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. The Camera 2 system is now capable of delivering full resolution images at the same speed the hardware can capture them thanks to a fully synchronized pipeline model. Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More
If you've got a late-model Samsung "smart" camera, you should check out this nifty function. Samsung Home Monitor lets owners of the upcoming NX3000 camera (and presumably other models in the NX line) view video from the camera's lens remotely on their phones. It's a neat application of the hardware available.
Using the simple app, you can treat your camera like a security camera or baby/pet monitor. Users can stream live video from the camera at any time, as long as there's Wi-Fi in the house and your smartphone has a data connect (Wi-Fi or mobile). Read More
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. Read More
Earlier today, Google released a dedicated camera app into the Play Store. This would have been news on its own, as this method of distribution allows for camera updates without having to wait for a new firmware to come along. But the goodies didn't stop there. Google has completely redesigned the app, and while your opinion may vary, here's mine - it's better.
Why, You Ask?
For starters, there's a new lens blur effect that I've already elaborated on in great detail. Read More
Photo Sphere product manager Evan Rapoport, who also manages Maps, Street View, Views, and Panoramio, had one more tidbit of Google Camera-related news to convey today. In a post to Google+, Rapoport announced that photo spheres had gotten a major boost to 50MP (about 11776x5884 pixels). This is up from around 8MP in the previous app, and the results are beautiful. Read More
Most of the time, we execute APK teardowns by comparing the code of older app versions to an updated version. Newly released apps can hold juicy information too, though. We've quickly taken apart Google's newly released camera app and discovered a few tidbits worth mentioning.
Our primary target for this teardown is the strings file. This file holds a wealth of strings not yet revealed in the interface that look like they'll bring missing features back and add some new ones, too. Read More