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Android 4.4.1 update to fix Google Nexus 5 camera app issues

News   •   Dec 09, 2013 04:51 GMT

If you have gotten your hands on the Google Nexus 5, you’re sure to have noticed a number of issues with the handset’s camera app. Google's Director of Engineering for Android, Dave Burke, is making sure these issues are addressed with the Android 4.4.1 (KitKat) update.

According to The Verge, “Burke, Google's Director of Engineering for Android, is walking through all the changes Google has made to the Nexus 5's camera in the five weeks since the phone hit the market. The fruits of the Android team's efforts is Android 4.4.1, the update rolling out over the next few days that is designed to fix the buggy, inconsistent camera on what is otherwise one of the best Android phones on the market.

“The changes break down in five categories, Burke says, autofocus first among them. Mixing speed and image quality requires a fragile balance, particularly in low light, and Android 4.4 skewed too far toward image quality. "There’s a tendency to say, 'oh, we have this cool thing that stabilizes, so lets make the shutter time longer, reduce the gain even longer, and get better shots.'" But while the Nexus 5's optical image stabilization allowed it to get better-than-average shots in low light, in good lighting it just made for frustratingly slow shooting speeds. By speeding up the framerate and increasing how quickly the camera can read its surroundings and fire a picture, Burke and his team improved the autofocus, the exposure, and the white balance. "You fix the motion blur," he says, "and make everything faster."

“Speed is a theme for the update, and the Nexus 5's camera really does feel faster across the board. The app launches a full second quicker than it did before the update, meaning you'll miss many fewer shots than before. There's also a new progress indicator in HDR+ mode, which makes the process, longer by necessity, feel a lot more straightforward. It's the first of what Burke says will be a series of interface changes, as Google tries to make Android cameras a little more controllable and obvious. Right now, nearly every setting is buried under layers of menus, and Burke says Google is working on undoing that.”

The site adds, “Photos are a little more contrasted, too, with slightly more vibrant colors. Burke says this was an intentional change, that "we just wanted to make photos pop a little more." The effect occasionally goes too far, with reds and oranges exploding off the screen, but for the most pictures look lively and accurate.”

Want to know when Google will be rolling out the Android 4.4.1 update for the Google Nexus 5? We’ll let you know once the update is available.