Google makes cool stuff. There's self-driving cars, that funky street view camera, and those experimental glasses anyone will be able to buy for one day only tomorrow, April 15th. Yet for every product that comes out, there's another in the pipeline that may or may not ever see the light of day. Last month we learned of a patent application for a pair of smart contact lenses that would process blinks as input for wearable devices.
Somebody - let's call him Joe - loves for his point-and-shoot camera to be powered by Android. Nothing inspires Joe Somebody to go out and take photos like being able to crop out stray pedestrians, apply filters, and upload straight to several social networks without having to move images off his SD card beforehand. He loves his old Nikon Coolpix S800c, but that Gingerbread-powered device is looking a bit long in the tooth these days (after all, it was already two versions behind when he bought it).
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.
We've been wondering what that second camera on the back of the HTC M8 (a.k.a. "The All New HTC One") was all about since the first leaks arrived. If an Australian Telstra ad for the new device is to be believed, it is indeed intended to bolster the phone's low-light shooting performance. The advertisement spotted by GSMArena reveals a few things that we didn't already know, and it does indicate that the "Duo Camera" can "create vivid images even in low light."
Low light photography is always tricky, and it's particularly difficult on mobile cameras thanks to their generally small sensors and lenses.
The Galaxy S5 may or may not be coming to Samsung's Unpacked event in Barcelona, but reliable leak source SamMobile thinks it is. The specialist site is reporting a series of leaks for the camera in Samsung's next flagship, starting with its sensor, a new 16-megapixel module. That would give the S5 more photo fidelity than the current Galaxy S4 and Note 3, but still it would still lag behind Sony's best-in-class 20.7MP sensor.
While certain manufacturers are removing LED flashes from high-end smartphones (we're looking at you, Sony) Samsung is improving theirs. In a lengthy blog post on Samsung Tomorrow, the South Korean company posted technical specifications and photos on five new OEM flash modules, some of which use new techniques for brighter and wider flashes.
To be honest, the whole post is pretty dry, mostly talking about size and power improvements.
HTC's upcoming M8 has been the topic of much speculation and many leaks (legitimate or otherwise) in recent weeks. @evleaks has shown us what is apparently HTC's latest Sense refresh for the unnamed device, confirming previous rumors that HTC would ditch capacitive keys in favor of on-screen navigation. We've also heard (and seen) rumors of dual rear-facing cameras.
Today, NowhereElse.fr has published blurry photos that appear to reaffirm both rumors, showing dual rear cameras, on-screen buttons, and - contradicting the previous "leak," - a joined array of two flashes in a single, continuous oval.
It's about that time of year, folks - as Mobile World Congress approaches at the end of February, more and more upcoming phones are going to be leaked. The first major leak is from @HTCFamily_ru, which posted a photo of an unknown HTC phone this morning. It appears to be a new member of the One family; the rear is the only visible angle, but it's showing off what looks like two cameras on the back.
Sony's oddball external smartphone cameras have a lot of shortcomings compared to a conventional point-and-shoot, but they're getting a little better today. The manufacturer has released the 2.0 firmware for the QX10 and the more expensive QX100, boosting their video recording capabilities and low-light sensitivity.
Video recording for both models has been expanded to 1080p at 30 frames per second. Formerly it was 1440x1080/30, the 4:3 aspect ratio equivalent. The shifted resolution should make videos taken on the QX cameras match up with most phones, HDTVs, and 16:9 monitors.