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Google's new camera app for Android brings selective focus and more

Google launches a new Camera App that allows users to take spherical, panoramic, and lens-blurred images to simulate high-end DSLR cameras.

@CharlesJGantt
Published Wed, Apr 16 2014 2:51 PM CDT   |   Updated Sat, Aug 8 2020 10:29 AM CDT

Today Google announced the launch of a new app for Android called Google Camera, confirming recent rumors that the company was working on developing a new camera app with some unique features. The new standalone app branches away from the current Android 4.4 camera app, and features a more refined UI and is overall, easier to use. The camera app brings several new features to Android devices as well including Spherical images, software-based lens blur, and even a more intuitive panorama mode.

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"Achieving this optical effect has traditionally required a big lens and aperture, and therefore hasn't been possible using the camera on your mobile phone or tablet. That all changes with Lens Blur, a new mode in the Google Camera app," Google said in a blog post. "Lens Blur replaces the need for a large optical system with computer vision algorithms and optimization techniques that are run entirely on the mobile device, simulating a larger lens and aperture in order to creating a 3D model of the world."

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The Camera App also features new Spherical and Panoramic imaging modes that let the user align dots with a central point on the camera screen to create large images of their surroundings. I did notice that when taking spherical images larger than 5 points would slow my HTC one down quite a bit as the image began to process. The same happened with a panorama that was larger than 7 images.

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A web developer by day, Charles comes to TweakTown after a short break from the Tech Journalism world. Formerly the Editor in Chief at TheBestCaseScenario, he now writes Maker and DIY content. Charles is a self proclaimed Maker of Things and is a major supporter of the Maker movement. In his free time, Charles likes to build just about anything, with past projects ranging from custom PC cooling control systems to 3D printers. Other expensive addictions include Photography, Astronomy and Home Automation.

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