Google’s February Security Patch Enables Pixel Visual Core for Third-Party Apps


Google enabled the Pixel Visual Core, a mysterious SoC inside the Pixel 2 and 2 XL, with Android 8.1 Oreo to make HDR+ image processing less battery heavy and more efficient on the CPU. It also supposedly improves the quality of your photos, although in real-world testing, there isn’t much of a difference.

That being said, this only went for the built-in Google Camera app at the time. Now, with the February security patch now rolling out, the Pixel 2 takes better advantage of the Pixel Visual Core by allowing it to work in third-party camera apps like Instagram, WhatsApp, Snapchat.

Essentially, with the Pixel Visual Core inside applications such as the ones listed above, you’ll get the same HDR+ photography you get from the Google Camera app. Better highlights, more light, and improved contrast are all present. A common complaint with last year’s Pixels were their photo performance in third-party apps that use the camera. Now, thanks to the Visual Core, users shouldn’t have those problems.

Also shipping with the February security patch are Bluetooth and Android Auto fixes for issues such as connectivity problems when switching wireless audio devices and projection issues inside users’ cars.

The February security patch is shipping to all Pixel 2 and 2 XL users starting today, with original Pixel and Nexus users also receiving the update over the coming days. Two security levels are present this month: 2018-02-01 and 2018-02-05. In total, 26 new vulnerabilities are patched.

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