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Google adds 50 megapixel Photo Spheres, hints at Advanced Photo Mode in new Camera app

nexus 5 camera

Hints of new features have been found in the just-released Google Camera app. The APK — which was put under the microscope by Liam Spradlin of Android Police — contains references to an Advanced Camera Mode, Time Lapse Mode, and Wide Angle Mode. Additionally, Google has confirmed that the Camera app now captures Photo Spheres in 50 MP, making for a major upgrade  in image quality.

<string name=”mode_craft_desc”>Switch to Advanced Camera Mode</string>
<string name=”mode_advanced_camera_desc”>Switch to Advanced Camera Mode</string>
Switch to Timelapse Mode
Switch to Wideangle Mode

The new camera modes are somewhat self-explanatory. The Time Lapse Mode will allow users to shoot images at specific intervals in time — the current code allows increments of up to 24 hours, though that seems extreme. Wide Angle Mode contains references to shooting in a 16:9 frame.

google play camera iconThe Advanced Camera Mode is potentially more interesting, as it would give the user various settings (white balance, etc.) to tweak; however, don’t expect anywhere near the control that you would get in a dedicated camera. These modes would join Photo Spheres, Panorama, Lens Blur, Camera, and Video in the Google Camera UI.

Photo Sphere’s major upgrade was announced on Google+ by Evan Rapoport, head of the Maps View team. In the new Google Camera app, every Sphere is shot in 50 MP, making for a massive upgrade in image quality.

photo sphere iconPhoto Sphere’s other upgrades aren’t quite as exciting: Google seems to be exploring the possibility of using Photo Spheres as live wallpapers. As Android Police notes, there are minimal references to this feature in the code, meaning that it might not actually debut for some time — or that most of the code is in an updated version of Android itself.

Traces of the ability to take a photo while recording video were also found, as well as references to a “torch”; that presumably means that the Camera app will be used by the OS to turn the camera flash on, thus making the device an improvised flashlight.

Google Camera is available for any device running Android 4.4 KitKat or higher.

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