Google’s stock Android camera hits the Play Store with hot new features

In recent years, smartphone camera quality has been becoming more and more important for users, and there’s always someone out there raising the bar, or introducing the next big feature everyone wants to copy. Lately, artistic defocusing – the bokeh effect – has been all the rage, and HTC absolutely ran with the idea with the Duo Camera on its One M8. While true bokeh requires careful control over lenses and aperture, smartphones are doing their darnedest to fake it in post processing, and the latest to take a swing at the effect is Google’s stock Android camera, making its Play Store debut.

Showing up as a stand-alone app in the Play Store is big enough news on its own, but Google sweetens the deal by the introduction of some great features. Besides the lens blur effect we just mentioned, there’s also a change that allows the viewfinder to display an accurate 100% crop of the ultimate shot – if any of this sounds familiar, it’s because these are the very improvements we heard rumored back at the start of the month.

We also get a UI refresh, along with a warning that’s going to make a lot of you very happy: the camera will now pop up an animated icon when it detects you’re recording a video in portrait orientation, encouraging you to turn your phone sideways and shoot in landscape. YouTube may never be the same.

The Google Camera app is available in the Play Store now, compatible with phones and tablets running KitKat.

Update: Google goes into some detail about how it pulls off that bokeh trick in a new blog post.

Update 2: Our own Taylor Martin and Michael Fisher took the update out for a spin this afternoon, and whipped up a quick video on the experience:

Source: Google Play
Via: Android Police

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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 bits Read more about Stephen Schenck!