If you’re looking for the stock Android camera experience, you might want to check out Snap Camera HDR. It’s based on the stock Android 4.2 camera with some added features and it was created by XDA forum member dzo. The goal of Snap Camera was to bring the 4.2 interface to Android 2.3+ devices. If you’re not familiar with the stock Android 4.2 camera, it’s a very simple interface, but Snap Camera is slightly different. The main screen has only three buttons, one for pictures, one for videos, and the other for settings.
The UI works much like the stock Android interface in that you can touch to focus, pinch to zoom, swipe to review, and long press to adjust photo settings. Speaking of settings, you will find more settings than the stock version and it’s set up a little differently. You will still find all the options in the circular fashion, but with more selections. You will now have eight choices: HDR, flash mode, white balance, exposure, contrast, saturation, camera settings, and a submenu for items such as changing to burst mode, fast mode, front/back camera toggle, silent shutter, stable shot, panorama, self timer, and toggling the grids. Fast mode allows you to take pictures very “fast” but only at the resolution of your display. The camera settings have a slew of options for you to choose from for both the camera and videos. It should be noted that dzo added an option in the settings to use what was thought to be an updated UI for Android 4.3. As it turns out, that newer interface wasn’t part of Android 4.3, but is on the Google Edition Galaxy S 4 and HTC One devices that were just released.
Just like the stock Android camera, you have access to your recent pictures by swiping to the left. However, you will only see pictures taken from this app unless you changed the “stored location” folder to the one that your current camera is using. If you don’t do that, any pictures taken from the camera app that came with your phone will not appear. You can swipe away any pictures you want to delete, and if you make a mistake, you can tap undo. If you tap on any of the images, you will get the same photo editing icon found at the bottom left, which gives you the ability to Apply effects, add a frame, straighten, crop, rotate, or mirror the image. You can still apply any of these edits to other images on your device by going into the Snap App. This is the second app that is installed and it represents the 4.2 gallery. If you open Snap, you will have access to all the images on your device and you will be able to apply any of the same photo editing options I just mentioned.
At this point, you are probably wondering if Photo Sphere is part of Snap Camera since it’s part of Android 4.2. Unfortunately it isn’t since it’s a proprietary feature for Google and can’t be ported.
Snap Camera works very smoothly, but I wasn’t able to test it on older devices. dzo mentions that some features are only available on phones that support them such as taking a picture at the same time as recording video and some of the color and contrast settings. It’s priced at $1.99, but he does offer a free version to see how it works for you. The only limitation in this free version is that it only works when the phone is in airplane mode. So if you’re looking for the stock Android camera experience, then give Snap Camera HDR a try. Check out my hands on video below as well as their demo video and download links. As always, let me know what you think.
Touch to focus
Pinch to zoom
Swipe to review
Long press to adjust photo settings with the photo controller.
You can see what effects will be applied and undo an effect at any time from the history menu
Share an image with any other app such as Facebook or Google+ by clicking on the share icon
Create panoramas by selecting the panorama icon (Android 4.0 and above)
Fast picture mode instantly captures photos at the preview resolution.
Capture still snapshots during video recording (if supported)
Use the volume buttons to focus and take a picture or zoom
Auto torch mode for low light video recording
Use the advanced video settings to record video in resolutions not allowed by other cameras. For example, this gives you 720p video recording on the Nexus 7.
Stable shot mode only takes a photo when the camera is completely still,
Photo controller settings:
Colour and Contrast (if supported by the hardware).