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November 25, 2013

Want a better camera on your Android device? So Does Google



For that very reason, Google has been overhauling the Android OS.. It has built deep into Android support for two higher-end photography features — raw image formats and burst mode — and could expose those features so that programmers could tap into them, the company said.

Evidence of raw and burst-mode photos in the Android source code surfaced earlier in November, but Google has now commented on the technology. Specifically, spokeswoman Gina Scigliano said the support is now present in Android’s hardware abstraction layer (HAL), the part of the operating system that handles communications with a mobile device’s actual hardware.

¬†“Android’s latest camera HAL v3 (hardware abstraction layer) and framework supports raw and burst-mode photography,” Scigliano said. “We will expose a developer API [application programming interface] in a future release to expose more of the HAL functionality.”


Google’s plans for a more advanced camera API should allow more sophisticated photos once it’s exposed so that apps besides Google’s built-in Nexus 5 camera app can take advantage of it.

“The core concept of the new HAL and future API is centered around burst-mode photography,” Scigliano said. “The basic idea is instead of taking a single shot with a given set of parameters, you instead have the power to queue up a request to take multiple shots each with different parameter settings such as exposure gain. The camera subsystem captures a the burst of shots, which can be subsequently post-processed by the application layer.”

Google’s description of Android’s new mechanism for handling camera hardware goes into more detail, which you can read from the link below.

The first Android camera hardware interface “was designed as a black box with high-level controls,” not something that exposed much detail to apps. Some expanded capabilities arrived with version 2, which was in Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, but it wasn’t set up for detailed app control, either.



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Dave Thornton

Senior Editor

Senior Editor
Been involved in technology for many years, more than I care to remember. Live in Dundee, Scotland. I like Android, Windows Phone OS, BlackBerry OS and iOS, and love writing about all things techie. Currently have a Honor 6+, Elephone P6000, Nexus 5, Chrombook C720, HTC One M7, Nokia Lumina 625, Microsoft Lumia 435, Blackberry Q10, HTC Hero and iPad mini