A Chromium commit noticed by C2 Productions on Twitter indicates that Google is working to add an autozoom toggle for your Chromebook’s camera to the quick settings section of your device’s shelf. The commit has been merged, but there’s no telling right now when it will become an official feature that launches on Google’s laptop operating system.
Because it’s called “auto zoom”, you can probably guess what it’s used for, but with the announcement of Google Meet’s new video conference effects, the bigger picture starts to come into focus. Something called “Auto-framing” keeps you centered in the camera frame during an active call, and re-frames you if some other person joins the call on your end by walking into the camera view. Actually, Google Meet can already do this with certain cameras.
Add quick setting toggle to toggle autozoom setting.Chromium Gerrit
The feature was first shown off with the release of the Pixel 4, and you can see an example of that in the video above. Sadly, these upcoming video conference features, including on-device background blur are a “work-in-progress”, and are coming only to 10th and 11th generation Intel-based Chromebooks.
Once implemented, the idea is likely that by toggling autozoom from the quick settings, you can allow your device’s camera to re-frame you and anyone else in the shot intelligently by zooming out to compensate for the amount of space in the lense you’re both taking up. Similarly, if others are walking in and out of your video conferencing space due to you having to work from home in a tight space with higher family foot traffic, for example, then turning autozoom off from the quick settings will keep the camera focused on you and you alone – no funny zooming business.
My Pixelbook Go still has a busted camera app, and although it seems to be an isolated situation, About Chromebooks confirms that there’s something going on there. I knew I wasn’t crazy, and no amount of powerwashing my device has fixed it yet. Because of this, I honestly can’t spend much time caring about an autozoom mode for the camera when it isn’t even usable whatsoever.
I hope Google addresses this soon because I can’t even use it for video calls! Let me know if you would use an autozoom toggle or if you generally have just one-on-one meetings. Regardless, it’s a cool feature, and I’m sure it will be useful to those who sit on video calls often.