Real Tone is Google’s attempt at a more inclusive Android camera

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At Google I/O in May, Android VP Sameer Samat announced an initiative to build a more racially inclusive camera for the company’s Pixel devices, with better support for non-white hairstyles and darker skin tones. Today, Google confirmed the cameras on the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro will support this technology, and gave it a name — Real Tone.

Google partnered with “a diverse set of expert image makers and photographers” to tune its new camera algorithms, including adjustments to automatic white balance, automatic exposure and stray light settings. The goal, in the company’s words, is to “ensure that Google’s camera and imagery products work for everyone, of every skin tone.” Considering Google’s consumer base has always included humans of every skin tone, and this is the sixth iteration of the Pixel, it’s about time these considerations were made.

Real Tone is built into the cameras of the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, and there’s no way to disable it. While the software is going live in Pixel devices first, Samat said in May that Google was committed to sharing its inclusivity solutions with the wider Android ecosystem.

Google said it hopes the Pixel 6 cameras will better represent “the nuances of different skin tones for all people beautifully and authentically.” The updates are designed to make all photos look better in all instances, which is something everybody should be able to get behind.

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