Through its first five years of existence, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s Android phones have been notoriously bad at taking pictures. Especially we compare its quality to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iPhone, which made quite a revolution regarding cameras and the mobile phone business.
This situation has improved somewhat over the past year or two, with devices such as Galaxy S3/4 and Xperia Z1, that provide decent imaging performance. But still, they don’t match the quality of pictures taken with an iPhone, or even Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK)’s Pureview. And Google’s signature Nexus phones remain pretty disappointing on this regard. But things may change soon. It seems that Google has finally decided to focus on getting better pictures.
Catching Up With Competition?
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has been working on a new camera API to be included in the Android KitKat release, and shipped with Nexus 5. Unfortunately, they were not able to finish the work in time. So this new phone still has the old under-performing API.
This explains the lack of improvements of the camera in Nexus 5. Old, not up to the task API can’t fully utilize latest advances in imaging hardware. And once again, Android phones lost to their competition in the camera department.
However, new features will come with the next phone. Al least we can now be certain that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has decided to develop some formidable software and image processing that will improve Android’s imaging.
The new Android camera API will include RAW file support, burst mode and support for removable cameras. But most of the improvements are likely to be in the low-level hardware support and image processing optimizations.
Will this finally allow Android phones to catch up to competition? Well, it can if Google doesn’t take too long polishing things up and releases the new camera API in Android KitKat 4.4.1 update in a month or two.
Meanwhile, Android KitKat 4.4 Still Has Good Reviews
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s Android 4.4 KitKat is a pretty significant update, one that sees both UX changes and plenty of new features added. Anyone using a stock version of the platform will immediately notice subtle differences in the design, layout, looks and feel of the platform.
CNET’s Sarah Mitroff praised Kitkat’s “minimalist design” for being “fresh” and “simple” while noting the further integration of Google Now, which is now very much at the center of the experience.
Pocket-lint’s Chris Hall also enjoyed Google’s brighter, cleaner approach to Android, suggesting it “means that the display appears to be larger, because you have the spread of colour across the whole screen.”
And quite a good number of more good reviews can be found in different forums.
By Victoria Frers