Today, we’re gonna talk more about those gorgeous images you’ve been capturing with your Pixel — but this time, we’ll focus less on the actual act of capturing the pictures and more on what you do with ’em after the moment’s over.
So without further ado…
Simple social sharing
The Pixel Camera app has a built-in way to beam any photo you take over to a friend, family member, or feline with a swipe and a tap — and it’s up to you to decide which communication apps are included.
See that little circle in the lower-right corner of the camera interface — the one that shows you a tiny preview of the most recent image you captured? Swipe your finger upward on that, and you’ll see a spiffy little panel that probably has a shortcut to whatever texting app you use.
You can tap the icon of the texting app to send the picture right over and choose what lucky son of a gun will get it. Or, if you want to expand the list of options in that menu, tap the plus icon or the gear icon, depending on your specific Pixel model — and then, you’ll be able to add any compatible communication apps (things like Duo, Slack, Twitter, and so on) into the mix.
Easy document cropping
For a snappy but clean-looking scan of a physical document from your phone, your Pixel gives you a couple easy options.
First, if you open your phone’s camera and hold it up to a document — where the paper is taking up most of the frame — the Pixel Camera app will sometimes pick up on that and pop up a little option at the bottom of the screen offering to scan the document and crop the shot appropriately for you. If you see that, it’s hands-down the quickest way to get the job accomplished.
If you don’t see that, though, don’t worry: Just take a regular ol’ snapshot of the paper, then tap the circle showing the preview of it in the lower-right corner of the screen to open it. Next, tap the “Edit” command at the bottom of the screen and then find and tap “Crop” in the scrolling list of options that comes up. Then, tap the icon to the left of the word “Reset” — the one that looks like a three-dimensional outline of a box — to pull up your Pixel’s precise paper-cropping tool.
All that’s left to is to adjust the lines around the document’s edge — or, easier yet, hit the “Auto” button and let your Pixel find the edges for you — and you’ll have a neat, clean, and professional-looking scan, all ready to save and/or send.
You don’t need any fancy-schmancy photo software to make your Pixel-snapped images look awesome. Your phone has some powerful built-in image editing tools, if you know where to find ’em and how to make the most of what they have to offer.
After you take a photo, tap the circle showing its preview in the lower-right corner of the screen — or just open up the image in Photos, if you’d rather. Then tap the Edit icon at the bottom of the screen.
That’ll pull up a surprisingly powerful series of one-tap suggestions for improving your image. If you want even more one-touch enhancements, scroll along the line that says “Suggestions” until you see the “Filters” option. Those built-in filters are all a bit limited in what they do, but they can be useful in a pinch. One important trick worth remembering: After you’ve tapped any of the filters, you can tap that same filter a second time to pull up a slider that’ll adjust its strength and let you make it more or less intense.
For even more advanced editing tools, scroll along that same bottom-of-screen menu until you see the “Adjust” option. That’ll load a series of controls that let you mess with a whole bunch of the image’s qualities.
A few things worth trying there:
- Find the “Pop” setting and crank its slider up all the way to the right to make a photo look bolder, richer, and more detailed.
- On an image with lots of water or sky, find the “Blue tone” setting and push its slider up to make the blues look really blue.
- On an image with lots of green — grass, trees, moldy potatoes, whatever — push the “Saturation” slider all the way up and push both the “Blue tone” and “Skin tone” sliders all the way down to make the photo look especially lush and vibrant.
Got it? Good. Now, one more thing…
To photo or to video? That is the question. With your Pixel, though, you don’t ever actually have to decide — because, as we alluded to yesterday, it’s easy as can be to take photos while you capture a video or to extract still images from a video after the fact.
To snap a photo while you’re recording a video, just tap the unlabeled, totally ambiguous circle icon that shows up in the lower-right corner of the screen anytime you’re recording. (The icon could be either a solid gray circle outlined in white or a small white circle surrounded by black, depending on your specific Pixel model.)
To manually extract an image from a video after it’s been taken, open the video in the Photos app and tap the Edit icon at the bottom of the screen. There, you’ll see every available still shot that can be extracted from the video and turned into a regular photo. On some Pixel models, you’ll even see little dots indicating where HDR-quality photos can be created. Just find the frame you want and tap the “Export” command, and it’ll show up as a regular still photo in your gallery faster than you can say “Suck it, Siri.”
This one clearly gets a thumbs up from me.