Taking the background in an image and blurring it is currently the big thing in mobile photography. HTC touted the feature when raving about the M8's duo camera. Google added a similar lens blur effect in the camera app it recently uploaded to the Play Store. Samsung, too, unsurprisingly packed this feature in alongside the plethora of others it crams into the Galaxy S5. Now Sony has uploaded its pre-existing effort to the Play Store, where it can more easily roll out future updates.
Google has been posting versions of most of its first-party apps to the Play Store in an effort to update key features of Android (or at least Google's branded additions to the platform) without having to wait for carriers to push out software apps. According to a report from Engadget, the standard camera app will soon get an upgrade, presumably following the same path. At this point we'll consider this a rumor, since Engadget only cites "sources aware of Google's plans."
The report says that the updated camera app will include many of the bells and whistles that newer devices are getting, like the fake depth of field effect shown off on the HTC One M8.
Consider this new app that item that someone placed on store shelves before it was time to begin selling the product. You can look at it all you want, but until that launch date comes, forget about it. In this case, HTC has released a Zoe app into the Play Store, but it doesn't plan to activate it until this summer.
There isn't much to take away from these screenshots, other than a green battery icon that drills in just why Google required everyone to switch to white notification tray icons for Android 4.4.
Motorola has a reputation of late for making relatively few changes to the stock Android experience, but taking photos is one of the areas where the company has applied some of its own tender loving care. The app, which can activate with just a flick of the wrist, encourages users to take pictures by touching anywhere on the screen. Now those who would prefer a more tactile approach have that option as well.
Motorola has been making a name for itself by uploading many of its pre-installed apps (both the exciting and the utterly mundane) into the Play Store where it can serve out updates more quickly, but the Google-owned company isn't the only one to make use of this approach. Today Sony has uploaded the Xperia ZI's Timeshift Burst functionality into the Play Store.
Update: According to comments, the app is also compatible with a handful of other Sony devices, including the Xperia Z, ZL, ZQ, and the Tablet Z.
Do you find that Instagram, Hipstamatic, and all the other me-too photography apps out there just aren't doing it for you? Then why not try VSCO Cam, the most anticipated iOS camera app port among Pabst Blue Ribbon drinkers and fedora enthusiasts! Here, let's check out this promotional video so we can get a quick look at all the impressive features offered in this exciting new app.
Okay, so that wasn't helpful at all.
Sometimes a smartphone comes with a crappy camera. Other times, it just comes with crappy software. The good thing is that there are no shortage of compelling camera apps to choose to from, and today, there's one more. SmugMug's Camera Awesome has made its way over to Android after amassing over 20 million downloads on the Apple App Store and averaging a near perfect 4.5 star rating.
Camera Awesome is packed with features, offering users an HDR mode, the ability to take panorama shots, and a high-speed burst.
Every now and then I stumble across a product that I'm instantly frustrated with. I was living my life perfectly contentedly, but now that I've seen this thing, I must have it. For the next ten minutes, that thing is the Keyprop phone stand that just secured funding on Kickstarter at the last moment. This is a tiny stand that works with all smartphones and is always there when you need it.
There are many, many camera apps out there with filters and effects to make your snapshots look like they were taken with a 30 year-old Polaroid. Fewer are the camera apps with cool, well-thought-out filters that make for fun images. Paper Camera definitely fell into the latter category, and the follow-up Camera 2 looks even cooler.
If you're not a fan of your phone's stock camera app for its lack of vintage polaroid filters, you probably have come across Camera ZOOM FX at some point or another. It's pretty popular, but since the introduction of Android 4.0, its UI has looked a little dated. Today, that changed - along with over 20 new features, ZOOM FX is sporting a brand-new look. Check it out.
I'm not going to list all the new features here (because let's face it, a filter is not a feature, it's a filter), but here are some of the highlights:
- New UI / performance enhancements (hardware acceleration)
- Portrait mode
- Adjust brightness, exposure, ISO, light metering
- Horizon and stability indicators
- Golden spiral grid
- New UI for photo timer
- Pinch digital zoom
- Gallery mode
- XHDPI support
- Customizable actions
- Facebook sharing
That's a lot of stuff.