Google Camera update for Android 11 changes how Pixels name image files

Farewell 'IMG' files, hello 'PXL' files

Pixel 4 Camera

Google will rework how Pixel smartphones name their image files in Android 11, which could make it easier to see at a glance where a picture came from but mess up user file systems.

As spotted by Android Police, Google updated its Camera app to version 7.5 — currently only available on devices running the Android 11 Beta — with a new photo naming scheme. Google Camera ditches the traditional ‘IMG’ name for ‘PXL’ file names instead. It’s important to note that this doesn’t impact the actual file type, only the name of the image file.

That means that, for example, instead of ‘IMG_12345678_123456.jpg,’ you might have a photo with the filename ‘PXL_12345678_123456.jpg.’ Further, some filenames will append additional details, such as ‘.NIGHT’ or .’PORTRAIT’ to help indicate whether you captured an image with Night Shot or portrait mode.

While the change may help users decipher which photos are what based on the filename, the change could unfortunately bring some issues. Android Police notes the same change applies to video files, which could make it harder to tell them from photos without looking at the file type.

Additionally, the change will impact how devices store files on external storage mediums or in the cloud. If you keep a chronological library of photos in a cloud service, you may want to rename your Pixel pics so they work with the existing library.

Again, the change is part of Google Camera version 7.5, which currently is only available on Android 11. Android Police notes that if you sideload Camera 7.5 on Android 10 or lower, it won’t work. As such, the filename change likely won’t arrive for most until Android 11 officially arrives later this year.

Source: Android Police