How to Quickly Open Your Smartphone Camera (On Any Model)

Editor’s Key Takeaways: Master Quick-Launch Camera Techniques on Your Smartphone

smartphone taking a low exposure shot

This blog post offers guidance on how to quickly access your smartphone camera to avoid missing opportunities for spur-of-the-moment photos. The author reviews methods for various popular smartphone brands including Google Pixel, iPhone, Huawei and Samsung.

  • Google Pixel: Double-tap the power/lock button to immediately open the camera. The author also discusses settings navigation if this function isn’t already activated on your phone and mentions an easy method to swap between front and back cameras.
  • iPhone: The author mentions that the method to quickly access camera differs based on the model and cover different models sorted by their release date.
  • Huawei: The author provides information about a special gesture associated with this brand to open the camera instantly.
  • Samsung: The author discusses opening camera methods on different models including older ones.

Overall, the author provides a comprehensive guide on how to ‘quick-launch’ the camera on various smartphones.


Do you want to capture spur-of-the-moment photos on your smartphone…

…but you just can’t open your smartphone camera fast enough?

It’s a common problem in smartphone photography. By the time you’ve gotten through the lock screen and opened the camera app, your amazing photo opportunity has vanished.

But here’s the thing:

Every smartphone has ways of ‘quick-launching’ the camera. And by using this quick-launch function, you can practically guarantee that you won’t miss your future shots.

So in this article, I’m going to share with you methods for quick-launching the smartphone camera. I’ll talk you through the technique for a number of popular smartphones–so that next time you’re out, you’re able to nail every spur-of-the-moment shot you take.

Sound good?

Let’s dive right in.

How to Quickly Access Your Smartphone Camera: Table of Contents

  1. Quickly Access the Camera on Your Google Pixel
  2. Quickly Access the Camera on Your iPhone
  3. Quickly Access the Camera on Your Huawei Smartphone
  4. Quickly Access the Camera on Your Samsung Smartphone

1. Quickly Access the Camera on Your Google Pixel

If you have a Google Pixel (any model), then there’s an ultra-easy method for opening your camera:

Simply double-tap the power/lock button.

No matter where you are on your Pixel, the camera will immediately open.

And you’ll be ready to capture some remarkable shots.

If this setting isn’t working on your Pixel, you might have to do a bit of setup.

Tap Settings, then System, and finally Languages & Input. From there, you’ll see the option to activate Jump to Camera. And you’ll be all set.

It’s also worth noting that you can quickly switch between the front and back camera on your Pixel. Once the camera is open, simply do a double-twist of your wrist–and watch as the cameras switch!

I’ll also mention an additional option:

If you’re using your Pixel, you can always access the Camera icon in your Favorites tray. This will give you quick access to the Camera app whenever you’re on the Home screen.

2. Quickly Access the Camera on Your iPhone

All relatively new iPhones have a method to quick-launch your camera from the lock screen:

Simply swipe right to left.

Then your camera will spring open, ready for action!

However, while you’ll be able to take photos, you won’t be able to access your photo library. To access old images, you’ll need to unlock your iPhone first–then open the camera.

One way to quickly access the camera from the Home screen:

Place the camera icon in the dock (i.e., the featured menu across the bottom of the Home screen). That way, you can simply tap from the Home screen and–voila!–the camera will open.

To put your iPhone camera in the dock, hold any icon. All the icons will begin to shake. Then drag the camera icon into the dock. Finally, press the Home button to deactivate the shaking icons.

Finally, here’s a third method for quick-launching the iPhone camera:

On the iPhone XS and XS Max, swipe down from the top right of the screen. This will bring up the control center (no matter the original screen). From the control center, you can simply tap the camera icon.

On older iPhones, swipe up from the bottom of the screen. This will bring up the control center from any previous screen–and you can then tap the camera icon.

3. Quickly Access the Camera on Your Huawei Smartphone

Huawei has a feature that’s unique to all the smartphone brands on this list:

You can both quick-launch the camera and take a picture.

However, you can only do this when the phone is off–and you’re not using an app that works with the volume controls (such as Spotify).

To quick-launch the camera and take a picture, all you have to do is double tap the volume down button.

This will take a picture of whatever you’re pointing your Huawei camera at. And as soon as the camera opens, you’ll be ready to take additional shots.

If you’re unable to launch the camera with this shortcut, you probably need to activate the feature in your camera menu.

To achieve this, open the Camera app on the Home screen. Tap Settings, then Ultra Snapshot.

Finally, select Take a Quick Snapshot.

Now, when you double-press the volume-down button, the quick-launch feature should work.

And you’ll get some outstanding photos.

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4. Quickly Access the Camera on Your Samsung Smartphone

Samsung smartphones offer a useful quick-launch feature.

On the newer Samsung models, such as the Samsung Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus, the Galaxy S9, the Galaxy S8, and the Note8, double tap the power button (which is on the side of the phone).

On older Samsung models, such as the Samsung Galaxy S7, the Galaxy S6, and the Note5, double tap the Home key on the front of the smartphone.

If the quick launch feature isn’t working, you probably need to activate it in the camera settings panel. From the camera app, tap Settings, and then toggle the Quick Launch option.

How to Access Your Smartphone Camera: Conclusion

Now that you know how to access your smartphone camera quickly, you should be prepared for any type of situation.

You’ll be able to get your camera open–and snap some amazing shots.

About the Author
jaymes dempsey author

Jaymes Dempsey is a professional macro and nature photographer from Ann Arbor, Michigan; his work is published across the web, from Digital Photography School to PetaPixel. You can connect with Jaymes on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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