Samsung to merge divisions in hopes of improving smartphone cameras


A report out of Korea indicates Samsung has merged their Digital Imaging Business Division with their Wireless Division. The Digital Imaging Business Division is responsible for cameras produced by the company, while the Wireless Business Division is essentially their smartphone division. According to a statement released by Samsung, the company “will transplant the brand, sales networks, software competency and manufacturing competitiveness of the Wireless Business Division into the Camera Business Division, and integrate the technical know-how of the two business divisions into competency for differentiating our smartphones.” The reorganization was effective on December 11th.

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Android 4.4.1 is more than just camera fixes for the Nexus 5

Android 4.4.1

Android director of engineering David Burke announced just the other day that the team was working on Android 4.4.1, an update largely filled with bug fixes involving the Nexus 5 camera.

“All of this gets a boost with an update to Android 4.4.1 rolling out to Nexus 5,” Burke said. “It improves the camera with faster focusing, especially in low light, faster white balancing, for truer colors, the ability to pinch-zoom the viewfinder in HDR+ mode and less shutter lag.”

However, the 4.4.1 update is more than just camera fixes since it’s going out to other Nexus devices (post Galaxy Nexus). Hit the break for the full changelog.

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


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


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.
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Moto X camera app now being updated through the Play Store

Motorola Camera

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.

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


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+

Nexus Vegetables 1

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.

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



Polaroid announced their iM1836 Android-powered camera back at CES 2013 in January, and starting now it’s available at Walmart or on 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.

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


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


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