One of Android’s biggest problems is software optimization. This could apply to anything from fluidity to the camera, but while Google has worked on fluidity, the camera software has never been fixed. Manufacturer skins feature much better camera software, allowing for some great photos to be taken, but AOSP has never been quite as good for photo taking. In fact, flashing an AOSP ROM pretty much guarantees a drop in image quality for most devices.
According to already existing code, Google is working on a new camera API for Android, which would include a lot more features to take better photos. This new API is called “Android.hardware.photography” to replace “Android.hardware.camera” and includes these features:
Full-capability devices allow for per-frame control of capture hardware and post-processing parameters at high frame rates. They also provide output data at high resolution in uncompressed formats, in addition to compressed JPEG output.
This new API comes with Camera RAW support, following Nokia’s decision to include Camera RAW support in the Lumia 1520. Camera RAW allows for saving of uncompressed and unprocessed shots, allowing for much more powerful editing later on. JPEGs only support a minimal amount of editing before the editing gets destructive. RAW could be a pretty cool feature for Android phones, especially with Google’s new focus on making good photo editing apps.
There are also smaller things included, like face detection, burst mode, and support for detachable cameras (presumably like Sony’s offerings). They’re all good additions that should have been added a while ago, so we can’t wait until Google actually releases this API. Are you excited to see it? Leave a comment!