Hint of Pixel Fold spotted in Google’s Camera app

Rumors around the Pixel Fold — a foldable phone with Google branding — have swirled for several years, but a new development has us thinking a launch could now be imminent.

As spotted by Android Police, the latest 8.6 update to the Google Camera app includes a hidden icon that looks a lot like a foldable smartphone. Not really a proof, but a sign that Google is preparing its own applications for such a device.

While the button doesn’t do much just yet, it may allow the user to switch between the Pixel Fold’s different cameras. If it follows the lead of Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 3, there will be three separate camera modules.

If you’ve never picked up a foldable smartphone – which is quite likely – then you may not have realized that there are rear and front cameras, as usual, but also a camera frontal on the foldable internal screen. When the smartphone is open, you have a front camera on the large screen, and effectively two cameras on the back. When the phone folds up, the secondary screen kicks in, and one of the rear cameras becomes a front-facing camera.

All this must be taken into account in the software. Samsung has already changed its own Camera app accordingly, and it looks like Google might be next on the list.

Nothing concrete at the moment

We’re not sure exactly when the Pixel Fold rumors started rolling, but they’ve definitely been in the air for a long time now. We thought it was going to launch for a while now, but this time around it looks like there’s real momentum behind the idea that an actual product will appear in the not-too-distant future.

Some people believe that when the Pixel 7 series launches in October we will see the Pixel Fold. There have also been recent tweaks to Gboard, the default software keyboard that Google makes for Android, making it easier to use on foldable screens. As with the Camera app update, this isn’t proof, but it’s certainly suggestive.

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