of images, Google Camera automatically finds the best one by factoring sharpness, clarity, and other interesting moments.

It’s similar in concept to Top Shot, but the Pixel 3-only feature works automatically when Motion Photos are enabled. Google trained its “best moments” algorithm to look for functional qualities (like lighting), objective attributes (are the subject’s eyes open? Are they smiling?), and subjective qualities (like emotional expressions).

At a high-level, Top Shot saves and analyzes image frames 1.5 seconds before and after you tap the shutter button. Up to 90 images are captured, with the Pixel 3 selecting up to two alternative shots to save in high-resolution.

Release notes for Google Camera 6.3 spotted by Android Police mention how Smart Burst mode has been disabled on the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. In a comment, Google added how users prefer Top Shot and that development will be focused on that feature moving forward. Smart Burst will remain available on older devices.

Smart Burst mode disabled for Pixel 3/3XL

Android Q Beta 6 users have had the latest version of Google Camera for the past month, and it should widely roll out with Android 10. Two Canadian carriers point to a launch as soon as tomorrow.

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Avatar for Abner Li Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: