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Google Photos v3.6 prepares to identify your pets, bring your photos to life with Motion, and may hint that Lens is a temporary exclusive for Pixels [APK Teardown]


The latest update to Google Photos is starting to roll out to users, bringing the version up to 3.6. A run through the app hasn't turned up any brand new features, but there are some interesting things in the teardown. We can look forward to maximum cuteness as facial detection may be expanding to encompass our pets, even mixing them in with the faces of other people. There's also a new feature called Motion that promises to bring life to our images. And finally, there's a firm clue that Google Lens may actually turn out to be a temporary Pixel exclusive.

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Hands-on with Google Lens: Promising, but it's too early to judge

One of the more exciting announcements from Google I/O 2017 was Google Lens, an upcoming feature for Assistant. The general idea is that Assistant would look at your phone's camera feed, and try to pull context information from it. Imagine Google Goggles, but using the company's incredible machine learning prowess.

While we're still waiting for the feature to go live in Assistant, we noticed in a teardown that it was being added to Google Photos. So in addition to using a straight feed from your camera, you could use Lens with any picture you've already taken as well. XDA Developers discovered that the Google Lens intent was already live, and could be activated through the use of ADB or Tasker.

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New features for both Google Assistant and Lens shown off at the GDD Europe Day 2 keynote

GDD Europe (Google Developer Days) might have flown under your radar, which is understandable. GDD isn't Google I/O, and it often doesn't get as much attention. But, at the recent event in Kraków, Poland, Google showed off some cool new features for the Google Assistant and Google Lens, and they're worth checking out. 

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Huawei Announces Long-Term Partnership With Luxury Camera And Lens Manufacturer Leica

If you've heard of Leica, then you probably know your way around a nice camera... or at least a very expensive one. The German manufacturer, a private company that's over 150 years old, specializes in extremely well-crafted point-and-shoot and swappable lens cameras, plus lenses for a few other camera makers. With prices that start at around $1000 for the cheapest models and go up to over 20 grand for specialty and professional cameras, they're generally restricted to the most extravagant of luxury buyers or career photographers.

It's interesting, then, that Leica has announced a "strategic partnership" with Huawei, China's biggest smartphone manufacturer and a rising player on the world stage.

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[Video] Samsung Posts A Closer Look At The Galaxy S6's Camera

Day after day, we keep uncovering more and more information about what seems to be the most impressive smartphone Samsung has ever made. So far we know that the Galaxy S6 (and S6 Edge) has a monstrous processorblazing fast storage, and a fantastic design and build quality.

But the Korean giant doesn't want you to forget the cameras it included in this bad boy. In the following video, it demonstrates some of the cool features of both 5MP front and 16MP back shooters, emphasizing the f/1.9 aperture for better lighting, fast launch time thanks to the double click on the home button shortcut, faster auto-focus, Pro camera mode for manual control over ISO and exposure, real-time HDR for both cameras (selfies!), OIS, and fast and slow motion video recording.

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Sony Is Also Planning A New QX30 Add-On Lens With A 30X Optical Zoom

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.

Bildschirmfoto-2014-09-02-um-16.27.24 Bildschirmfoto-2014-09-02-um-16.27.29 qx30_1

The lens-and-sensor combo is otherwise similar to the previous QX models, though we don't know what model or quality of camera sensor it will be using. The leaked press images show an F-stop range of 3.5-6.3, which is pretty typical of a mid-range DSLR or mirrorless camera lens with this range of zoom.

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Sony Improves Low-Light Functionality Of The CMOS Sensor By Bending It

Sony announced at the Symposium on VLSI Technology that it is trying to improve the functionality and light capture of CMOS sensors by bending them, using - get ready - a proprietary "bending machine." So far, their efforts sound successful. The manufacturer has created a pair of curved CMOS sensors, one sized for cameras (43mm) and one for mobile devices (11mm), that they say have improved sensitivity 1.4x at the center of the sensor, and 2x at the edges.

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Sony QX10 Lens Review: Sony's Odd New Stepping Stone Between Smartphones And DSLRs

Back at IFA, I got my hands on Sony's QX10 lens camera, one of two such devices the electronics manufacturer announced in Berlin. I wasn't sure what I thought about it then, having only played with it for about a day, but I've spent some quality time with the device since, and I'm ready to lay down my full impression.

For those not quite up to speed, the QX10 (and its higher-end counterpart, the QX100) is a camera in a lens. The generally lens-shaped body houses a sensor, microphones, and telescopic zooming lens assembly.

This odd device can clip onto your smartphone with a special adapter included in the box, accommodating most form factors adeptly with its spring action.

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[IFA 2013] Sony QX10 Lens Camera Initial Impressions

Sony's QX attachable lens cameras are among the oddest new products we've seen in a while. They are full cameras inside a lens body, can attach to your smartphone, and capture photos with Sony's Play Memories app.

The company announced two variants of the QX during their pre-IFA press conference – the QX10 and its higher-end counterpart the QX100.

Over the past couple of days, I've had the chance to live with the QX10, so I thought it may be helpful to share some initial impressions on the device and how it works.


The Specs

First, let's talk specs. The QX10 carries with it a 1/2.3" 18.2 megapixel sensor inside a Sony G Lens with a maximum aperture of 3.3 and 10x optical zoom.

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AT&T Samsung Galaxy Camera Review – A Decent Point-And-Shoot That Doesn't Quite Live Up To Its Price Point

Samsung's Galaxy Camera, the manufacturer's first entry into the world of dedicated shooters powered by Android, was announced with little warning at IFA earlier this year. Besides Nikon's foray into the market, the Galaxy Camera is one of the only Android cameras we've yet seen. Frankly, of the two, Samsung's entry is the only one that seems worth looking at.

The question of how much longer point-and-shoot cameras can see success is a fair one – after all, DSLRs are becoming smaller and more affordable all the time, while smartphone cameras are reaching to fill the gap point-and-shoots would leave behind.

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