Google Camera 8.1 adds a “Storage Saver” mode to let you take more photos and videos
Google Camera 8.0 debuted with the Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G earlier this year in September. As expected, the app came with a host of new features for these devices, including Night Sight portrait mode, Cinematic pan, and more. Along with these features, Google Camera 8.0 also brought a revamped UI with new buttons, a quick zoom toggle, a quick access toggle for video modes, etc. However, it didn’t include one previously advertised Pixel 5/4a 5G exclusive feature.
According to a Google support page, Google Camera on the Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G is supposed to have a “Storage” section in the app settings that lets users turn on “low storage mode.” But this setting is missing on Adam’s Pixel 5 review unit and another user’s Pixel 5, although both units are running Google Camera 8.0.
A Google support page mentions that the Google Camera app on the Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G has a “storage” section and a “low storage mode” option. I’ve checked with 2 Pixel 5 owners who say it’s not there, though.https://t.co/iD40YoCS4w
This is what it should look like: pic.twitter.com/7rF9eEOEQS
— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) November 16, 2020
However, upgrading to Google Camera 8.1 adds this new storage section and a “Storage Saver” mode to the devices, which seems to be the updated name for the aforementioned low storage mode. According to its description, the Storage Saver mode changes settings that use large amounts of storage to help users save more photos and videos on their devices. But using this mode “may reduce image or video quality.” Interestingly, the feature doesn’t seem to be a Pixel 5/4a 5G exclusive, as several users on Twitter with older Pixel devices have confirmed getting the feature with the Google Camera 8.1 update.
I have it too. Sideloaded 8.1 Google Camera, otherwise stock Pixel 4 XL and Pixel 5. pic.twitter.com/wliDPhHBe8
— Artem Russakovskii (@ArtemR) November 17, 2020
As of now, it isn’t clear why the feature is said to be a Pixel 5/4a 5G exclusive on Google’s support page when it’s actually available for any Pixel device running Android 11 and the latest Google Camera 8.1 APK. We suspect that the support page may just be outdated.
If you wish to try the new Storage Saver mode on your Pixel device, you can try sideloading Google Camera 8.1 from APKMirror. In case the installation fails, you can try clearing Google Play Services data and cache before installing it again. A few users have managed to install the APK using this workaround, but your mileage may vary.