One week back, we learned of some changes being made to the Android sources, where worked appeared to be underway on a bunch of new camera functionality. We saw signs of native RAW support, burst mode, and a new face detection API. It all appeared to be getting ready for inclusion in an Android release, but the KitKat boat sailed without it, and we were left unsure of just when to expect it. Now we’re finally getting some official commentary on the changes, as a Google spokeswoman explains these changes to Android’s camera hardware abstraction layer.
Sure enough, we get confirmation of burst mode, as well as capturing RAW images. It also sounds like a lot of this stuff is present in the current camera HAL, but it lacks the hooks to let developers take advantage of it – for that, Google says “we will expose a developer API in a future release to expose more of the HAL functionality.”
Unfortunately, that’s as specific as Google’s willing to get about an ETA for this API going live, so we’re no closer to knowing just when all this functionality will be available to apps.
Google does throw us one bone, though, saying that “a software update that will be available shortly” is planned to help improve Nexus 5 camera performance.