To use Google Camera, your android device should support Camera2 API. GCam is widely popular, but google officially doesn’t release it for non-google smartphones for plenty of reasons. Since it allows for capturing superior images, the reason why is Google Pixel device has been known for years.

GCam could potentially improve your device’s camera shots, but to install Google Camera on your non-Google smartphone, your device needs to support the Camera2 API. Most of the latest smartphones come with Camera2 API support, and some do receive OTA updates.

What is the Camera2 API?

Regardless of the device, the hardware in a camera is quite complex, and Soc Vendor has deployed processes for understanding the low-level parameters in order to function. Which is known as the Hardware Abstraction Layer, and to send instructions, we have a Camera-Specific Application Interface (API) deployed over the HAL. And this is why the Camera2 API is necessary for Google Camera to work on Android smartphones.

Google introduced the Camera2 API with Android 5.0 Lollipop, which was a successor to the Original Camera API. Meanwhile, there are five different levels of support for the Camera2 API.

  1. Legacy: At this level, the device doesn’t support Camera API2. Which includes per-frame controls.
  2. Limited: Supports subsets of Camera API2.
  3. Full: Support Camera API2; it requires Android 5.0 or higher, Camera HAL 3.2 or higher.
  4. Level 3: Supports RAW image and YUV Processing; on top of Camera API2 Capabilities, it supports additional output stream configuration.
  5. External: Supports webcams.

How to Check the Status of Camera2 Support?

Android 9 or higher devices support the Camera2 API, although some support it out of the box, and some require it to be enabled manually. Users are required to tweak their builds in this case. Prop by rooting or through the fastboot command by unlocking the bootloader.

Check Camera2 API Support using ADB.

For this, you have installed ADB and Fastboot access on Windows, macOS, or Linux.

  • Start with enabling USB Debugging from the Developer option.
  • Connect your Android device to your PC/Mac.
  • Open Command Prompt, and enter adb shell “getprop | grep HAL3”
  • If the results are these,
    •  []: [1]
    • []: [1]
  • Then, your device supports Camera2 API with Camera HAL 3.
Android Camera2 API Support: How to Check

Check Camera2 API Support using Terminal Emulator.

This method doesn’t require a PC/Mac; you need a Terminal Emulator app like Terminal Emulator for Android or Termux.

  • Open the app, and type getprop | grep HAL3.
  • If the output is,
    • []: [1]
    • []: [1]
  • Then your device supports Camera2 API with Camera HAL3.
Android Camera2 API Support: How to Check

However, even if your device supports Camera HAL3, some Camera2 APIs are not supported. This is because OEMs might change functionality like Raw Capture Support, ISO Levels, Exposure time, and more. To know more, What features does your device support and what’s not? We advise you to use the following method.

Check Camera2 API Support with Hardware Support Level with Camera2 Probe.

For this, you either have to use Command or need a computer. You can download the Camera2 Probe application from the Google Play Store. Download and Install the Camera2 API Probe; launch the App, and it will show Camera2 API Support with Hardware Level support. Knowing the Support level makes it easier for you to know which Gcam is suitable for your device