Google rebuilds Android camera foundation for better photos

The Nexus 5 can take a burst of photographs and combine them into a single shot with better tonal range with its HDR+ feature. It also can take several shots a pick the sharpest. Both features use the new burst mode at the heart of Android's new camera-handling software.

(Credit: James Martin/CNET)

Want a better camera on your Android device? Google does, too.

For that reason, the company has overhauled the mobile OS’s plumbing. Google has built deep into Android support for two higher-end photography features, raw image formats and burst mode, and could expose those features so programmers could tap into them, the company said.

Evidence of raw and burst-mode photos in the Android source code earlier in November, but Google has now commented on the technology. Specifically, spokeswoman Gina Scigliano said the support is now present in Android’s hardware abstraction layer (HAL), the part of the operating system that handles communications with a mobile device’s actual hardware.

“Android’s latest camera HAL (hardware abstraction layer) and framework supports raw and burst-mode photography,” Scigliano said. “We will expose a developer API [application programming interface] in a future release to expose more of the HAL functionality.”

[Read more]

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