The latest update for the Google Camera app introduces an option for disabling various sounds produced by the app. This novelty was introduced by the build version 4.3 that started rolling out on the Google Play Store earlier this week and should already be available for download worldwide. You can find the new option under the "General" section of the app's Settings menu. The functionality is labeled as "Camera sounds" and can be toggled on or off. Limited testing shows that disabling the option works as expected seeing how it mutes all sounds produced by Google Camera, including the shutter sound and the countdown beeps. The latest Google Camera update seemingly introduces no other new features except for this one.
It's unclear why developers opted to bundle the shutter sound together with the countdown beeps. While the former has no huge practical applications, the latter is rather useful seeing how delayed exposures are usually initiated when there's no one behind the camera. In other words, hearing a beep every second before a timed exposure allows people to prepare for a photo, so it's a shame that Google Camera still doesn't support an individual option for allowing that feature. As things stand right now, if you want to hear countdown beeps but don't want shutter sounds, you'll be using the new global setting on a regular basis. It remains to be seen whether Google adds individual sound settings to its app in the future. The 4.3 update for Google Camera is the first update this app has received since October, but it seems that the Alphabet-owned company is still keen to keep supporting its Android imaging tool.
The Google Camera app is currently only compatible with the Google Pixel, Pixel XL, and contemporary Nexus devices. The app stopped supporting third-party phones a year and a half ago and there's currently no indication that the Mountain View-based tech giant will expand the availability of Google Camera to other devices in the future. Naturally, the app will still probably be available on the Google Pixel 2 or however Google decides to call the successor of its 2016 flagship.