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Google Pixel and Pixel 2 receive mega camera update in time for the holidays

Just because the Google Pixel 3 range is now the apple of Google’s eye, it doesn’t mean the previous-generations are chopped liver. The company has been slowly bringing many of the newest features to the older handsets.

That continues this week with the rollout of the neat AR-based Playground Stickers feature for the OG Pixel and Pixel 2 handsets. These stickers were previously exclusive to the Pixel 3 and its larger sibling.

So what are they? Well as the name would suggest they enable Pixel users to add a little more flavour to their photos, thanks to some augmented reality wizardry. You can pose on the beach, have cartoonish planes fly over your head, while ‘Merry Christmas’ bells tinkle and an animated sun with arms blows a kiss. If, of course, that takes your fancy.

Related: Pixel 3 XL review

The feature makes smart suggestions based on what it sees in the frame, and can even detect objects like tables, chairs, pets and basketball courts in order to make these suggestions. Naturally, the animations can be shared easily with other apps and will loop like GIF files.

When launching the Pixel 3 back in October, Google rebranded its AR Stickers app as Playground in order convey its playful nature. In the Play Store listing (via Android Police) Google explains: “Playground is a new mode in your camera that helps you create and play with the world around you. Make your photos and videos come alive with Playmoji, characters that react to you and to each other.

“Add stickers that animate around you and fun captions that put words where the action is. Playground understands your world, making smart suggestions to help you express yourself in the moment and bring your story to life.”

Have you downloaded Playground for your Pixel handset? Is Google doing a good-enough job of furnishing legacy device owners with the new features.

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