January 16, 2021

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Google inexplicably takes away wide-angle astrophotography from Pixel phones

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge Pixel 5 and 4a 5G users can...

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Pixel 5 and 4a 5G users can no longer use their ultrawide cameras to take pictures of the stars: Google apparently removed the lens’s astrophotography capabilities with the Google Camera 8.1 update. The feature was a selling point of the Pixel 4, and was available on the regular and telephoto cameras. When the 4a 5G and 5 were announced with new wide-angle lenses, the feature was added to those as well. Now it’s been taken away.

The astrophotography feature lets users capture the night sky by pointing their phone up and keeping it still, either by balancing it on a nearby object or putting it on a tripod. The feature is still available on the phones’ other cameras, but if you go to Night Sight mode and switch to the ultrawide camera,…

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