Jun 26 AT 1:20 PM Dustin Earley 14 Comments

New camera UI debuts with Google Play edition devices

Screenshot_2013-06-26-03-27-34_575px Image via: AnandTech

In a bizarre move today, Google has snuck an updated camera user interface into the just-barely-not-stock versions of Android 4.2.2 running on the just released Google Play editions of the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One.

Previously leaked as the camera UI to be released with Android 4.3, Google decided they didn’t need to wait for an update to provide new Google Play edition device owners with an improved picture taking experience. While we can’t say just how improved it is, early reports indicate it’s still not up to par with what manufacturers like Samsung and HTC have come up with.

The most notable change to the camera UI is a new option selection mechanism. Instead of holding down on the screen and selecting options from a circle that surrounds your finger, users are presented with a half-circle shape that makes navigation and selection easier.

Once we got our hands on the updated camera UI, we’ll report back on any details you may be interested to know. Hopefully, Google is working on something more drastic for Key Lime Pie.

Source: AnandTech

Dustin Earley: Tech enthusiast; avid gamer; all around jolly guy.

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  • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

    Really hard to go back to the stock camera after experiencing the joy of Touchwiz/Sense cameras.

    • Arthur

      Yeah, the camera software of Sense and Touchwiz really outdo stock Android’s but I am sure Google is well aware of this and will rectify this problem come KLP time.

    • jamal adam

      I agree, it’s one area Google needs to improve. It has the basics but not much else.

    • Brandon Golway

      That was the first thing I missed when I went from TouchWiz to AOSP on my S4.

    • http://www.infotainmentempire.com pekosROB

      Agreed. However I think TouchWiz’s camera UI is ugly, clunky, and kinda outdated looking. Wish it looked, I don’t know, a little different then what you see on a point and shoot.

  • Nate B.

    The overall experience is much better with Sense 5 and Touchwiz honestly. Stock is nice, but it lacks features and not just in the camera. I expect KLP to be at the top again though when ready. And when that happens it’ll make these Google Edition phones more appreciative.

    • gmaninvan

      Stock is much faster in my experience and you end up with a bunch or proprietary apps you don’t use that just clutter. Also, they lack the simplicity in design that has won the accolades of reviewers everywhere on how good holo look. Sense is ok but is a little cartoony and touchwhiz is awful.

  • J deveraux

    Is it not possible to just download the better cam app from Samsung or htc? Sorry androidnewb here

    • Tetracycloide

      I don’t know why this gets downvoted instead of answered.

      Even if you can’t get the cam app from Samsung or HTC what’s stopping a third party from writing a camera app that leverages the same functionality?

    • deitiphobia

      Yeah…it’s not that big of a deal if some third party app fills in the gap. There’s Camera Zoom FX. My big issue is that any photos that use flash, it seems like the Samsung Touchwiz camera on my Note II does noticeably better. For normal daytime shots, I’m pretty happy with Android camera. It’s just at night or in low light situations, that I think the Samsung software does a better job.

      This can easily be solved by a seperate .apk file being released by Samsung and HTC, but they don’t want to do that, because then those files can be installed on any phone and ROM. Thus taking away their exclusive features to their phones.

      • tetracycloide

        AnAndTech reports image quality is exactly the same because the kernal on the GPE phones is provided by the manufacturer. All the differences are in the UI.

  • Ginnie

    I use Snap Camera, it provides the new UI but adds all the settings Google should have put in the stock camera and even works on android 2.3.

  • donger

    HTC One!.

  • Nathan D.

    Well at least Google know this is a problem and is working on a fix, hopefully in the next big update.