Even if you don’t have the latest and greatest smartphone, tools for your photography can go beyond the most commonly used ones portrait and lowlight modes. With a reasonably up-to-date operating system, you can have voice-activated photo sessions, create widescreen images, record videos at various playback speeds, and visually browse the Internet.

The exact range of functions depends on the camera software used and the hardware of your phone. Here’s a quick tour of the things you can do with standard apps like Google camera for Android and Apple Camera app for the iOS system on his iPhones.

Your phone is virtual assistant can do some of your camerawork to quickly get the shot. For example with the Google assistantJust say “OK, Google, take a picture” or “OK, Google, take a selfie” and Google Camera will pop up, countdown, and take a photo. You can also tell the wizard to share the photos, record a video, and do more. Google Assistant is available for Android and iOS.

Apples Siri Assistant too responds to many requests. The software opens the iPhone’s camera app when you say, “Hey Siri, take a picture,” but the actual press of the shutter button is up to you. Phones with iOS 12 or higher can use Apple for free connections App for creating routines that Siri can run When prompted, open the camera and automatically email the picture after you take it.

Bixby, The assistant software on many Samsung Galaxy phones also takes photos and videos on command.

Do you want to take a picture too wide to fit on the camera’s screen? You don’t need an additional app or a phone with a wide-angle lens. All you have to do is use the camera’s panoramic mode where you take a series of photos and the software combines them into one large image.

Open Google Camera and swipe left on the horizontal menu at the bottom of the screen. Tap the Modes button and select panorama and press the shutter button while slowly moving the phone to take the shot. Swipe left in Apple’s camera app and select Pano and follow the instructions on the screen. You can also ask Google Assistant or Siri to open the camera directly in panorama mode.

The Google Camera Modes menu also contains a Photo ball Option to close the circle and capture a scene in 360 degrees. On the Photo Sphere screen, tap the shutter button and let the software guide you. (While the iOS Pano mode does not reach the full 360 degrees, the Google Street View App brings Photo ball to the iPhone.)

The Google and Apple camera software have modes for adding movie effects to your video. The time lapse Adjusting it speeds up the playback of slow events such as sunsets or storms Slow motion If you set the recording to normal and then slow down the action in the clip, the video with sports scenes and animal antics will be more dramatic.

On the horizontal menu, swipe left to Video and select the option to go to Settings in Google Camera Recording mode – Slow motion, normal or time lapse – together with the speed you want;; smaller rates like 5x are usually better for shorter shots. In Apple’s camera app, swipe right on the menu until you get to Time Lapse or Slow Motion. Tap the quick toggle button in the top corner to adjust the resolution and speed.

Keeping the phone steady will give you better time-lapse video. Therefore, consider a tripod if you do not have a fixed place to support the device. Slow motion usually works best outdoors, aside from certain types of indoor lighting that can cause flickering in the video.

Google Lens is an image recognition software with artificial intelligence. It may already be on your phone as it’s included in the Modes menu in Google Camera Google photos and in the Google Lens app for Android. Those with iOS devices can find it in Google photos or the Google app. (Samsung has a similar one Bixby vision App for his cell phones.)

When you point your camera at something (or open a photo you have already taken) and tap the square Google Lens icon, the software analyzes the image and searches for related information over the internet connection. Google Lens can identify animals and plants, look up products, and identify landmarks and do more.

Google Lens can also translate text into an image and uses augmented reality to display the words in your preferred language. It’s not quite that “Universal translator” of science fiction lore, but it gets there.

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