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Google flips on Pixel 2's HDR+ feature for your go-to photo apps

It makes photos taken in third-party apps brighter, clearer and more detailed.

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The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL include Pixel Visual Core, Google's first custom imaging chip that allows for HDR+ quality pictures in third-party apps like Instagram and Snapchat. But Pixel 2 users haven't been able to take advantage of those capabilities because the co-processor hasn't been enabled. Well, they'll be able to soon because Google announced today that it's turning on Pixel Visual Core, bringing the HDR+ technology that's been available through the Pixel 2's main camera app to other photography, social media or camera apps.

Pixel Visual Core uses computational photography and machine learning to boost image quality in third-party apps that allow users to take photos. Now that it's enabled, Pixel 2 users can just take a pic in another app, and Pixel Visual Core will automatically make it brighter, more detailed and clearer. You can check out a before and after above.

Google says the update that will switch on Pixel Visual Core is rolling out over the next few days along with other software improvements. Additionally, new winter sports-themed AR stickers should be available later this week.

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