As great as phones have gotten for taking photos and videos, there’s still a small hangup: audio. Microphones are improving, but some things are just physics. Phone microphones will pick up ambient noise better than they’ll pick up the subject you’re filming.
Google’s Pixel phones are the best cameras out there, whether you’re taking still photos or filming a video. I’ve had the Pixel 2 for a little less than a year, and I can’t remember the last time I used a “real” camera instead of just using the Pixel. It’s easy to use, it’s right in my pocket, and it takes stunning photos and videos. But again, audio can be an issue.
In a few days, that’s going to change, at least for Pixel users. The Pixel camera—for all Pixel phones, not just the newest ones—will support recording audio through any Android-compatible external microphone. We’re not sure just yet if this only means 3.5mm microphones (which means the newer phones need a dongle), or if USB microphones will work as well.
Other applications like Open Camera have allowed this for a while, but that doesn’t have the same access to the camera sensor and Pixel Visual Core that Google’s app has. Plus, it’s just easier for users to only have to worry about one camera app.
RELATED: What Is the Pixel 2’s Visual Core?
So, Why is This a Big Deal?
One of my favorite hobbies is playing music, and I love, love, love going out and performing at open mic bars. I try to record every performance so I can show it to my parents and friends who don’t live close enough to come see me play. Most of the time, the Pixel’s built-in microphones work well enough—but again, I play in bars. Other people are around having conversations, and there have been a few recordings where I just can’t be heard over the crowd.
Another great use case is vlogging, especially with the improved front-facing camera on the Pixel 3. Smaller mics like the Blue Raspberry are small enough to be used on the go, and it should work wonderfully with your Pixel.
This feature should start rolling out to all Pixel phones on October 18th, so we’ll see in the next couple weeks how well the microphone support works. I’m going to start bringing my Blue Snowball with me when I play, though a more compact microphone wouldn’t be a bad idea either.
via Android Police