Jul 26 AT 9:49 AM Nick Sarafolean 14 Comments

CyanogenMod unveils Focal, the new camera app to beat


We all know that the stock camera app is a bit lackluster. So does the CyanogenMod team. In true developer spirit, they’ve decided to take matters into their own hands and create their own camera app, Focal. Focal follows the same stock Android design language that we all know and love but adds features and tweaks to make it an above-and-beyond improvement over Google’s stock camera app. And just to let everyone know, Focal is indeed a part of the mysterious Nemesis project that the CM team has teased. In fact, Nemesis is the codename for a series of new features such as Focal that will be rolling out over the coming weeks and months.

Focal uses a new configuration with the camera set-up that fits into the stock Android look and feel, but is actually something entirely new. The shutter button now doubles as a quick toggle menu to select between camera modes. To do this, simply swipe your thumb out from the shutter button for a crescent of options including panorama, front-facing camera and even access to CyanogenMod’s answer to Photosphere, PicSphere.

To change all of your other settings, simply swipe in from the left side of the screen while you’re in portrait or from the bottom when shooting in landscape. Here you can access pretty much anything else you could want–everything from HDR to the maximum number taken during a burst shot. It’s a useful set-up that should work well for people, and it certainly outguns the annoying circle set-up in the stock Android app. If you want manually focus the shot, drag and drop the focus point. Again, an infinitely better solution than what Google offers.

Focal PicSphere

Now for more details on PicSphere. PicSphere is the CM team’s response to Google’s proprietary Photosphere. It’s a completely open source version of Photosphere that will allow virtually anyone running CM10.1.1 to take Photosperes (aka PicSpheres). Other features include, but aren’t limited to, taking pictures while recording video, burst mode, zero shutter lag on supported phones and an improved HDR system.

One of the biggest features of Focal is that it’s open source and extremely flexible. In the future, it can hopefully keep up with what manufacturers are offering. Additional features can easily be worked into the app for phones that support them.

Focal is a huge improvement over what CyanogenMod currently offers in terms of the camera. And for that matter, what Google offers. We’ve seen features from popular ROMs get pushed into stock Android before, and here’s to hoping that this is one of those features. Google desperately needs it.

What are your thoughts on Focal?

Source: Geek.com

A nerd at heart, Nick is an average person who has a passion for all things electronic. When not spending his time writing about the latest gadgets, Nick enjoys reading, dabbling in photography, and experimenting with anything and everything coffee. Should you wish to know more about him, you can follow him on Twitter @Zricon15.

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  • R.S

    Gotta love Cyanogen!

    Time to root my phone again (made it stock for latest Android update) and try this out!

  • Tico4674

    CM rules. I’ve been running a version of CM since Steve was working on his own in the G1 days. The CM team is the best aosp team in the game.

  • vforvortex

    Thats really awesome. Waiting onf Moto X launch to see what google does to improve their stock camera though.
    side note: I just had one issue with the latest Cm10.1.1 updates. The new google maps always flickers when i use it and acts up. But hoping soon with android 4.3 coming soon that it fixes itself.

  • Dustin Earley

    Is it just me, or is CyanogenMod getting to the point where before you know it, it’s going to feel like TouchWiz or Sense with all these custom apps and settings?

    • vitriolix

      To an extent yes, but at least they stay true to the Holo look and feel instead of the hideous hybrid that is TouchWhiz

      • CTown

        While I fully agree with vitriolix, I also want to add that CyanogenMod doesn’t offically support the Google Apps such as the Play Store and the GApps are only available through a third party addon. That’s part of the reason why CyanogenMod has its own music, equiliazer, file manager, and now camera apps. You are not expected to have the GApps (even if almost everyone with CM has the GApps at this point) so that’s why the extra functionality is baked in.

        Also, CyanogenMod rejects changes that seem overdone or superfluous on their code review instance. They strive for simplicity (a goal they undertook with CyanogenMod 9), unlike HTC or Samsung that who tend to use their software to differentate their hardware from other OEMs’ devices.

  • Pravas

    Better than stock …

  • SGB101

    Can’t wait, I’ve been running the nightlies for ages on my note2. I’m always great full for better snaps of my cherubs (monsters).

    I have a slight (HUGE) problem atm, I’m about 9 nightlies behind and counting, and my note won’t make calls on the latest releases!

    I didn’t think I made many calls till I was unable too.

  • Nathan D.

    That cool, but I’m not rooting this phone for a while.

  • donger

    Pretty cool camera.

  • Jauhari

    In CyanogenMod we Trust \°^°/

  • jonstle

    Those guys at CyanogenMod do great work!

  • some internet dude

    Steve has done much for the Android community, Good job.

  • david

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