Google Confirms Its Android Camera App Is About to Get Way Better

Illustration for article titled Google Confirms Its Android Camera App Is About to Get Way Better

Earlier this month, a batch of comments in Android source code hinted that the camera app was about to get a shot in the arm. Now, Google has confirmed that's the case.


Speaking to CNET, Google spokeswoman Gina Scigliano confirmed that some important new features were already present in the version of Android that its developers are working with:

"Android's latest camera HAL (hardware abstraction layer) and framework supports raw and burst-mode photography. We will expose a developer API [application programming interface] in a future release to expose more of the HAL functionality."

That API will mean that all programmers will be able to take advantage of the new features. While hardware is clearly important when it comes to photography, software can make a huge difference—so we might be about to see Android finally catch up with the likes of the Lumias and iPhones that boast far better photographic capabilities. Scigliano explains what we can expect:

"The core concept of the new HAL and future API is centered around burst-mode photography. The basic idea is instead of taking a single shot with a given set of parameters, you instead have the power to queue up a request to take multiple shots each with different parameter settings such as exposure gain. The camera subsystem captures a the burst of shots, which can be subsequently post-processed by the application layer."

But don't hold your breath: the company is only prepared to say that the new software will be available "in a future release." Sigh. [CNET]


Better late than never .. I got Kitkat on my Nexus 4 last night and it takes 4-5 secs for the camera to start and focus. Virtually unusable.