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(Update: It’s Back) Google Disabled a Big Pixel Camera Feature Without Telling Anyone

Google Pixel 6a's rear camera bar
Justin Duino / Review Geek

Google’s Pixel phones have some amazing camera features, and for the last several years, “Frequent Faces” has been one of our favorites. However, we recently learned that Google quietly disabled it despite still being highlighted as a feature on phones, including the new Pixel 6a.

Update, 12/9/22: The latest Google Camera app v8.7 is available today for older Pixels. According to AndroidAuthority, it surprisingly revived the popular “frequent faces” mode that’s been missing for over six months. Plus, it delivers a bunch of new features.

Frequent faces works with Google’s Real Tone technology to help the camera show skin tones more accurately. It’s also how your Pixel can “identify and recommend better shots of the faces you photograph or record the most,” also known as Google’s “Top Shot” option.

According to 9to5Google and Redditor u/cardonator, Google quietly disabled the feature on its Pixel phones back in May, and no one knows why.

That said, a Google product expert claims there was a problem, and Google is working on a fix. Eventually, the company will re-release the Pixel camera feature, but we’re not sure when.

The Frequent Faces mode saves face data to the phone, not the cloud, meaning it’s safe and secure. Plus, there’s even an option to delete face data when you disable Frequent faces on phones. Still, for whatever reason, it’s no longer an option on any of Google’s highly capable Pixel smartphones.

Frequent faces is still advertised as one of Pixel 6a’s camera features on the Google Store. We’re not sure what the problem is or when the feature will come back, so for now, we’ll have to wait and see.

Google Pixel 6a

Get the affordable new Google Pixel 6a for only $449.

via 9to5Google

Cory Gunther Cory Gunther
Cory Gunther has been writing about phones, Android, cars, and technology in general for over a decade. He's a staff writer for Review Geek covering roundups, EVs, and news. He's previously written for GottaBeMobile, SlashGear, AndroidCentral, and InputMag, and he's written over 9,000 articles. Read Full Bio »