“Once we’ve got the 3D pose of each photo, we compute the depth of each pixel in the reference photo using Multi-View Stereo algorithms. MVS works the way human stereo vision does: given the location of the same object in two different images, we can triangulate the 3D position of the object and compute the distance to it. How do we figure out which pixel in one image corresponds to a pixel in another image? MVS measures how similar they are — on mobile devices, one particularly simple and efficient way is computing the Sum of Absolute Differences (SAD) of the RGB colors of the two pixels.”

That passage from Google’s Research Blog might not be the sexiest paragraph you’ve ever seen, but it’s a small portion of the magic science-speak that enables Lens Blur, one of the fun features bundled in to the new Google Camera app. The app hit the Play Store today with more than a few hot new features in tow, but the one we’re most excited about isn’t on the release notes. That feature can be summed up thusly: it’s not the old stock Android viewfinder. For some of us, that’s reason enough to welcome the new Google Camera app with open arms.

The new app is more than just a pretty face, of course – and we spent the afternoon getting to know it (Taylor Martin on the HTC One M8, and me on the new Galaxy S5). Tune in for a quick tour of the Google Camera app’s features, its limitations, and its minute-to-minute feel, then drop a comment letting us know what you think about it before downloading it for your own KitKat-packing handset.

An afternoon with the new Google Camera app

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