According to some good ‘ole fashioned source code, Google is apparently working on several camera improvements to Android, including a new API that would allow for RAW image capturing, burst mode and face detection. It’s said that Google has been working on these improvements since December of last year, but they still weren’t ready for Android 4.4 KitKat, which released last month.
Both Apple and Nokia receive praise for its stellar camera technology in its smartphones, while Android hasn’t won a lot of awards lately when it comes to camera performance. However, it seems Google is aware of this and wants to change things around. While some Android devices come with impressive camera sensors, it’s mostly been the software side that holds the technology back.
Since this is an API, though, it means that any Android device manufacturer will be able to tap into the new improvements, as well as any app developers that take advantage of the camera for its apps, such as Instagram, Vine and Camera Zoom FX.
Details are pretty scarce at this point, and the only thing we really know is that RAW capabilities will allow users to take a photo and save it in both RAW format and regular JPEG format, allowing users to do edits on the RAW image. It’s a feature that a lot of people want, and one that was particularly praised with Nokia’s Lumia 1520, but so far, no other company has brought it to life just yet.
As for burst mode, this will include a box for the face and coordinates for the eyes and mouth, and users will be able to assign unique IDs to each face. Of course, some Android devices have had face detection for a while, but that was the work of the manufacturer itself and not Google. Face detection isn’t built-into stock versions of Android.
Not much is known about burst mode, but we suspect it will be similar to how the iPhone 5s works; you’ll just simply have to hold down the shutter button to take rapid photos one after another. Of course, this will also be dependent on the phone manufacturer, as different devices will have different burst speeds.