Last December, Google released its first feature drop for Pixel devices, kicking off a routine of bringing new capabilities to the phones each quarter. Included in the first drop was something called auto-framing for Google Duo. With auto-framing enabled, you can walk further away from your device, and Duo will zoom in to keep you focused and even follow you around the room so long as you stay within the shot. This feature had always been exclusive to Pixel 4, but it’s now available on Samsung’s Galaxy S20 range.
I use Duo constantly, so imagine my surprise when I spotted auto-framing on my S20 Ultra, a device that is not supposed to have it. After checking in with the rest of the team, Max Weinbach discovered that his S20+ also has the new addition, and he kindly provided the demonstration above. Max also tested his Z Flip, Z Fold 2, and Note20 Ultra, but those devices aren’t currently supported.
As Google’s support page still lists auto-framing as being restricted to the Pixel 4, we reached out to Google to see if this was intentional, and which other devices the feature would eventually come to. It confirmed that it’s 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 as well.
The rollout being limited to Galaxy devices may seem strange, but Google has given them exclusive features in the past. The S20 series already has full 1080p calling over 5g as well as AR emoji 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 offer as much wiggle room as possible. Sadly, it’s still limited to the front camera, which feels like a missed opportunity when the S20 has a great ultra-wide on the back.