Xiaomi has been hard at work trying to provide its latest MIUI 10 software update for all supported devices. Many of these devices have already started to receive the new feature packed update, while some are still on beta versions. The company recently released another new Global Beta for the Redmi 5 and Mi 5S, which carried the version number 8.11.8. Simultaneously, Xiaomi has also released a China beta ROM of the same version number that brings a surprising new feature. The update now supports HAL3/Camera2API, which means that you can easily install Google Camera app on Xiaomi smartphones.
MIUI 10 Update to Support HAL3/Camera2API
MIUI is the custom skin by Xiaomi that is based on Android. It adds plenty of customization features, custom Xiaomi apps, and more to devices that run it. However, since it is a forked version of Android, it always lacked the support for HAL3 or Camera2API. This API is required to run the Google Camera app on any smartphone. The Camera app by Google comes with some amazing features and software wizardry. We already know that the Pixel smartphones have one of the best cameras around, but it is mostly because of the software that Google has developed.
In the latest MIUI 10 China Beta ROM carrying version number 10.8.11.8, HAL3 seems to be enabled by default. This means that users who are running this version can simply sideload the Google Camera app and use it. Usually, if the G Cam app is installed on a device that doesn’t support Camera2API, the camera will not work properly. You could get it work, but that would require unlocking the bootloader, rooting the device and other complicated things.
We are not sure when Xiaomi plans to make this available in a stable update, but that should be pretty soon. As of now, it appears that only the MIUI 10 China Beta is getting this feature. Before you can install the Google Camera app and experience the improvements, you will have to install the Google Services framework. The China version of MIUI doesn’t come with the Google Play Store or other services from Google. The Global beta version of the same update doesn’t have the feature enabled by default.
Google Camera App on MIUI 10
The stock camera app on MIUI 10 is good, but it isn’t as good as the Google Camera app. The photos from the Google Camera app is much sharper and better in details with superior HDR. This is why most users prefer to use the Google Camera app on their smartphone. The app works great on devices that support Camera2API or HAL3 and can be installed without rooting or fiddling with other software aspects of the device.
On MIUI 10 and previous versions, if a user wanted to install Google Camera app and use it to its fullest, the device would require rooting. Not everyone wants to do that, especially the regular users who just want their devices to take amazing photos. It’s not just Xiaomi users who want to use this app, but others who own OnePlus devices, Motorola devices, etc, also want to install Google Camera. The pictures taken using the app is simply better compared to the stock camera app on these devices. Even the latest OnePlus 6T takes better photos with the Google Camera app.