When last we heard from the RAZR HD, it was posing for blurry cam shots. The new Motorola device, which is rumored to be packing a 13MP camera, LTE, and a mega 3,300 mAh battery, has gone through the FCC's fine-tooth comb and come out the other side. According to the filings, the device, which we know uses the code name XT926, is packing CDMA bands (800/1900), so we can likely expect this device to land on Verizon before too long. The FCC documents also confirm the device will join the NFC-carrying ranks currently inhabited by many of the headlining Android heavyweights.
One of the bigger changes we saw in the jump from Gingerbread/Honeycomb to Ice Cream Sandwich was in the camera app. ICS not only brought a streamlined, more subtle design to an app that so badly needed it, but also introduced zero shutter-lag, meaning the time between pressing the shutter release and capturing a photo was pushed down to (almost) zero. In fact in many cases, the time between touch and capture is imperceptible. This was huge.
At today's Jelly Bean announcement, however, we learned that Jelly Bean treats users to even more enhancements to the camera app. While they are rather minor tweaks, they enhance the app's productivity and usability by a lot, something that seems to be a common thread in Jelly Bean's enhancements.
We've been hearing things about Google Glass, the Google-powered eyeball accessory, for a while now. While the device isn't quite ready for consumers (and won't be for a while), we got an extensive look at what these devices can do... right after Google-hired stuntmen jumped out of an airplane while on a Glass-based Hangout, then proceeded to bike across rooftops, rappel down the side of the Moscone Conference Center, and finally bike into the I/O keynote to deliver the device on stage to Sergey Brin. This is the first product announcement in recent memory where someone could have feasibly died during a demo.
Odds are that as long as your phone is not brand new, you've taken a fair number of photos with it. Those images are so much more than a moment frozen in time; they contain delicious data ready to be splayed out and consumed. InFoto slurps up the EXIF data attached to your snapshots and builds some very cool-looking infographics from it.
The app lets you generate a new infographic with a single tap, but you can also pull up the last data set instantly if nothing has changed. It can take a moment for InFoto to pull the data out of your images if you have a lot of them.
Today's Google Earth announcement brought a couple of nice new features to the Google Maps suite. In addition to moving offline maps out of Labs, the company also pre-empted rumors of Apple-branded 3D map software with a demo of some stellar 3D maps that Google has been creating with high-tech camera planes. Yes, Google now has camera planes.
The company is using some sophisticated mapping software and planes outfitted with a bevy of camera sensors to create photo-realistic 3D maps of the entire terrain of a metropolitan area. This is in stark contrast to the previous method of simply using 3D building models.
ShoeBox, an app that represents 1000memories' first foray into the Play Store, is an awesome digital photo organizer, "turning your Android device into a mobile photo scanner," and allowing for sophisticated organization, storage, and sharing of your treasured paper photos.
For those that can't exactly hold their device with machine precision when scanning old photos, ShoeBox offers edge detection and perspective correction, ensuring that your newly-digitized photos won't be distorted or misshapen.
ShoeBox also allows users to add tags, dates, and locations to photos and organize them into separate collections. While users can instantly share photos with services like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and others, the app also offers "private shoeboxes," which will stay separate from shareable images.
Everyone's favorite novelty camera app that hasn't been bought for a billion dollars, Paper Camera, saw an update to version 3 today. Among the new features, the app has added support for the front-facing camera, the ability to share to a variety of sites, including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. The app also allows users to buy extra controls via an in-app purchase that add even more customization controls to the already impressive filters.
The previous version of Paper Camera added support for video recording, so this rounds out a rather ample set of features. While it may not be enough to take Instagram down, this will certainly be worth it for users of the app.
How's this for amazing? You see a piece of sheet music, but you can't read it because you're a plebian, or perhaps you can read it but you want to hear it. SnapNPlay is an app that lets you take a picture of a line of sheet music and then plays back the notes on the page. This is amazing.
The app itself looks a little rough around the edges right now, but the concept is wonderful. The world of the future has already brought us some amazing things, but this app helps highlight something romantic about the nature of creative thought.
Ever since we started calling camera phones "phones," we've been trying as hard as we can to replace as much of our prohibitively expensive camera equipment as we can. Our phones' sensors have been beefed up to "actually pretty good" quality, we've seen several different attachable lenses. Now, thanks to Kickstarter, we've also found the last camera mounting accessory we'll ever need: the Slingshot, which functions as handheld stabilizer, mini tripod, and professional tripod mount.
As with all Kickstarter products, this little device isn't for sale yet, but if anything deserves a shot at being a proper product, it's this little guy.