Jun 4th, 2021

One of the headlining features of the Pixel 4 was its ability to point your phone at the night’s sky and be able to take usable (and usually incredible) photos of the stars and constellations. This Astrophotography mode in the Pixel kick-started more phone makers to include some type of “gimmick” camera mode. Samsung even went so far as to make it possible to take clear images of the fricking moon with its Space Zoom feature on the Galaxy S21 Ultra.

Taken with the Pixel 4

We’re expecting the next Pixel Feature Drop to land any time now, and with it, it seems that we could be getting the ability to take time-lapses of the sky at night. Currently, this is not available when you are in astrophotography mode, even if you place your Pixel on a tripod. But an APK Teardown of the Pixel Tips app from XDA Developers has revealed a string of code suggesting that we are in for a pretty awesome new feature.

According to XDA, the way that this new time-lapse mode will work is that it will take a photo every few minutes for a pre-determined amount of time. Meaning that you’ll be able to set the length of time you want to have for the time-lapse, and your Pixel will just take an image with the longer exposure. Then, Google’s on-device image processing will stitch those photos together to provide you a wonderful and beautiful time-lapse of the night’s sky.

The next Pixel Feature Drop could arrive as early as next week, so keep your eyes peeled for the update. And as a reminder, the astrophotography mode is only available with the Pixel 3 or later, and this mode does not work if you were to use the wide-angle camera found on the Pixel 4a 5G or the Pixel 5.

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