If you try installing the Google Camera app on your Mi A1, you will probably fail due to the lack of Camera2 support. In today’s guide, users can easily enable Camera2API on Xiaomi Mi A1 without root. Consecutively, we will also be sharing the steps to enable EIS (Electronic Image Stabilization).
The Xiaomi Mi A1 is the company’s first smartphone featuring the Android One program. Being a part of the program means that the device offers guaranteed updates. Be it a major Android version release or monthly security patches. Talking about the software, the phone incorporates the stock AOSP firmware which is free from the majority of OEM bloatware. Despite being based on AOSP, the Mi A1 still doesn’t offer direct support for Camera2API. Well, the development community is no short of talented people who keep on finding ways to explore the software. One such XDA forum member has provided the proper instructions to help you enable Camera2API on Xiaomi Mi A1.
Before we get to the process, let us shed some light on what Camera2API actually is, and how it can be an advantage to phone’s camera. It’s quite likely that people who have been engaged in the development scene are aware of it. Those who aren’t can read below.
So what exactly is an API? Commonly known as “Application Programming Interface”, is an API used by an operating system to allow third-party app developers to access certain parts of the software. Google provides its own Camera2API (Introduced in Lollipop 5.0) for advanced usage of the phone’s camera functions. The API could be leveraged by third-party camera applications for faster capturing, RAW image support, high frame rate video recording, and more. In a nutshell, it provides better overall access to the sensor.
The API is enabled by default for most devices running AOSP-based firmware. But that doesn’t seem to be the case for Android One-based Xiaomi Mi A1. Normally, if you’d like to use the modified Google Camera port, you would need to enable the API by making build.prop edits. The foremost requirement for any such process is ‘root’.
Well, not anymore because XDA Developer flex1911 laid down a set of instructions to help users enable Camera2API on Xiaomi Mi A1. On the basis of this method, XDA member AridaneAM created an automated tool that works on a pretty similar methodology. The tool offers options to enable Camera2API and EIS, and also installs Arnova8G2’s GCam mod at the same time. He also listed instructions for users to manually do the job if they wish to do so.
How to Enable Camera2API and EIS on Xiaomi Mi A1
Our appreciations go to the XDA member AridaneAM and developer flex1911 for finding out the exact steps to enable Camera2API on Xiaomi Mi A1. Thanks to XDA authors Idrees Patel and Doug Lynch for bringing up the method at the XDA blog.
Method 1: Enable Camera2API, EIS, and Install GCam Mod using Tool
- Go to Settings -> System -> About phone and continuously tap 7 times on the “Build number” field.
- This shall enable the Developer options on your device.
- Go back to the System menu and tap on Developer options.
- Scroll down and enable the USB debugging option.
- Once enabled, connect your Mi A1 to the PC using the USB cable.
- Download the tool by AridaneAM: Mi A1 GCam.zip
- Extract the downloaded zip file.
- Open the “Mi A1 GCam” folder and run “GCam Mi A1.exe” file.
- In the tool window, click on the “Enable HAL3 EIS and install” option to enable Camera2API and EIS on Xiaomi Mi A1.
- Select “Yes” when the Allow USB debugging prompt pops up.
- Your phone will instantly reboot and the tool will automatically do its job.
- When your phone boots, you can run the new GCam on your device.
The second method involves temporarily booting TWRP recovery on the device and using it to run a few shell commands.
Method 2: Manually Enable EIS and Camera2API
- Download TWRP recovery image.
- Open the folder where the file has been downloaded.
- Hold the SHIFT key and right-click on an empty space inside this folder.
- Select “Open PowerShell window here”.
- Next, power off your Mi A1 completely.
- Hold down the Volume Down + Power button simultaneously to enter Fastboot mode.
- Connect your phone to the PC.
- Unlock the bootloader first:
fastboot oem unlock
- Next, enter the following command to boot TWRP recovery:
fastboot boot recovery-3.2.1-1.img
- When it boots, make sure not to touch any options in TWRP.
- Enter the following command to make sure that your device is being detected properly:
- Execute shell using:
- Enter the following commands to enable Camera2API and EIS on Mi A1:
setprop persist.camera.HAL3.enabled 1 setprop persist.camera.eis.enable 1
- Exit the shell and reboot into Fastboot mode:
exit adb reboot bootloader
- Finally, lock the bootloader again and reboot.
fastboot oem lock fastboot reboot
Once your device boots, download Arnova8G2’s GCam mod (GoogleCamera-Pixel2Mod-Arnova8G2-V1) and install it on your phone. You have just been successful to enable Camera2API and EIS on Xiaomi Mi A1. Go ahead and treat yourselves with a better camera. If you have any questions, leave them down in the comments.