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4 Ways to Do More With Your Smartphone Camera

Even if you don’t have the latest and greatest smartphone, the tools for your photography can go beyond the more commonly used ones like the portrait and lowlight modes. With a reasonably up-to-date operating system, you can have voice-activated photo sessions, create wide-screen images, record video at different playback speeds, and visually search the internet.

The same feature set depends on the camera software you’re using as well as your phone hardware. Here’s a quick tour of what you can do with default apps like Google Camera for Android and Apple’s Camera app for the iOS system on its iPhones.

Get Hands-Free Help

Your phone’s virtual Assistant can handle part of your camerawork to quickly get the shot. For example, with the Google Assistant, just say, “OK, Google, take a picture” or “OK, Google, take a selfie” — and Google Camera pops up, displays a countdown, and snaps the picture. You can also tell the Assistant to share the photos, start recording a video, and do more. Google Assistant is available for Android and iOS.

Apple’s Siri assistant also responds to many requests. The software opens the iPhone’s Camera app if you say, “Hey, Siri, take a photo,” but leaves the actual press of the shutter button to you. Phones running iOS 12 or later can use Apple’s free Shortcuts app to create routines that Siri can run when instructed — like opening the camera and then automatically emailing the picture after you snap it. Bixby, the assistant software on many of Samsung’s Galaxy phones, takes photos and videos on command as well.

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