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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

[Android app] Google Camera


Google Camera for AndroidGoogle Camera is now available through the Play Store, as an upgrade to the core camera app on Android. Google Camera for Android brings a new user interface along with other features to the standard camera with enhanced versions of Photo Sphere, Lens Blur and Panorama.

You can download the app directly on your device through the Google Play Store or by using the following link

Download
Download from the Google Play Store
Price Free
Requirements Android 4.4 KitKat or greater

While stock Android users are already familiar with having the Photo Sphere and Panorama features on their camera, the Lens Blur feature is an interesting addition. The idea here is to allow anyone to take a picture with a nice bokeh effect, which is usually hard to do on a smartphone. The HTC One M8 has added a second camera to be able to offer this effect, but Google has found a software solution to achieve the same effect. After taking a photo with a clear subject, just rotate the device upwards a bit and Google does the rest. It's not as simple as just tapping the shutter button, but it works well enough and means you don't need to buy a specific device just to get that. You can learn more about the Lens Blue Effect by following the source links.

The other big feature in Google's camera is the updated Photo Spheres. Google added this feature to their stock camera with , but many manufacturers (including the Google-owned Motorola) removed the feature from their camera apps. Now, as long as you can install the Google Camera (which does require Android 4.4), you can take Photo Spheres. Google has also improved the Panorama function with higher quality images.

The Google Camera app also has a modified user interface compared to the stock camera app. For example the different image modes (Photo Sphere, Pano, Lens Blur, Camera, and Video) are accessible with a swipe from the left, and the gallery is accessible with a swipe from the right, as usual. The trouble is that other functions like flash and switching to the front camera have been hidden in an overflow menu, while extra controls are still very small. This is a camera for quick shots and not much else. One nice addition to the UI is in the Video mode, if you are holding the phone in portrait mode, there is a continuous animation telling you to rotate the device to landscape, because there really is almost nothing worse than portrait-oriented videos.
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