09
Jul
unnamed

Google's Camera app just got a bump up to version 2.3 (rolling out in stages of course), which adds a very welcome feature - remote shutter functionality for Android Wear devices.

We saw hints of this functionality inside the code of a previous version of the Camera app, but now that Wear devices have hit release, it's finally live. Users need only open the Camera app on their phone or tablet, and Wear will automatically insert a card for remote capture. Clicking that card gets you a big fat shutter release button right on your wrist. The interface will count down for three seconds, capture, and then show you the results.

It's worth noting that this functionality will only work with Google's Camera app since it contains a mini APK specifically for the purpose.

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Besides that, the Camera update brings a refreshed panorama capture interface. The new look gives users bigger bolder circles to align, making it just a little easier and a little more visually pleasant to capture panorama images and spheres.

Screenshot_2014-07-09-13-06-18 Screenshot_2014-07-09-13-03-43 Screenshot_2014-07-09-13-06-06

Camera also has an in-app help interface now, continuing Google's transition away from directing users to its help website. That's it for now, but if we find any other new bits we'll add them here. In the meantime, grab the apk for yourself below.

Download

The APK is signed by Google and upgrades your existing app. The cryptographic signature guarantees that the file is safe to install and was not tampered with in any way. Rather than wait for Google to push this download to your devices, which can take days, download and install it just like any other APK.

File name: com.google.android.GoogleCamera-2.3.017 (1266841-30).apk

Version: 2.3.017 (Android 4.4+)

MD5: ec05273151f5f6d3da2cc5c15aa39e7c

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Thanks, Martin!

Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

  • Joe Anderson

    Kind of a neat feature for us photo users! nice...

  • http://shywim.fr/ Matthieu Harlé

    There is dust on this screen.

    • james fuston

      That is not a well loved SHIELD.

      • Carolyn Joseph

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        ✒✒✒ ✒�✒✒ ✒✒✒ ✒✒✒ �✒✒✒

    • vyktorsouza

      just a bit, you can barely notice XD

  • remister

    Google, what other awesome updates are you rolling out today?
    This is way better than having a camera on the watch :P

  • Akshay Mehta

    If only I had G watch or gear live to see how well this works..

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

      I feel like this is an instant killer feature for Wear. I don't remember it being demoed at I/O, but it should have been.

      • https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=iWizard Bikram Agarwal

        This is useful only when you have the phone attached to some kind of tripod or otherwise not being held by your hand, right? I don't see how this is a big feature in that case. Useful for very few photography enthusiasts maybe; not for general public. Unless I'm missing something here.

        • miri

          Instead of pulling a stranger aside to take a picture of your family, you can set your phone on a fixture or a tripod and have a stranger walk off with it take it remotely.

          • https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=iWizard Bikram Agarwal

            Aah.. that makes sense. That means selfies for me without looking like a selfie. Thanks.

          • http://www.fullmoonblog.com/ Flatlinebb

            If it doesn't look like a selfie, is it still a selfie?

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

          I suppose you could say it in that way, but it's just as easy to say that it only requires being able to prop up your phone so it's pointed to the right spot. A tripod would be best, but you could also get away with using a Capta, a phone stand, or even a couple of rocks. As long as you can get the phone sitting on its edge and aimed at the right spot, this is pretty good.

    • vyktorsouza

      I'll be going with Moto 360

  • http://SammyToday.com Krzysztof Bryk

    it is already in live in market, no need to have apk download ;-)

    • Grayson

      You aren't familiar with the concept of a trollout are you.

      • http://SammyToday.com Krzysztof Bryk

        enlighten me ;)

        • Grayson

          Google doesn't make their Google Play Store app updates available to everyone at once. They only make them available to some small percentage of random people per day. It usually takes about 2 weeks before the update is rolled out to everyone. So even though the update is available to you through the Play Store, it isn't available to most people at this point. Google likes to troll people by giving a few people an awesome update and then they proceed to laugh and gain much enjoyment as the rest of us stand on the sidelines clamoring for the update. Unless of course a site like AP posts the APK so that anyone can install it.

  • nxtiak

    I wish there wasn't a countdown.

    • Fatty Bunter

      Said no Superhero ever

  • MikeOxlong

    Installed on my nexus 5 running the L preview. The update has seriously sped up HDR photo taking, improved clarity, and seems to also have killed the bugs that were force closing or locking up the camera before.
    Good good good.

    • Grayson

      Man, if a hangouts update could fix the MMS issues on L for AT&T, I could switch back to it and use it as a daily driver. Wonky MMS and super slow HDR+ were the two things that made me switch back to KitKat.

      • MikeOxlong

        I don't use MMS so its not an issue for me (I use other means to share photos and other media). But yeah, I've been using the preview as a daily driver since day one, and the camera was the only real downside. There are some apps that don't play nice, but eventually they too will be updated and in the intern, I'd rather miss out on them than the experience. I don't know why, but I actually find it fun to use. More so, than with custom Roms and all their features...

    • Rovindra Singh

      Running the Developer Preview also, giving it a shot as my daily driver. Are you experiencing any issues with battery life? I noticed my Nexus 5 discharging unusually fast and also my phone gets pretty warm.

      • DonEmu

        Check the usage data for all your apps. There is very likely an app running in the background that isn't working properly with the L Preview thus causing the issue.

        • Rovindra Singh

          I checked the battery usage and there's a Miscellaneous section that's using 35% of my battery. Any thoughts on how I can have a more granular breakdown?

          • MikeOxlong

            Install wakelock detector from the play store. It'll break down who the top battery drainers are. Misc is usually always apps running background tasks. Keep an eye on what you have running in the background and syncing. I also try to keep background apps to a minimum. Partly from OCD, but also because I do see a measured increase in battery life by doing so.

          • http://www.fullmoonblog.com/ Flatlinebb

            Requires root on KitKat devices :(

          • MikeOxlong

            Were not talking about KitKat though...

          • http://www.fullmoonblog.com/ Flatlinebb

            Does it work w/o root on L?

      • MikeOxlong

        I did have poor battery life for the first 2 days, but part of that was the graph running with incorrect values. You need to charge it up to 100% plus leave it alone overnight and things should straighten themselves out. Beyond that, having google now location reporting and history enabled will really run the battery down fast. I still keep google now enabled, just without those 2 options (which are found under location services). Still gives me all the good info, but without the drain. The other thing I did (and do on all Roms) is install app ops and turn off keep awake for both google play services and google search. Doing that will immensely increase battery life. Now on the preview I can get a full 4-5 hours onscreen time and a full days (18 hours) use. If you use it lightly (no more than an hour or so browsing plus 50ish texts and an hours worth of phone calls, you should get 2 days use no problem. At least, that's what I'm seeing.

    • Laurentiu

      Photo sphere & panorama are not working on Android L (Nexus 5) - app crash

      • MikeOxlong

        Working great here. No issues whatsoever.

    • Preston Mueller

      The Google Camera 2.3 update on the L preview didn't speed up HDR+ taking speed for me. Any tips? :/

      • MikeOxlong

        Well, mine (like many others) was extra slow and chunky. It literally took 5-6 seconds for the shutter to finish its animation and send the photo off to the right to be processed. Now, its back to normal (normal being what it was like previously on KitKat).

        • Preston Mueller

          Mine was (still is) extra slow and chunky too, same problem :) I just wish I had the same luck with the 2.3 update. (I tried clearing data and cache on Google Camera just in case that would help, but it did not.)

          • MikeOxlong

            That sucks man. Mine was actually worse...The first time I installed it (android l) my camera wouldn't work at all. It would hang on taking a picture, and I'd have to force close the app. Then, after force closing it I could never run the app again until I rebooted as it kept coming up with an error of not being able to connect to the camera. So, I just reset the phone and went ahead and started over. Second time it worked and wouldn't crash, but it was buggy. Installing this update resolved it. Maybe a reset could help? Probably not, but you never know...

  • Rudy Ballesteros

    What device is that with the dust....

    • Guest

      I was wondering the same thing, my first guess was Tegra Note 7, but I'm not sure.

      • Rudy Ballesteros

        It's running Kit Kat that's for sure. So I really have no idea what it is. How can you use a device with so much dust on it. Its probably some kind of hybrid where you don't have to touch the screen that explains all the dust. lol

        • Kevin

          Have you guys been living under a rock?

          • Rudy Ballesteros

            Lol no. Can you relax you can barely tell what it is. I never seen one in person since not a lot people have them. The Shield was failure anyway. They already announced that the successor is going to be a tablet.

          • Kevin

            I didn't mean to sound mean. :( I thought you didn't know what a SHIELD was after Cameron told you. I see now that you replied your second comment before he did.

          • Rudy Ballesteros

            It's okay. Its weird how they organized the comments. His comment should have be last since he was the last one to have a main reply to me.

          • http://www.fullmoonblog.com/ Flatlinebb

            I disagree that the Shield was a failure. Not any more a failure than the first iPhone. Sure, there are devices that are faster or lighter. But it is still a great device to play some games on. Like an earlier comment above, once you understand the limitations of a device, you can work around them.

            I am biased though - I love my Shield, and will not stand for someone dismissing it so lightly.

    • vyktorsouza

      it's running stock kitkat, no skin, and it's a tablet
      Nexus 10 maybe?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Cameron Summerson

      SHIELD.

  • syxbit

    I wish there was a live view

    • Grayson

      That would be frickin sweet for lining up the shot. Pretty sure bluetooth doesn't have enough bandwidth for something like that though. The watch would need to have Wi-Fi.

  • Masahiro Nakamura

    There's definitely an unknown device shown when you first start up the panorama screen. Hmm...

  • Tom Harman

    so a remotely operated controller for the camera so we don't have to hold the device?

  • Gregor Smith

    I'll say this every update until it returns.... but.... still no time lapse video?

  • https://plus.google.com/+TomErlandsen/posts?hl=en Tom Erlandsen

    Few more things I've noticed:

    1. The settings menu is tidier, as it no longer has the "about" section with build version, licenses, "send feedback" etc.
    2. In place of the "about" section is simply a "help and feedback" option, which is FINALLY a native, on-device help section, rather than redirecting to the Google support site (looks like native help is starting to roll out to more Google apps).
    EDIT: You can also search the native help interface, which is nice.
    3. Under "resolution and quality", image quality for Lens Blur now has 2 options, "normal" and "low", rather than the "high" and "low" it had before. I also noticed my panorama resolution choice changed from high to normal with the update.

  • asdf

    How do I make the camera icon appear under the start screen on the watch?

  • Simon Belmont

    It'd be cool if they added a voice command picture capture feature. I know it sounds gimmicky, but there's been a few times where that would have been useful for me.

    Glad to see Android Wear is getting some love with this update, too. By the time I get a Wear device there should be quite a bit of cool stuff to play with.

    • remister

      Are you still waiting for the Moto360?

  • Melad360

    why can't they just have sweep panorama? it's so much faster and easier

    • nxtiak

      That's how it was when it was first available on the Nexus 4 last year. No idea why Google changed it.

      • Melad360

        ikr, and it's not like sweep panorama is bad or anything, like look at Samsung phones with their huge 60mp sweep panoramas. but what I would really like to see is something like the iPhone, where it stitches as you take the panorama. that along with the big size panoramas that you get from the Google camera and Samsung phones would be perfect imo

    • miri

      I guess it's so all 5 pano modes have the same workflow.

      • Melad360

        I guess. would be nice if they made it an option though

        • MikeOxlong

          I wonder if its to help even out the lighting in the rendered picture? I notice less blowout and more even sky colour (outdoor photos obviously) with it like this than his it once was, or even now how iOS does it.

          • pfmiller

            That's just dependant on the algorithm used to stich the photos together, the method used to collect the photos that you are stitching together shouldn't really make a difference.

      • pfmiller

        Yeah, gives you less control over the size of your panorama though. You used to be able to stop at any point, instead of adding a full frame at a time.

  • Herry

    Is it compatible with my Xperia Z?

  • AMarquez89

    With a Nexus 5, if I open the camcorder, there is a black border around the viewfinder. It does not seem to take up the full screen, like the regular camera does.
    I am unsure if this has always occurred, or it started after the update.

    Anyone experiencing the same thing?

    • http://www.fullmoonblog.com/ Flatlinebb

      Nexus 5 here. No black border in camcorder mode. Check the video size settings in the Options - maybe you can change that somewhere.

      • AMarquez89

        Yeah, check it out and tell me if you see a difference.
        I'll upload some screenshots right now, so you guys can see what I mean.

        • doofesohr

          Definetly not like it was before. The explanation of miri might be the answer.

          • http://www.droid-life.com/ Steve B

            The interface is identical after the update on the N5.

      • AMarquez89

        This is what I see. You can see on the screenshots how when the camera is open, its wider than when it's the camcorder. (Landscape mode doesnt make a difference)

        The image has that black frame on the sides.

        http://postimg.org/image/86gdjwp1l/
        http://postimg.org/image/pe2smny2v/

    • miri

      It's because the camera doesn't hide the Nav bar or crop that section off.

    • MikeOxlong

      It's there to show you a viewfinder preview of exactly how the video will be rendered. Same reason why it changes to a 4:3 layout in camera mode (while set at 8mp).

  • George

    So I'm wearing my watch on my left hand... what should I be doing with my right hand... hold the phone or press the button to take a picture? or are they really telling me to buy a tripod for my phone??

    • Sorian

      I was thinking this would be great with the Galaxy Cameras Samsung made, and yes, they would be on a tripod.

  • Peter Blanco

    Genuine question, who actually uses the Google Camera as their main camera app?

    • http://www.fullmoonblog.com/ Flatlinebb

      I do, on my Nexus 5. I don't see anything wrong with it.

      • MikeOxlong

        Same for 90% of photos I take. Its actually a great camera once you learn how to use it. And by use it I mean understand its weaknesses and learn how to compensate for them and get those great shots.

    • miri

      I can't really because I'm on a Moto X and the stock camera is much more convenient, but I jump into it every chance I get.

    • AMarquez89

      Same as Flatlinebb, I use it in my Nexus 5.
      Performs just fine for me.

    • Thomas Cai Jinzhan

      on n5 and uses it as well

    • Brett Besa

      Moi

    • tlingitsoldier

      When my VZW Moto X finally gets updated beyond 4.4.2, and HDR is (hopefully) enabled, I will probably use it as my main camera. The only thing I will miss then is the twist to launch functionality. I know there's a root app for that, but I've been too lazy to bother with it.

      Right now I just use Google Camera for Photospheres and Lens Blur, and the Moto camera for regular pictures.

    • gotitogether

      Well, I wouldn't really consider it my "main camera app," but I DO(...I try to) use it alllllllmost as often as the "stock/OEM" Camera that comes with the VZW Galaxy Note 3. It's not quite AS PACKED with features as the stock Note 3 Camera, but it is(it seems to be...to me, at least) a VERY stable camera offering by Google and the features that I make use of(basic camera, video, PhotoSphere, panorama, saving to external sd card storage) are integrated into it and seem to function well. I also really like the fact that Google has been very active in the development of this camera and app updates come often...that's a BIG PLUS right there!

  • 16Bitz0r

    This is obviously doesn't fix the random reboots N4 owners experience since 4.3(?) while using their camera. :(

    • Peter

      I was hoping the issue of reboots was fixed for the Nexus 4. I moved the wife's phone on to CyanogenMod due to this but was hoping to go back to stock soon.

  • joser116

    They should really move that video function into the big bar.

  • gwhizkids

    Downloaded the APK but it won't install on my S3 (4.4.2). Anyone else having issues with that?

    • Peter

      try a different download mirror. i also had issues.

      • gwhizkids

        I'll give that a shot. Hoping it fixes the lens blur problems on my S3 (could only get that feature to work one time in 3 weeks)

  • John

    The Pebble watch and Android Wear are what real innovation looks like. When will the fruit company make their me-too copy? And will the fruity loyalist try to rewrite history, again?

    • bozs13

      just stop

      • John

        You do know that the reality distortion field is still in full effect, right?

        In the last week I had two people tell me that they think the fruit company invented all that is good in the mobile world, and that android is, today, a ripoff of iOS.

        This was *after* this years WWDC, in which apple clearly signalled their eagerness to copy everything they can from android.

        • MikeOxlong

          Take a break john. Have a KitKat.

  • MrNako

    They first removed the really cool live video effects from Ice Cream Sandwich camera app, now they remove timelapse and even white balance adjustments? Why Google!?

  • tintin.92

    So I guess Google Camera is never coming to Jelly Bean...

    Is the Panorama a full res one like on iPhone?

  • Abhishek Kulkarni

    they shoulda added camera in smartwatch :P

  • TylerChappell

    OH MY GAWD, WHICH ANDROID MINI FIGURE IS THAT!?!

  • Nuno Guerreiro

    New version was released on playstore, 2.3.019
    Bug fixes I guess...