Last December, Google released its first feature release for Pixel devices, kicking off a routine to bring new features to phones every quarter. Included in the first drop was something called auto-framing for Google Duo. With auto framing enabled, you can walk away from your device and Duo will zoom in to keep you focused and even follow you around the room as long as you stay inside the shot. This feature was always exclusive to the Pixel 4, but is now available on Samsung̵
I use Duo constantly, so imagine my surprise when I noticed auto framing on my S20 Ultra, a device that shouldn’t have it. After checking with the rest of the team, Max Weinbach found that his S20 + also has the new addition and kindly provided the above demonstration. Max has also tested the Z Flip, Z Fold 2 and Note20 Ultra, but these devices are not currently supported.
As Google’s support page still lists auto framing as limited to the Pixel 4, we reached out to Google to see if it was intentional and what other devices the feature would come up with. It confirmed that it is no longer exclusive to the Pixel 4 and that it will be rolling out more widely to other Samsung devices shortly. Hopefully, the Note20 and Z Fold / Flip devices get some love too.
The implementation limited to Galaxy devices may seem strange, but Google has provided them with exclusive features in the past. The S20 series already has full 1080p calls on 5g, AR emojis, and filters not accessible on any other device.
So, if you’re a Samsung user who spends a lot of time on Duo, like me, auto framing is on the way. When activated, it will automatically switch to wide angle mode to give you as much room for maneuver as possible. Sadly, it’s still limited to the front camera, which feels like a missed opportunity when the S20 has a large ultra-wide on the back.