Google increases AR performance on dual-camera Android phones

Google is updating its augmented reality SDK so that dual-camera phones can capture better depth information. As noted by Android Police, the most recent update to the Google Play Services for AR app, and this is how Google distributes ARCore features, now mentions “Dual camera stereo depth on supported devices” in its change log.

For now, it appears that support will be limited to Google’s own Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL, both of which were released in 2019. list of compatible ARCore devices on Google’s developer website, dual camera support will begin in the coming weeks.

This means in particular that the Pixel 5 and 4a 5G, which are both 2020 Pixel phones with dual cameras, will not see the benefits for now. This may be because their secondary cameras are ultra-wide rather than the telephotos of Pixel 4 and 4 XL, which will have implications for how they can produce more detailed depth maps.

This is in any case a different consequence of Google’s indecision over Pixel camera lenses. The company has long insisted that it only needs a single camera due to computational features such as Super Res zoom on the Pixel 3, then in any case confusingly added a tele-lens on the Pixel 4, then dropped back and swapped it for an ultra-large on the Pixel 5.

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