Google is reportedly preparing to push new features and improvements to the stock Android camera app.
According to “sources aware of Google plans” cited by Engadget, Google is currently testing the new app, which will eventually be offered as a standalone app in the Play Store, making it possible for Google to update it without a full system update.
Said sources claim the camera app will gain a refreshed user interface and that Google is going to fix framing, so the entirety of the shot is visible in preview mode when taking a picture.
Google is reportedly adding a mode that mimics a shallow depth of field lens to create a blurry background behind the subject. This feature is currently present on several OEM Android devices, such as the Xperia Z2, Galaxy S5, and the HTC One (M8).
Improvements are also coming to the panorama and Photo Sphere modes, which will be able to stitch imagery at higher resolution.
Interestingly, Google is said to be planning to open up the stock camera to third-developers, who will presumably be able to create custom filters for the app. Users will be able to import these filters, extending its functionality. It’s not clear if Google will only allow filters or if it will give developers more power to alter the user experience.
The new app is currently in testing and Google will “soon be ready to show off what it’s been working on,” says Engadget.
It’s not the first time we hear of Google’s efforts to improve the camera app in stock Android. Back in November, clues of a new and improved API were found in a code repository, suggesting that features like burst mode, RAW capture, and face detection would eventually land on stock Android devices. At the time, it was speculated that the API wasn’t ready for the spotlight, which was why Google opted not to deliver the update along with Android 4.4 KitKat.
At least when it comes to features, Google’s Android camera app is lagging behind the apps offered by OEMs like Samsung or Sony. This update could make it more competitive and allow Google to add new features at a faster pace.