Nexus 5 camera

To be updated independently of Android, gaining custom filter support

The Android camera app will soon be split off into the Google Play Store and is looking to get an update with a refreshed UI and new effects. Manufacturers have put a lot of effort into expanding the capabilities of their camera apps in recent years — just see the Duo Camera and its crazy effects in the HTC One M8 — and Google understandably wants to make sure that their offering is able to keep up. According to Engadget, Google plans to do just that by splitting the camera app itself out of Android and updating it through Google Play.

So you won't have to wait for the next version of Android to get new effects like background blurring and improved panorama and photosphere modes. Additionally, it's reported that the app update will bring a new viewfinder that offers a full view of the camera's sensor instead of the cropped-to-fit-your-screen view that you currently get.

But wait, there's more! Engadget also reports that Google intends to make the Android camera app extensible with the ability to add in custom third-party filters.

Extracting the camera app from Android itself isn't all that surprising, though it's been a long time coming. Google's previously done this with Google Music, the Google Now Launcher, and the Android Calendar app, among others. Doing so allows Google to update the apps independently of the OS, taking the manufacturers and their slow customized updates and the carriers and their ponderous testing out of the equation.

We don't have an ETA on when the updated camera app will hit. In the meantime, tell us, what would you most like to see improved in the Android camera app?

Source: Engadget


Reader comments

Android camera app reportedly getting portrait and effects improvements through Play Store


Hey idiot, do the world a favor and keep your unwanted comments to yourself. They said comment on what we would like to see change in the app, not to find any excuse to bash the M8.

Nexus 5...enough said

Wow....Way to jump on someone. That comment was more uncalled for than the M8 comment....

Posted via Android Central App

The only two things I've noticed from all the samples I've looked at are a "low" resolution and some blown background highlights. For social media sharing (G+, facebook, instgram, etc.) they look pretty fantastic 99% of the time. It will also prints nicely at ~5x7 without any issues.

There are better cameras out there, but it is far, far from terrible. I'd put it solidly in the "good" to "great" category myself. To each their own though, I suppose.

The M8's camera is fine. It's a cell phone camera, not a DSLR. If you want to take pro looking pictures, get a camera, not a cell phone.

No one is looking for the cell phone camera to be a DSLR. But the camera is not even that good for a top end phone.. Your logic says we should be ok with just those 2MP front facing cameras but they skimped and it shows. That's like putting a tape player in a lambo.

Where's the RAW support that Google confirmed at the end of 2013? Honestly, that's the only camera app improvement I'm waiting for.

Was it ever actually confirmed by Google? Or was it just speculated at because of the code fragments found that pointed towards RAW support? I don't remember.

Either way, RAW is what I'm waiting for as well. This would be an awesome addition to the Nexus 5 camera. Also, a refreshed UI would be great and I hope they can speed up the shutter and auto focus just a bit more, and maybe find a way to improve low light shots. The Nexus 5 camera is pretty good as is, but these improvements would take it over the top.

Thank you kind sir. Indeed confirmed! Forgot about the burst mode, that would be really nice as well.

First, make the AF work. Second, AF lock would be nice. Third, the ability to have some sort of manual focus slider would be useful for those times when the camera decides to focus on something you'd rather it not (such as the window you're fruitlessly trying to shoot through). Some sort of control over the ISO would be nice, as would a manual exposure mode.

Bingo. After fixing the above, then work on the UI. So looking forward to this, and love the trend towards breaking things out into the Play Store.

Posted from my Nexus 5 via Android Central App

Doesn't change the desire to have it baked-in to the stock app. The stock app is laughable, missing common sense features found on every point and shoot made. It's about time Goog caught up.

+1 Agreed! WTH was Google thinking not adding a burst mode in? Major missing feature on my Nexus 5...but I got...Photosphere?

Guys pls tell me when we are getting this update
and what is the best app you guys using to take snap
thank you

Posted via Android Central App

Right now. I'm using an app called "Snap Camera". Its basically the stock camera but with a bunch of extras added to it

Posted via Android Central App

Probably because it was info given to them and not reported elsewhere?

Posted via Android Central App

I wonder if this is related to the new camera API we heard rumors about - I'm guessing that will go along with the extensions feature. I'd expect this to go down with the next version of Android, likely to be announced at I/O.

Here's hoping for a native burst shot mode, too!

This will make CyanogenMod a more preferable choice for new phones.

People don't buy Nexus because the lack of microSD slot and may be a removable battery. That is why they choose Samsung, Sony, etc... over Nexus. But this comes with a major downside, the outdated Android OS. Of cause, there is CyanogenMod out there, you got latest OS pretty quick but the camera app just kills it. Now with at least Nexus's camera, there should be no problem.

Minus all the bugs it usually has. CM never really gets bug free product out. Bluetooth, GPS, etc are usually the main culprits.

Sent from my bathroom

Is this official Nexus Bloat now? Gonna be harder and harder to bash the manufactures when Google is doing the same thing.

I personally don't care, as I think the actual AOSP apps are pretty terrible, except for the ICS browser. Loved me some pie controls.

Sent from my bathroom

How is this bloat? Nexus phones are criticized for not having a great camera app. One of my things I miss coming from my S3 is the camera. I don't want 5000 modes and too much junk, but the camera app is clunky right now. I think ICS had a better camera app (I miss those Big Eyes, Big Nose features). I don't know think the Nexus really has any bloat, and almost all apps can be deleted.

You guys are missing the point. Nexus guys beat everyone over the head about all the extras manufactures cook into the OS, this is the same thing to me. Yes you have to have a camera app, but Nexus guys always want the worst apps on the phone, therefore it's bloat, and especially if they remove the AOSP app in favor of this. Again, I don't care, and yes, I'm making fun of the Nexus guys, they can be trashed every once in a while right?

Sent from my bathroom

This is actually the complete opposite of bloat. Bloat is crap included in the software that you don't want, and can't uninstall. This is an app that you can now install and uninstall freely. So, you are missing the point.

So the stock message, phone and camera app all fit this description on a Nexus.

Again, since I'm only funny in my own head. AOSP OR DIE

Sent from my bathroom

And pretty much everything called bloat anyway can have the updates uninstalled, taking a lot of them down under 1mb in size and disabling them, essentially deleting them.

Bloat is a figment of your imagination.

Sent from my bathroom

They are still in your app drawer, taking up a spot, adding another icon for you to pass over as you try to find an app. So, no, bloat is not a "figment of my imagination."

If its the same thing to you then you haven't the slightest idea what you're talking about.

Posted via Android Central App

I'd like to see only TWO nagging things improved in the Android camera app:
1) A 5-second video pre-buffer setting, so when you're filming "waaaiiit for iiitttt" type stuff (toddlers, surprises, FAIL accidents, etc) you can't miss it. I use the paid "Camera Awesome!" app SOLEY for this feature.
2) PhotoSphere for all. (I know there are ways of hacking it on (PA gapps), but it should be easily available for all)

Other than that, I have no major complaints with the AOSP Camera on my CM11 Note3.

Will you be able to use this app on other phones as well then, eg the Moto X?

Posted via Android Central App

Yes that's the point, Google wants to make their apps available for all users without the need of a OS update.

Posted via Android Central App

So, which devices will the camera app work? I assume N5, but what about the N4 or others? I'd like to get in on the action with my N4.

Posted via Android Central App on my white Nexus 4 with StraightTalk ATT

I completely agree with you. I would love for this to be available for the Nexus 4. I'm sure it will.

Posted via Android Central App

How do we get these kinds of updates? How will we be notified when they are available?

Posted via Android Central App

I like that Google is separating out more and more of the vanilla android experience into the play store. This will mean I can get a non-nexus phone, and have most of the nexus experience, like launcher, camera, etc. Plus, you will still keep the benefits of the manufacturer customizations.

I guess the Motorola x camera app was the the trial run for Google see how it works. Now putting in to the nexus line.

Posted via Android Central App

Honestly I like the camera as is, however the camera's ability to focus could be improved to make snapping quality shots quicker and the sliding of the fingers across the settings menu wouldn't be missed.

Posted via Android Central App

Ignoring all the idiot comments posted here (you know who you are) this is pretty good news for Nexus owners.

Posted via Android Central App

Wonder if this will be available for other devices.

Posted via Android Central App on nexus 7 (2nd gen)

Additionally, it's reported that the app update will bring a new viewfinder that offers a full view of the camera's sensor instead of the cropped-to-fit-your-screen view that you currently get.


Thank you, Google! The camera has been the biggest drawback to my Nexus 5 after coming from a Lumia 925. I've actually been considering moving back to iOS or Windows Phone to get a better camera experience. Hopefully, this will round-out an otherwise great device.