Android source code reveals work on advanced camera features: RAW support, new API

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Smartphone users have been demanding more and more from their handsets’ cameras, and this past year we’ve seen a bunch of manufacturers make varying degrees of efforts to comply, bringing us hardware with larger sensors and optical stabilization. Last week, we saw Nokia deliver an update to support RAW camera output, bypassing any lossy compression in order to preserve as much quality as possible. Today, our attention switches over to Android, as we check out some source changes that reveal a big camera API overhaul, including its own RAW support.

The changes first showed up in the source repository about a month ago, with notes that they weren’t yet to be merged with the main tree. Sure enough, a new Android.hardware.photography class provides that higher quality RAW output when camera hardware supports it. Other changes include a face detection API that’s able to follow multiple subjects at once, and native burst mode functionality.

A few references to removable camera modules also show up in this new code. That could be related to devices like those lens cameras from Sony, or possibly some future Android handset that directly supports interchangeable camera packages.

The timing of all this suggests that the code just missed the KitKat cut-off, so there’s a good chance we could still see it pop up in the next significant Android release.

Source: Google
Via: Engadget

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About The Author
Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bitsRead more about Stephen Schenck!