Google has quietly disabled a key Pixel Camera feature (Update: Back soon)
Robert Triggs/Android Authority
Updated: July 27, 2022: Sources within Google have confirmed Android Authority that the Frequent Faces feature was indeed disabled as the company worked to fix a bug that was causing issues in its Camera app. This bug has now been fixed and the Frequent Faces feature will be re-enabled in a future update.
Original article: July 25, 2022: Google’s Pixel phones have had a Frequent Faces feature for several generations, identifying the faces of people you often photograph and recommending better images of them. However, it turns out that this feature has been disabled on Pixel phones for a few months now.
“This feature has been temporarily disabled and a fix is forthcoming. There is no release date yet,” a Google product expert replied.
A sudden but temporary situation?
The company didn’t reveal any specific reason why Frequent Faces was disabled at the time. We’ve also asked Google for a statement and will update the article if/when it comes back to us. Still, it certainly seems like Google doesn’t think the feature will be gone forever.
The Frequent Faces feature saves data on photos taken to your phone rather than relying on the cloud. Google adds that this data is deleted when you turn off frequent faces. Facial data is used to recommend the best Top Shot shots, but it’s also used for the Real Tone feature on the Pixel 6 series to enable more accurate skin tones.
9to5Google also rightly noted that Frequent Faces is still advertised as a feature on the Pixel 6a specs page, although it’s also missing the feature at the moment.