Google Camera 7.1 reveals work on a “Frequent Faces” feature, possibly for the Pixel 4

Google Camera 7.1 reveals work on a “Frequent Faces” feature, possibly for the Pixel 4

Next week, Google will officially unveil the Pixel 4 and other Pixel-branded products at the annual Made by Google event. Thanks to a flood of leaks over the past month, we know a lot about the new Pixel smartphones, including the design, internal hardware, and software features. The Pixel is well-known for its camera prowess, so we’re looking forward to seeing its highlight feature, Astrophotography, in action. But the new Google Camera 7.1 APK that will presumably launch alongside the 2019 Pixel will offer more than just a better Night Sight. We’ve just learned that Google is developing a feature called “Frequent Faces” in Google Camera, and it could debut on the Pixel 4.

An APK teardown can often predict features that may arrive in a future update of an application, but it is possible that any of the features we mention here may not make it in a future release. This is because these features are currently unimplemented in the live build and may be pulled at any time by the developers in a future build.

Last week, we first reported on an updated Pixel Tips app that showed off a previously unseen camera feature: Social Share. Earlier this week, we got our hands on version 7.1 of the Google Camera app, and it enabled the new camera feature for all Pixel smartphones. Digging deeper into this release, modder cstark27 discovered that Google is working on “Frequent Faces,” a feature that will automatically focus on people you frequently take pictures of. The Camera app will save data on faces that you frequently photograph, so in the future, the app will know who to automatically focus on. Face data is only stored on the device and is only accessible by the Google Camera app, so you don’t have to worry about data leaks. If you disable the feature, saved faces data will be deleted.

Interestingly, strings for this feature only exist in the 7.1 APK for Wear OS. Version 7.1.014 contains strings that describe what the feature does, while version 7.1.015 only has strings that push you to use the feature and that notify you when the feature is on.

Strings in v7.1.014

<string name="frequent_faces_info">"When you take photos with multiple people, Camera will automatically focus on the people you photograph most.

Frequent Faces data is only saved on this device, and can only be accessed by this Camera app.

When you turn off Frequent Faces, faces data will be deleted.

Frequent Faces will be available when you open Camera from the lock screen."</string>
<string name="frequent_faces_learn_more">Learn more</string>
<string name="frequent_faces_off">Off</string>
<string name="frequent_faces_on">On</string>

Strings in v7.1.015

<string name="frequent_faces_on_notification">Frequent Faces is on</string>
<string name="frequent_faces_try_notification">Try Frequent Faces</string>

I checked the main 7.1 APK and can confirm that code for the Frequent Faces feature is present. Since this feature hasn’t shown up in any leaks before, it’s possible that it may not be ready when the Pixel 4 launches next week. However, it’s safe to bet that this feature, assuming it doesn’t get canned, will eventually debut on the Pixel 4.

We’ll keep an eye out for more details on this feature. Google Camera modders may even be able to get this feature up and running before next week, or Google may roll out yet another update to the Camera app that enables this feature.


Thanks to PNF Software for providing us a license to use JEB Decompiler, a professional-grade reverse engineering tool for Android applications.

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