Google is rolling out an update to its Camera app for Nexus and Pixel devices. The latest version isn't sporting any major new improvements, but it's not without a few refinements. This version adds an easier to use (but not entirely convenient) zoom control, tweaks the exposure control, and adds an option to mute camera sounds. We're still looking for more changes, but in the meantime you can pick up the latest version from APK Mirror if it's not already available to your phone.
One of the coolest additions to the camera in the Android 7.0 developer preview was an option to manually adjust the exposure in the camera app. It's not as if that's a groundbreaking feature - plenty of third-party apps and manufacturer skins offered the same thing - but it's nice to get it in stock. The manual exposure option has disappeared in some of the later preview builds, but there's good news: it's coming back.
Hey you! Yes, you, the Android fan who spent $650 to get a Nexus 6 the moment it became available, then felt somewhat disheartened when it started popping up for $300 or less, then heroically resisted the siren song of new devices from Huawei and LG! To reward your frugal self-control, Google is now allowing you to play with the camera user interface featured on the new Nexus phones without spending any money whatsoever! Ain't that great? Just don't ask about slow motion video or burst mode for stills, because your puny camera module can't handle it.
As several of you pointed out to us today, Qualcomm recently updated a blog post on its website regarding the "double-twist" camera launch gesture on the upcoming Nexus 5X and 6P. Specifically, they placed a strikethrough on the text identifying the feature, and clarified the reasoning for the change with the below information:
[UPDATE: The feature to launch the camera via double-twist of the device was replaced by double tap of the power key. The name Context Core has been changed to Android Sensor Hub.]
We've officially confirmed with Google this morning that the feature has indeed been dropped from the Nexus 5X and 6P.
September was a solid month for new Android releases. The new phone call functionality in Hangouts is easily the biggest news, but in our top picks below you'll find new media app options, new customization tools, ways to improve your videography, and all manner of interesting stuff to do on your phone or tablet. The honorable mentions section has even more goodies for you to check out. Your Android device won't be wanting for new things to do.
So, a tiny little screen thing that's kind of like a phone but not a phone and is also strapped to your arm screams for a few very specific uses, and one of them is a remote control for your phone's camera. We've already seen at least one Android Wear camera remote, but that one was more of a proof of concept than a full-fledged tool. PixtoCam takes the basic idea that's been around for longer than mobile phones and adds some notable improvements.
First of all, the remote viewfinder works in both photo mode and video mode, making it infinitely more flexible.
Google updated its official Camera app with Wear support recently, but that just makes the watch into a shutter button with image review. Wear Camera Remote is a proof-of-concept app that streams the viewfinder to Android wear and works as a shutter.
Even after years on the market and innumerable would-be competitors, GoPro remains the standard for "action cameras." A big part of that is the excellent smartphone integration that GoPro's devices have maintained, and today the official Android app gets a little better in a lot of small ways. The most obvious is the new user interface, which is visible on Android 4.0 and above. The all-black UI keeps its focus on minimalism and utility, but gets rid of some of the gradients of the former interface.
New above, old below.
There are also some more useful additions, most notably an automatic WiFi connection.
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.
Sony's background defocus app lets photographers bring an object into focus by blurring out the background, simulating a shallow depth of field.
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.