Pixel 3, Pixel 3a and the Pixel 2 Receive the Astrophotography Feature Previously Exclusive to the Pixel 4
This year's Google Pixel 4 released with a mix of interesting and downright useless features. The 'smooth' 90Hz display was a welcome addition (and would have been better if it actually worked as intended) along with a much-needed bump in RAM. Project Soli-based Motion Sense is a gimmick at best, and it is responsible for the Pixel 4 not being available in several countries. The Pixel 4 was also the first Google device to come with a dual-camera setup. There is a 16MP telephoto camera with a 2x optical zoom alongside the usual 12MP sensor.
As we've seen over the years, the Pixel's camera prowess is all about the underlying software. Among the bevy of camera improvements, Night Sight received a significant upgrade. Night Sight debuted alongside the Pixel 3 and is second to none (except Huawei, maybe) when it comes to low-light photography. With the new astrophotography feature baked into Night Sight, Pixel 4 users can now capture the night sky in all its beauty.
Older Pixels are now officially receiving the Pixel 4's Astrophotography mode
Earlier this month, Google promised that the Pixel 4's astrophotography feature will be coming to older Pixel models. It is now rolling out en-masse via version 7.2 of the Google Camera app. The update is available for the Google Pixel 3, Pixel 3a and the Pixel 2 as well. Google Camera 7.2 also adds some UI changes such as larger text and buttons and it brings the camera experience on the older models more in line with what Pixel 4 users have.
The astrophotography doesn't have a dedicated button in the app and triggers automatically. Your camera needs to be in Night Sight mode and pointed at the dark sky. You will then be prompted that the astrophotography is on. It is best that you keep your stable as even a slight amount of shake will ruin the image quality. Version 7.2 of the Google Camera app requires that older Pixels to be running on Android 10. You can find the app in the Google Play Store.