The Best Features of Google’s New Android Camera App
Hey, sharpshooters: Google just released its own camera app in the Play store. This means you don’t need a Google Nexus device to use the company’s Android camera; you can download the camera just like any other app and replace the camera app that came with your phone — if, that is, you’re running a device with Android 4.4 or newer. (Check in your device’s Settings menu for that information.)
Anyway: What have you been missing without the Google Camera? And what brand new things has Google thrown in this newest version? Let’s take a look at some of the best goodies Google’s picture-snapping app has to offer, and perhaps you’ll decide it’s worthy of replacing your stock Samsung, HTC, or LG camera app.
The first thing you notice upon firing up the app is how clean and simple the full-screen user interface is. Google explained that the app itself is supposed to “get out of the way” when capturing pictures, and it does just that. You can actually preview just about every single pixel of your picture while shooting, save for the small, half-transparent menu button in the bottom-right side of the viewer.
Google Camera (left) and the Galaxy S4 camera (right).
Swipe from left to right inside the viewer to get settings and camera mode options, including Video, Photo Sphere, Panorama, and Lens Blur. Swiping from right to left will bring up a stream of your photo snaps and captured videos.
Note: You may notice that the new Google Camera shutter button is taking up almost a quarter of the screen. But don’t worry: Even though some camera apps provide a larger viewer size, the pictures taken are still at a 4:3 ratio. So, as mentioned above, the new viewer in this app is basically showing you every pixel of the image capture — no more, no less.
This feature is new, even to Google Nexus devices. With it, you can simulate a nice-looking blur effect on either the foreground or background of your picture.
Original picture (left) and Lens Blur (right).