August is over, and as a resident of the southern United States, I say good riddance - we're now beginning the slow slide into the more bearable part of the year. But Android apps know no season, and while the crop of new apps from August was a little light, there are a few that you should definitely check out. Below are the Android Police writers' picks for the best new apps from the last month, plus a few honorable mentions.
One of the less dramatic software additions to the Moto X was the handy and unobtrusive camera launch gesture. While most phones have a quick-launch function for the camera on the lockscreen, the Moto X (and Verizon's me-too DROIDs from 2013) can quickly access the camera with two twists of the wrist, even when the phone's screen is off. According to a video spotted by A Tech Website (no, that's really the name) the upcoming Moto X+1, or possibly "the new Moto X," retains this function.
It's hard to believe something as wacky as Sony's QX series of add-on smartphone lenses could be considered "conventional." But compared to the QX1 leaked yesterday, which may allow any Sony E-series lens to mount onto a standard phone, the new QX30 is rather plain. Sony Alpha Rumors posted shots of the newest member of the QX family, which includes an impressive 30x optical zoom (4.3mm-129mm) in the same form factor.
Sony's QX100 and QX10 lenses are add-on gadgets that purport to give your phone DSLR-quality imaging capabilities. While the concept of those devices is more interesting than their execution, it looks like Sony is set to change the game with its next version. Photos of the "ILCE-QX1" leaked by Sony Alpha Rumors show what's basically an independent E-mount module, which might just support any of the various Sony E-mount lenses already on the market.
A lot of phones have a method of opening the camera quickly when the device is asleep, but not all of them are reliable or all that easy. Snapshot aims to make camera access quicker by starting it up as soon as the phone wakes up, provided the device is in landscape orientation (i.e. the way you're supposed to be taking pictures). It doesn't matter how your phone wakes up—it just so long as it does.
For all the issues with the Duo Camera on HTC's flagship One M8, the selective focus thing is pretty fun to play with. With the newest update to the HTC Gallery app in the Play Store, M8 owners can share Duo Camera images to the web that anyone can use to change the focus. It's sort of like those Lytro camera embeds. We have one below you should try out.
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.