A new CyanogenMod feature is currently under review, and it looks staggeringly cool. Developed by Nebojsa Cvetkovic, this addition would place a new camera tile in the Quick Settings panel. Tap it, and you get a live viewfinder capable of taking snapshots right from the notification shade.

The first tap on the tile will start up the camera with continuous autofocus if the device supports it. Taking pictures is as easy as tapping again. The photos are full resolution, just like if they were taken with the camera app. Simply close the notification shade to stop the camera feed.

It shouldn't impact battery as the camera viewfinder is only activated when you tap the tile. This could be phenomenal for a quick pic, but framing shots will be a little more difficult. You'll also have to open the full app if you want to change any settings. Still, this looks great.

[CyanogenMod on Google+]

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play.

  • troph

    You mean PAC-man rom?

    • b00sted

      am I blind or can I not find any info on this rom other than the evo..

      • troph

        Don't use google to search. Go to device in XDA and look. I've had it running on Nexus 4 and my Transformer Prime, but they have it for basically every rom (counting "unofficial" ports)

    • Michael Pahl

      I can't seem to find a built for my Galaxy Tab 10.1 (wifi, p7510)

      Can you help?

  • Guest

    Still slower than going home and tapping the shutter button.

  • BlackEco

    This is the upcoming favorite feature of preverts :D

  • Evan Lucken

    Its neat but not practical for my uses. i want to frame a picture right, not just get a square to go off of. does it crop or anything or are you just getting a square of a bigger picture it will be taking?

  • jeffhesser

    real real sad that the Optimus G pro seems to have no hope of being blown open and developed for.. =

  • fonix232

    You're in the browser, or music player, or wherever you want. Suddenly you see something you HAVE to take a photo of, and the moment decays fast. You can either lock the screen, then unlock to camera, or press home and go to the camera app, OR, you can pull down and take a shot from two taps. Which one is faster?

    • tanknspank

      Honestly, with phones as quick as the S4 or HTC One with screens as big as they are, it's probably just as quick to go home and tap the camera icon than reaching to the top of the phone awkwardly with one hand to bring down the shade to reach the live tile.

      • fonix232

        Don't expect everyone to have such a huge device. I remember when 4.3" was "Daaaaamn! That's HUUUGE" for everyone (and for the pun, yes, that's what she said), and I decided back then that that is my perfect size. Frankly, I found the 4.7" of the Nexus 4 a bit uncomfortable, and am not going to switch to a phone with such a huge screen. So for me, it is faster to pull down and take a photo by two clicks, if I use it. I'm not saying that this is true for everybody - but for a majority, it might be. But again, this is all about adding customization options: some want a shortcut, some want it on the lockscreen, and some want it on the notifications settings panel.

    • NathanDrago

      Go home and fire the camera app. By a long way.

    • nsnsmj

      If you have a ROM with Halo, you can do something similar right now. The only problem is that when you pin the camera, it actually pins the gallery app, but with one tap it takes you to the camera, so no biggy.


      • fonix232

        This is just about giving more options to people. I'm not saying many will use it - me myself included, as I barely use the camera on my phone (if you had such a shitty phone with a shitty camera, you'd understand). But some, or many might find it useful, and use it instead of Halo (I find it quite intrusive, would rather have a pull-out bar on the right side (left is occupied with the new menu stuff), where these notification balls appear).

    • firethorn

      I don't even have a camera shortcut on my homescreen because I take maybe five pictures a year, if even that many.
      On the other hand, I still have a free row of quick settings tiles, so I'm happy to have more functional things to put there than mere toggles/shortcuts.

      • RitishOemraw

        I use my camera on 2 occasions mostly...the first is when I need to show people what I am looking at (sending the pictures through whatsapp/email/hangouts/h+)
        Like when I get a gift or see soemthing strange/funny
        The other reason is when I need to save some info that is written down: postal tracking numbers, notes, sheetmusic, doodles etc :P

    • nmaxfield

      or another option -> longpress navigation keys (if available on your device). i have my home button setup to go to camera if i long press it. although, having the option to put camera as a quicktile is very cool as well. if you're doing something you don't want to put in the background, the tile method could be quite useful.

  • troph

    This is interesting. I want to see where they go with this. Off the top of my head, a quick video feature would be super useful. Even going from lockscreen (if you have default on camera) it takes time to switch to camcorder. I see this being extremely useful for immediate video capture. It could keep the window view or also (click and hold?) switch into full screen while filming.

  • therealbiglou

    The biggest reason to use this is that you can take a picture from ANYWHERE in the phone. Obviously this isn't as necessary if you are on the lockscreen or already on the home screen. However, if you are within an app and don't want to switch apps or go home just to take a quick picture, this would be extremely convenient.

    Imagine having an app that asks for a profile picture when setting up an account. I don't have a good picture of myself on the phone and the app doesn't have a built-in camera app for this purpose. Rather than exiting the app, opening the camera, taking a picture, and then reopening the app, you could easily swipe down the notification panel and snap a photo.

    • NathanDrago

      Normally every app gives the ability to take a picture, rather than selecting one from the gallery.
      This new "feature" only results in adding more lines of code to an otherwise awesome OS.

    • PhilNelwyn

      You don't have to exit the app and reopen it, just use Android's multitasking capabilities.
      And will this feature allow you to use the front facing camera?

  • exadeci

    On xda you'll find tons of roms supporting all theses features on Nexus 4 I use uXylon https://plus.google.com/communities/113055388128726029211

  • Stephen Diniz

    For those saying that it doesn't make sense because they want the picture framed correctly, etc..

    When something happens quickly, a photo with poor frame technique is better than no photo at all.

    Another thing to consider is the fact that the camera app may have front facing camera as the last camera used.. Meaning, if you're trying to take a quick snap and it's using the front-facing camera, the picture may be already gone.

    Having said that, this feature should be default back-facing camera. Just my opinion. Either way, I'm excited for it! :)

  • Rory Holliday

    Wow so you guys still haven't deactivated your lock screen Camera widget....that's a huge security risk..

    This seems awesome tbh...though I think incognito mode is what I am looking forward to more

    Also for an alternative to P.A.C. ROM....check out Rootbox

    • OmniWrench

      What about the lock screen Camera widget is a security risk? (not flaming, honestly curious). Attempting to access the gallery or anything else from the Camera goes right back to the lock screen.

      • Rory Holliday

        Not always..it depends on which ROM you're running


    Sony Xperia Z has that all ready.



    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      I don't see how that's the same.

  • alexcue

    My 'quick camera' setup is to use GMD Gesture Control app and set a five finger expand gesture to open the camera. Works great and I can launch the camera from any app, even full-screen games.

  • Nikolai

    As i know most CM roms (for my phone Xperia S i speak, and all of sony phones) dont have serious Camera support or it is so poor that it not usefull, isnt a bit early to move to such things before fixing basic problems?

  • Seamus Conley

    Meh, I already have my multitask button customized so that it opens the camera when I longpress it. Still neat I guess though.

  • Simon Belmont

    That's cool. It'd be really cool if when you press it, it turns the entire quick settings shade into the viewfinder.

    That will eliminate an off-center picture frame. It would also make the preview bigger.

  • chaosking121

    Rootbox works great here. JellyBam is also a nice choice, but it's hit and miss between individual versions of it (it's great when it works though).

  • The_Chlero

    I understand the open-ess and the free-ness of Android, but I think that we no longer need another new way to acces to some app. Better get focus on new features like Incognito Mode i.e.

  • The_Chlero

    Yay! Another way to take pictures of your meals to be uploaded to Instagram.

  • Martin

    This reminds me of oppo's full screen camera widget with live preview and image capture.

  • chris

    Why have all this great features and can't add panorama on the official cm builds..? Very disappointing