Chrome OS camera gets update to interface, framework for more features

by Jeff Causey on
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Google has started the process of rolling out an update to the Camera app that is included in ChromeOS. The updated app features a new user interface that puts more emphasis on the content, which in the case of a Chromebook is probably the user. While that is nice, most users will probably be more interested in the features that are described as “in the pipeline:”

  • video recording
  • the ability to upload to YouTube and Google+
  • Syncing of pictures across Chrome devices

Unfortunately, no timeline for the availability of these new features was provided. The new version of the Camera app is being rolled out to users in the typical Google phase fashion. However, users impatient for the update can head over to the Chrome web store to grab the update.

sources: +François Beaufort, Chrome Web Store

Google focuses on camera app with 3 new Nexus 5 commercials

by Jeff Causey on
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Google has released three new commercials via YouTube for the Nexus 5. The three 15-second spots focus on the camera app, showing off different features. These include the ability to take better pictures of high contrast scenes thanks to HDR+, creating Photo Spheres, and creating animated sequences of still images using Auto Awesome.

You can check out all three spots after the break. » Read the rest

Moto X camera app now being updated through the Play Store

by Harrison Kaminsky on
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We now take a break from all this Nexus nonsense to talk about the Moto X’s camera app.

When certain pieces of hardware on devices need to be upgraded, we usually see OTA software updates. However, Motorola is now updating the Moto X camera app through the Play Store.

The device’s camera was one of the weaker features of the phone at launch, and the last OTA update to all Moto X variants greatly improved the performance. But now, Moto has decided that if they want to update the camera (and maybe some other things) more frequently, the faster way to do so is through the Play Store. (Basically, the carriers are constantly getting in the way.)

This is a very welcome change, as maybe other manufacturers will catch on and do the same with many features of the phone that don’t really require an OTA update.

Here’s what the update brings:

  • Brightened camera viewfinder so it’s easier to see
  • Enabled Quick Capture for more Enterprise users IT policies
  • Bug fixes

Hit the break for the link to the app in the Play Store.

» Read the rest

Samsung Galaxy NX surfaces at FCC with AT&T-ready LTE bands

by Jeff Causey on
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This week of Halloween is perhaps an appropriate time for Samsung’s attempt to piece together a DSLR type camera with an Android smartphone to resurface. The Samsung Galaxy NX, announced this past August as being on its way to market in October, has shown up in the FCC database with support for AT&T’s LTE and HSPA data services. When first announced, the device was projected to retail for $1,599. The FCC filing suggests its availability from AT&T is imminent, so we will see whether that is still the price it will go for. We still have no word on whether the device will make the promised October release date for this mash up of devices. We also do not know whether any other carriers may have opted to include the Galaxy NX in their portfolios.

source: FCC
via: Engadget

Nexus 5 camera samples leak on Google+

by Harrison Kaminsky on
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The Nexus 5 official announcement is going to come any day now, and we’ve received a series of leaked images of the device since rumors started floating around the web. Now, we’re starting to see some camera samples on Google+ from the Nexus 5.

They’re pretty normal pictures, but after going into the EXIF data, the Nexus 5 is listed as the device used to take the picture. There were other images that appeared which showed a Googler during a family Halloween event at the Googleplex.

Hit the break for the full resolution image.

» Read the rest

Polaroid iM1836 Android-powered camera finally available exclusively through Walmart and Amazon

by Harrison Kaminsky on
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Polaroid announced their iM1836 Android-powered camera back at CES 2013 in January, and starting now it’s available at Walmart or on Amazon.com. The device features an interchangeable lens, which is a nice addition that keeps it ahead of the Galaxy Camera. Pricing isn’t bad either at $299.99.

You can hit the break for the full press release.

» Read the rest

Did Google hint of Nexus 5 in Android 4.3 camera app?

by Jeff Causey on
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If you have seen any of the leaked photos of the upcoming Nexus 5, you probably know one of the unique design features is the large camera lens set in the corner of the back of the device. A little less defining, but still noteworthy, is the circle earpiece on the front of the camera. Comparing these features to the icons used in the Android 4.3 camera app, it appears a couple of the icons used in the app for switching between the front and rear-facing camera incorporated these design features. Was this intentional on the part of Google to give a clue as to their upcoming successor to the Nexus 4? At least one person on Reddit guessed this was the case when the camera app was extracted from Android 4.3 and made available as a standalone app. » Read the rest

Samsung develops new 13MP camera with OIS, better low-light capabilities

by Jeff Causey on
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While Samsung has been on a tear lately in establishing its position as the lead smartphone manufacturer in the world, their devices are not without their share of weaknesses. For example, the recently released Samsung Galaxy Note 3, the company’s current flagship device, comes equipped with a pseudo-optical image stabilization (OIS) system. Although the camera is good, from a specification perspective Samsung is behind the curve a bit compared to other manufacturers. Not to be outdone, Samsung has been working on new technology to take their camera hardware to a new level as indicated in a recent foreign press report. According to the report, Samsung has a new 13MP camera ready that comes equipped with a new OIS system and better low-light capabilities.

According to reports, the OIS is capable of correcting shake up to an angular error of 1.5 degrees compared to the current market standard of approximately 0.7 degrees of correction. The low-light capability reportedly is capable of outputting an image with a brightness eight times higher than the current module. Samsung has also made improvements in power consumption. All of these improvements have been packed into a camera that is physically the same dimension as the current camera module.

Samsung will surely begin to include this camera in upcoming devices and is reported to be in negotiations with other smartphone producers to get the component included in their devices as well.

source: Patent Bolt

Nexus 5 to raise the bar with MEMS camera technology

by Jeff Causey on
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Earlier today we reported on some new specs that were discovered for the Nexus 5, including the camera having optical image stabilization (OIS). We initially thought that addition by itself would go a long way in addressing the shortcomings historically found in Nexus devices. Google appears to be stepping things up even more though as it appears the device will be equipped with a MEMS camera. MEMS technology, or microelectromechanical systems, is coming to market thanks to a company called DigitalOptics. A MEMS camera has three important benefits compared to current technology:

  • focus operations take place much faster, with some claiming the improvement is as much as 7 times what current cameras are capable of;
  • the camera is capable of capturing several images virtually at the same time, allowing for “refocusing” on different areas of the image at a later time;
  • less power use will help the camera not consume so much battery life;
  • fewer moving parts and lack of contact between the parts should result in longer life.

» Read the rest

Update for Sprint’s Moto X rolling out, AT&T very close

by Jeff Causey on
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On Monday, an update for the Motorola Moto X on the T-Mobile network began to roll out on that network. The update included some significant improvements to the camera and some smaller fixes for issues like choppy audio in voice calls, an inability to report location in the Lost Device Finder app, the device reading out text messages when not in Drive mode, and assorted stability improvements. Motorola indicated the update should roll out to other carriers “soon” and for customers on the Sprint network, “soon” is today.

According to source, the build number on Sprint devices is 139.14.1 and the changelog mirrors the improvements that rolled out to T-Mobile devices. If you have a Moto X on Sprint, you can check for the update by going to Settings -> About phone -> System updates.

Meanwhile, Moto X owners on the AT&T network that are part of Motorola’s Feedback Network have been receiving a notification that a “new software release” was available for installation as part of a soak test. No details are available and a schedule was not provided, but it appears AT&T is moving to get their customers the latest update.

source: Droid Life (Sprint), Droid Life (AT&T)