The Google Glass developers are at it again; they keep coming up with new ways to burn through that tiny battery. Today, the Glass Development Kit changelog was updated to detail the addition of USB webcam support for developers looking to add access to views outside of the standard forward-facing perspective. Webcams must be attached via On-The-Go (OTG) cable, and Plug 'n Play isn't supported, so Glass must be rebooted before the attached camera can be recognized.
A typical camera captures what's in front of it, but newer products are rolling out that really don't care what direction they're facing. Florida-based startup VSN Mobil's new V.360 is such a camera, one that records everything going on in a 360 degree area around it. It's not the first device to do this, but with its 16MP imager capable of capturing content in full 1080p, it should do so quite prettily.
Yesterday, Google's Camera app was updated to add a pretty handy remote shutter feature that can be used on a paired Android Wear wristwatch. But what if you're packing some serious camera equipment –let's say, something in the Canon EOS family– and you'd like to appear in some of your own shots from time to time? Chainfire has you covered with the latest update to his incredibly powerful DSLR Controller. Not only does the new version offer a remote shutter button on Android Wear, but it's also sporting some big improvements to the Timelapse feature, new white icons and faster wi-fi transfer speeds on KitKat, and fixes for the way SD cards are handled on KitKat and above.
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.
Sony is boasting its new Xperia C3 as the best smartphone for taking selfies thanks to its wide-angle 5MP front-facing "PROselfie" camera, soft LED flash, and a set of quirky apps. Hey, scoff all you want, but this is a big deal. Selfie is a real word now, and if I have to write about the subject seriously, the least you can do is read this with a straight face.
Now where was I?
Most of us have adjusted rather well to taking pictures on our phones, but there's a subset of the market out there that would much rather talk on their cameras. Samsung, as the one smartphone manufacturer willing to build just about anything, wants to help these people out. The Galaxy K Zoom is a point-and-shoot camera that's been smashed into the back of a lower-spec Galaxy S5, and it's currently going for $450 unlocked on eBay Daily Deals.
The Android team has been hard at work replacing old code that hasn't scaled well with newer and more powerful hardware. We've long known that the camera API was destined to see a massive update, but we were missing details like a release date or exactly what was coming. Thanks to the L release, we can finally see what has been in the works for all these many months.
One of the most important aspects of the new Camera 2 API is a dramatic increase in performance over the previous interface.
There should be no doubt, Google is getting ready to make a lot of announcements at I/O. If we've learned anything from past experiences, Google starts packing its apps full of surprises in the weeks leading up to the big show. The latest update to Play Services started rolling out yesterday and it has grown by a whopping 4 MB, almost 30% larger than the previous version. There's obviously a lot of stuff to look at, so let's just jump right in.
Megapixels, megashmixels. We could debate for near eternity over which smartphone has the best camera, but sometimes all that really matters is which is the most fun. Sony wants you to think its cameras are, so the company has updated its augmented reality camera app and tossed in an additional six new themes for good measure.
The AR Effect app lets certain Sony Xperia smartphone owners add objects and effects to their photos, fundamentally altering what is going on in the shot.
Facebook's entry into the alternative SMS game has quickly reached its fifth release. This update doesn't contain a huge visual overhaul, but it does have some impressive new additions to the main chat window that will make it easier to send all your non-textual communications. The update should be live for everyone now - check the Play Store if you want it immediately, or just wait for the alert or auto-download.