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Android 4.4.1 is Rolling Out Over the Next Few Days, Should Fix the Nexus 5′s Camera

nexus 5 camera

Google is doing it, they are really doing it. According to a report out of The Verge, our friends in Mountain View have spent some time over the few weeks since the introduction of the Nexus 5 to address our biggest complaint – the camera experience. Android 4.4.1 will arrive in the next few days with all sorts of new camera tweaks and improvements, from adjusting the autofocus, exposure, and white balance, to simply making everything faster. It also sounds like this is only the beginning of a camera overhaul for Google’s new flagship phone. 

Post update, the camera will reportedly do the simple things that matter, like launch a full second quicker than it did previously. No more missing…every shot! We’ll also see a status indicator in HDR+, so that you know what the hell your phone is doing for that extra bit of time. The menu system is apparently about to change as well, with tweaks that should make the UI more “controllable and obvious.”

Most importantly though, you should be able to take a picture when you want to take a picture and actually capture it. We really just wanted speed, so thanks, Google.

We included some before and after sample photos. You’ll notice the contrast has been jacked up a bit, plus the colors seem to “pop” more than they used to – that change was intentional. The new photo results may seem unnatural to some, but anything is better at this point than the unlively and death-grey we were seeing previously.

nexus5 camera1 nexus5 camera4 nexus5 camera3 nexus5 camera2

(Click images to view)

Once the update hits, we’ll be sure to let you know!

Via:  The Verge
  • http://www.jeremyholton.com Jeremy Holton

    I hope it fixes the appalling battery problem with Nexus 4 phones. My Nexus 4 is completely unusable since the Kit Kat update. The battery goes flat from a full charge in about an hour and it gets too hot to hold. I tried a factory reset but it made no difference. Its ridiculous when a software update makes your phone useless. I am very disappointed with Google, it puts me off Android phones

  • Robert

    I got my update to 4.4.1 10 mis ago in Australia

  • Severo Rivera

    The update is rolling out today.

  • Simon Belmont

    Really looking forward to this. The pictures of my 1 year old haven’t been as sharp (or as easy to capture) as I wanted.

    Though, most DID turn out well, but the slow focus and shutter speed were difficult to deal with at times. I hope this updates includes a bunch of fixes for other KitKat issues as well.

  • nomma

    Hopefully the update will include the mic issue resolution for those who use still use a phone to talk.

    http://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/nexus/DbvPiXcyhi41-25-false

    JL King

    Dec 3 Hi everyone, to give you an update:

    For the Nexus 5, we have a software fix prepared. However, I can’t provide a release estimate.

    A similar fix for the Nexus 4 is being investigated, but I have no other updates at this time.

    If you are experiencing audio issues other than low mic volume, please call or email our live support for assistance and potential hardware replacement:
    https://support.google.com/googleplay/#contact=1&ts=3013792,3013866,3455599

  • jim

    what is wrong with this site, everytime I click on new comment, it jumps to the top of the story, then I have to scroll down and find it all over again, should have left well enough alone

  • http://twitter.com/geoff5093 Geoff Johnson

    So a whole dot release just for a camera fix? Does this only fix the Nexus 5 camera or the AOSP camera in general for all phones?

  • morgan boyle

    im hoping this new camera code is open to all OEM’s. android cameras across the board need help.

    • Adrynalyne

      Not this kind of help.

  • jim

    one thing is for sure, there is always something to fix on a nexus

    • Keith0606

      same can be said for every phone frankly.

      • jim

        goin lay my gnex on the patio and train the cat to piss on it

        • Keith0606

          it could be worse you could have a Thunderbolt or Charge… I gave my old gnex to a t-bolt owner and he thought it was the greatest phone ever.

  • RGiskard

    Here’s hoping they also fix the Exchange sync issue, too…

    • g2gsr

      Probably not though. This is from a Googler on the support thread about a half an hour ago

      “Hi All!

      Thanks for your continued patience! We are still investigating and working to resolve the issue. We’ll post here once we have an update.

      Best,
      Sarah”

      Pretty unbelievable that this isn’t fixed. The company for which I work was going to order 158 Nexus 5′s for the sales team early next year. Not anymore. The CTO actual said “We’ll never by android products for the business after this!” I asked him what would have had to change for him to change his mind, he said “Communication from Google that was not just blowing smoke!”

      • Keith0606

        Get him to invest in Touchdown for Android it’s a way better option and you get a consistent interface and feature set across all android devices.

        • g2gsr

          Unfortunately he won’t do that. He said that Android has exchange. Since its buggy, and Google doesn’t want to communicate with its users, we’ll find a company that either isn’t buggy, or will communicate with its users.

          • Keith0606

            Every vendor and every OS has bugs at times, and sometimes just an individual device. The company he should be talking to is Nitrodesk (aka the makers of touchdown).Their focus is exchange activesync only and their apps. I’ve used it for all my android users at my company and have even contacted them for a few questions a handful of times and they’ve been great.

            In any case just my two cents seems like a big over-reaction.

          • g2gsr

            Over=reaction? Possibly. He also is a big proponent of being treated like an adult human being when it comes to being kept up to date over bugs that are related to a core and crucial aspect of a mobile operating system. I still have my N5, and I don’t mind having 5 min exchange sync, while at the same time, I think it’s pretty crappy that its taking Google over a month to fix an application as important as email, when they have a working version from 4.3 from which to work, all while saying the same thing over and over again “we are still investigating, we’ll let you know when an update is come.” I can believe that they are still working on a fix, and that’s fine, there I can’t believe that they are still “investigating” the issue after almost 5 weeks. All we are asking for is information.

            Back to your point, did our CTO over-react? Maybe. But when you are about to spend $60,000 plus dollars, you shouldn’t HAVE to purchase an application to do what the device is already supposed to do.

      • RGiskard

        That’s very disappointing, both about the issue and the fact that your company will go another direction. Google has to realize that for corporate users, there are few things worse than breaking Exchange support.

  • BlynkOfAnEye

    What are the chances this fixes the Active Notifications lockscreen lag on my Moto X? 4.4 kinda broke it.

    • gokusimpson

      I much preferred 4.2.2 on my moto x. Kit kat really added some stutter and lag, especially to active notifications. It’s like it cut off 1.5gb of my ram just to prove kitkat’s project svelte.

  • Patrick Crumpler

    That’s fine and all for the N5, but what about dissapearing Navigation and Notification bars on the N4 ?

  • your camera sucks

    fix the nexus 5 camera? ..can’t polish a turd. how many times have cameras tried to be fixed with a software update? and only marginally worked. Good Job Goog

    • jbdan

      Didn’t the MotoX have a big camera software update and it showed marked improvements?

    • g2gsr

      Didn’t Mythbusters prove you CAN polish a turd :)

    • Trysta

      well actually according to anandtech (and I think they can be trusted) the hardware is pretty solid. They just posted a review (finally for the Nexus 5) and ironically their main complaint was the camera software which now looks like it is being worked on seriously by google. Still trying to decide on Nexus 5 vs Moto X but this definitely makes me consider the Nexus 5 again.

      • Anon

        I’ve been trying to decide on the Nexus 5 or the Moto X for the past couple of days as well. Such a hard decision…

  • Michigan Guy

    On another note, is there a way to get that google now screen on the far left of the home tabs without the GEL launcher (e.g. in the Nova launcher)?

    • jbdan

      Not that I know of. Can you sideload the GEL

      edit: or do you NOT want to use GEL

      • Michigan Guy

        I don’t want to use it; but I did try it and it force closed every time even with the new google search.

        • MrOrange645

          How long ago was that? Because there was an update to Google Search that fixed that problem.

          • Michigan Guy

            It was after the new update. I remember seeing the update for Google Search now brought it to work with GEL but not for me.

    • Droidzilla

      There are a few launchers out there using a widget wiper and Google Now fullscreen widget to accomplish this. Can’t think of one off the top of my head (because I sideloaded the GEL).

  • EdubE24

    Wasn’t the same thing said about the Galaxy Nexus camera? No update ever fixed that mess of a camera!!

    • jbdan

      I know a lot here still have this phone on VZ, but I didn’t wait around long enough to see :P

  • jbdan

    OT: Is it disqus or me or the site, but when I click “Show 1 new reply” it automagically goes to the top of the page/article….

    • Adrynalyne

      Its not you. I have the same problem.

    • Droidzilla

      Disqus is being disqusting.

      I’ll show myself out.

    • jim

      its awful they should have left it alone, instead they decided to make it worse

  • yankeesusa

    If they also did an update for the battery life I would probably buy it immediately.

    • Severo Rivera

      Yeah it would be nice.

    • jbdan

      The battery life is excellent. (for me)

      • Bobby Cornwell

        Battery life has been outstanding for me as well. But I can’t tell if that’s because I came from a Gnex or not haha

        • jbdan

          LOL. I came from a GS4 and MotoX. It bests the GS4 and equals the MotoX. (for my usage)

          • Bobby Cornwell

            That’s good to hear! I’m a moderate to heavy user and spend about 70% of my day on wifi, and have been getting about 14 hours of battery consistently

    • Jeff

      I generally charge the phone to 100% at night, take it off charge and go to bed, got through a full day and get home at 5:00 with about 50-60% charge left on average. Let’s see, my phone has been currently on battery for 13h 43m 27s and is at 76% charge. I don’t see them having a need for a battery life update.

      • yankeesusa

        that’s great that it works for some of you but Ive already tried it and it didnt work for me. My friend also did a review on it for our site and it was the same issue, plus dozens of reviews talk about the battery. Yes, there is a way to help with it but for my needs it’s not enough. I’ll stick to my note 2 and future note 3 for now. but I really do like the phone and I still think it is one of the best phones out there, not to mention a great price.

    • Morbid138

      Get it!

    • Kay

      Turn off NFC. Battery life improves significantly.

      • LionStone

        Why would NFC drain the battery if it is enabled? I’ve gotten 18 hrs w/ NFC enabled…

        • Kay

          Seeing as I don’t use Google Wallet nor anything NFC related, I turned that option off. It works for me. If it doesn’t for you, carry on.

          • LionStone

            That’s fine that you don’t use it..but to say it “improves the battery life significantly”, well, I just have not seen any evidence to that…carry on.

      • jim

        makes google wallet useless, you have to stop and turn it back on if you want to use it,better off just paying cash or pulling you wallet out

      • LionStone

        Hmm… No answer huh?

  • Severo Rivera

    Hey, since this is officially Android 4.4.1, wouldn’t the Moto X get this update as well?

    • Jeff

      Probably depends on if this update deals with more than just the camera, since the Moto X uses different camera software.

  • jbdan

    Been very pleased with the N5 camera (I have a 16 month old son). Looking forward to even better camera goodness.

  • Severo Rivera

    I wonder how this camera with the new update compares to the Moto X?

  • Chase Chick

    So I guess the big question that I didn’t see an answer to is: are there going to be improvements in 4.4.1 outside of the camera experience???

  • livin

    Perfectly timed Google, one can only hope the camera starts to become a larger focus.

    “It also sounds like this is only the beginning of a camera overhaul for Google’s new flagship phone.”

  • Renjamin

    Fantastic! Also, damn you for my newly arrived Chipotle craving…

    • entertainmentopia

      Still an hour till lunch and now all I can think about is a yummy burrito!

  • Rocketjrb

    What about fixing the Nexus 5 camera app cutting off the top and bottom of the image when taking the picture?
    Your composition is a guessing game every shot.

  • Chase Chick

    This looks like a real case of getting what you asked for. Look at the rose petal. Notice out in the before shot you can actually see detail, and in the after it looks like one continuous hit of red. When you bump the contrast and saturation up like that, clipping is what occurs. I’m sure the speed improvements will be welcomed though. I have a Moto X myself, and a fancy DSLR when I want a serious pic!

  • Adam

    Excellent. Now can Google fix the camera on my N4? Nope, didn’t think so…

  • Michael33704

    Great News!….Now all the boys at Mountainview need to do is fix the video playback issues with the Nexus 7 running KitKat…..

    • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

      *MountainDew

  • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

    All I know, is that I went to Kanye’s concert a few days ago…and there was a lot of LIGHTs in the show…. My friend’s GN3 took GREAT pics…. When my N5 couldn’t see a damn thing in those on stage lights…

    So I welcome and damn update.

    • NYCHitman1

      Yeezus doesn’t deserve your money.

      • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

        Yeezus needs my offerings.

    • Adrynalyne

      Consider yourself blessed.

      Kanye sucks.

      • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

        Opinions my friend.

    • palomosan

      Well you can always change the exposure to -1, do that and you’ll see miracles.

      • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

        Maybe I just need to investing in actually learning how to take pictures lol.

  • TheWenger

    “anything is better at this point than the unlively and death-grey we were seeing previously”

    If you want to fix that, move away from Oregon.

    • 6stringslinger

      A rather harsh solution, I don’t think Kellex would consider that but I must admit you are absolutely correct in your analysis.

    • jbdan

      Lol!

    • CaptainHowdy13

      It’s incredibly sunny here in Portland right now, just cold

  • chris_johns

    what is this “Nexus 5″ you speak of?

  • kolson76

    AWESOME! Just in time too as I got my Nexus 5 yesterday, Which by the way, I have to say is pretty friggin awesome. I ditched my iPhone 5S. Oh.. and Google was SUPER FAST to get me my phone. It wasnt supposed to ship until Dec 11th but I had the phone in my hands in LES than 24 hours after placing the order. WIN

    • Mitchman

      What are you going to do with all that screen real estate your just gained?

      • kolson76

        God the screen is just… Gorgeous. I was afraid it would be too big but nope, it is nearly perfect! So nice to watch videos on this baby.

        • jbdan

          Tis amazing I agree

        • LionStone

          Yes, but too bad the videos get cut off on your mobile in landscape on Droid Life due to the persistent share bar :(

  • Mitchman

    This is awesome that the camera is getting these kind of updates, but why is it so hard to launch a Nexus with a great camera, Day 1?

    • Steve B

      I think it’s somewhat clear that 4.4 was rushed near the end. The fact that they rolled back the camera software just a couple weeks before Nexus 5 release speaks to this.

      Luckily, it finally appears that Google is committing to bringing a great camera experience to stock Android, which they’ve never done.

      • Mitchman

        I see your point, in my mind that just says the Google rushes the new OS with every release of a new Nexus :)

        • gcfio

          Think of Nexus users like beta users. ios 7 took about 3 months to get out of beta. Android 4.4 will probably need that long to. It’s not until you have a bunch of users testing the software that you get an idea of where the issues are. Developers are not great testers…if they could have foreseen the issues with software, they would have coded it correctly in the first place.

  • redbar0n11

    The Wrath of…

    • Milind Shah

      seriously quit crying and make the switch :P

      • redbar0n11

        Corporate plan ;-)

        • Milind Shah

          Oh Okay… Come to India there are no contracts (except for fruitphones) xD

          • redbar0n11

            Fruitphone?

          • Milind Shah

            lolololol iPhones xD

          • redbar0n11

            ….or?

        • James Johnson

          Balls! You’re just a cheap bastard.. :-P

    • JDBailey18

      Every time i see a post about the nexus, this is exactly what I do. Out loud.. in any setting.. regardless of who is around. God forbid I actually see someone actually holding one.

      • redbar0n11

        Haha! Exactly. This is what I wanted to yell… So, I decided to put that anger into making a Meme!

  • jnt

    Honestly I haven’t been so disappointed with picture quality – if they bump up the speed AND the quality, that’s just icing on the cake.

    • Liderc

      Agree. My picture quality has been great. It’s the focus speed that will drive ya nuts. If they can fix the speed, it’s all good for me.

  • jnt

    This is the part where we’re NOT supposed to clear Google Services Framework and check for updates, right?? :P

    • Steve B

      Haha

  • wtfsss

    Ever since I saw the cover photo for this article in the review I cannot handle that there’s a smudge on the camera

    • Steve B

      ARRRG, I can’t un-see it now. Damn you!

    • droidify

      My thoughts exactly. Surprising for DL. They were the only site to take pics of a smudge free Nexus 10. Don’t visit android central if you are OCD (like me) about smudges.

  • A.Miller

    This is going to make my decision on Nexus 5 vs. Moto X even harder!!!!

    I guess we will see how fast it really is.

    • Chase Chick

      Active notifications and touchless control were the deal makers for me. And if you’re concerned about speed and battery life, they are MAJOR upgrades from the Gnex I upgraded from.

      • A.Miller

        I have been using GNex for two years. I bought an N5 and used GoPhone for a month to test ATT and Nexus5.

        I LOVE the Nexus5 minus the horrible lag to focus on taking a photo, but do not totally love ATT.

        I just bought a Dev Edition MotoX with the deal the other day and it should arrive today. I guess I’ll test it and decide which combo is best: MotoX+VZW or Nexus5+ATT. I’m so torn so far.

        I’m not sure how much I’ll like and use active notifications and touchless control.

        • Chase Chick

          For me, touchless control has been a godsend while driving around. Phone reads texts to me. I can reply back. Don’t even have to look at the phone. It’s pure magic.

          • A.Miller

            That is something that I’m excited to try out.

            How has the camera been for you, coming from a GNex? Shutter speed?

        • Indecisive Anon

          I am also torn between the Moto X and the Nexus 5. For myself, I plan to disable touchless control/ Google Now regardless of the phone, well, at least for now until I can find a practical use for Google Now for my lifestyle.

          It’s the physical design, display technology, and potential for future software updates that are the critical factors for me. I’ve looked at countless reviews and tests and have concluded that both phones will perform similar to each other, given the proper user end tweaks and excluding the obvious proprietary add-ons, and definitely meet my needs for a phone. The bonus proprietary features and the unknown future software updates are what’s killing me- keeping me up until four in the morning reading reviews and myself ending up going to bed even more indecisive than before.

          I suppose if I miss out on the sale on Monday, I’ll go with the Nexus 5. :)

  • Sam

    meanwhile, still waiting for 4.3

    • Adrynalyne

      On your Nexus 5? Wow, that is terrible!

      • Sam

        Note 2 still. Its perfectly fine i just want it knowing my co-worker just got the update on Sprint.

    • http://randomphantasmagoria.com/ Shawn

      Well if you know enough to care about the fact that you’re still waiting for 4.3, and you don’t have a Nexus device, that’s your fault. :P

      • http://turbofool.com Jarrett Lennon Kaufman

        Unless Verizon.

    • Mitchman

      Still holding onto the Galaxy Nexus? Why? Let it go. It has made its place in Android history.

  • Paul

    I honestly can’t decipher the difference in 2 out of the 3 photos. The napkin is the only one and that is simply just a huge picture of one color.

    • Steve B

      Look at the construction light (or whatever that is). The colors are more correct. Less haze. Edges of the yellow are sharp and crisp. The pictures are actually correctly focused for once.

      • http://www.techstify.com R Carroll

        On that exact photo,i felt that the after was much worse, yes the light is more in focus but the elements that are out of focus are very pixelated and affected.

        Granted the hero of the image isn’t as focused in the before but everything around it is much crisper and clearer and makes for a better photo.. unless they’re marked wrong.

        • jnt

          They really should’ve showed those side by side with the full photos. In the “after” you can’t see how it’s handling the bright background with the cars in the street, and in the “before” you can’t see how it’s handling the darker area on the right with the man walking by. But at least it shows much more crisp and stronger colors on the light itself, and much better focus on the light and concrete wall the light is sitting on.

        • Steve B

          I think you need to have your eyes checked.

          • http://www.techstify.com R Carroll

            so you’re saying that the picture on the right you don’t see the pixelation and the general messiness in the dark areas especially on the persons jacket?

          • Gullible Anon

            Very good observation, Carroll. If I didn’t happen upon your comment, I would have been fooled myself.

    • jnt

      Also on the construction light – look at the concrete the light is sitting on.

    • Xiria Seven

      I think you need a new monitor.

  • Colton

    the inconsistency in the order of the before/after shots bothers me.

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      Was thinking the exact same thing heh.

      • Dan Carter

        I actually like it. It messes with your expectations. So when you’re looking at a new set of images and you think “wait, that one actually looks worse post update” and then realize that they swapped the order on you, you know that you’re using your own judgement and not just seeing what you expect to see.

        • Colton

          as crazy as that sounds, this is exactly what went through my mind as i was looking lol!

    • jnt

      Evidently we’re all a little OCD :)

  • 918273645ams

    Wooohoooooo! Wasn’t expecting to see this for a month or so :)

  • Futbolrunner

    Mmmm..Chipotle. I could eat that everyday.

    • bd1212

      Qdoba > Chipotle.

      • NYCHitman1

        Why not just eat authentic Mexican food instead of these fast food restaurants?

        • bd1212

          The same could be said for Burger King or McDonalds. It’s convenient, cheap, and tastes good.

          • NYCHitman1

            Touche, but there’s plenty of exceptional authentic (and cheap) Mexican available in NYC. I would rather starve than eat Chipotle.

          • bd1212

            While that may be true for NYC, it doesn’t apply to me. I live in a suburb about 20 miles north of Boston so there isn’t much choice over here, sadly. Until more Mexican restaurants open up in my area, I’ll be sticking with Qdoba.

          • KnowYourEnemy462

            Tacos Lupita in Lynn. You’re welcome.

          • Droidzilla

            Has something changed in NYC in the last decade? I remember the “Mexican” food there being atrocious (I’m from Southern California, so my expectations for Mexican food are rather high).

          • boisvert00

            I think Chipotle is pretty great for what they offer, so you would rather die then eat their food !?!? That’s aggressive.

        • Dave S.

          Because we don’t live in Mexico.

          • NYCHitman1

            You knew what I meant though. Wise guy :p

        • Scott Webber

          Just embrace this truth: Chipotle is not Mexican food. It’s not really trying to be.

      • Xiria Seven

        Qdoba < Chipotle

        • bd1212

          To each their own. ;)

          • MichaelFranz

            both are the same, one uses queso sauce, one doesnt. Give me one of each i dont care

          • Bolocofan

            Boloco is > than either Qdoba or Chipotle. I say this as a long time fab of both. A friend took me there, and their burrito was, in a word, amazing! Less salt than either Qdoba or Chipotle, bur far more taste.

        • trophynuts

          FreeBirds> Than all of the above`

    • Colton

      FREEBIRDS>

      • duke69111

        We got one of them 6 months or so ago. They make a monster burrito.

        • Colton

          it’s delish!

    • AndroidUser00110001
    • http://twitter.com/tarund TarunD

      I don’t know about everyday. That may cause some serious bowel movement…

      • MistaButters

        I ate Chipotle every day for 2 months when I was trying to gain weight. I was fine and it was delicious.

        • http://twitter.com/tarund TarunD

          Damn. More power to your bowel!

    • starnovsky

      Why would anybody eat at Chipotle when you can have Baja Fresh, Rubios, Sharky’s or Wahoo’s? These are still fast food chains, but at least food there resembles actual Mexican food, unlike Chipotle where mexican is only in the name.

      • Droidzilla

        I prefer the taste of Chipotle to all of those. There, I said it.

        Still, Albertacos ftw!

  • icyrock1

    Hopefully the update fixes more than just the camera.

    • Steve B

      What else do you want fixed? The only shortcoming at this point is the speaker, and that’s hardware.

      • icyrock1

        The problems with exchange, for one.

        I get people like stock android, but blindly ignoring any problems it has isn’t what people should do.

  • SadderdaySteve

    Hoping the Verizon Droid Family has been waiting it out for this *sigh*

  • Steve B

    Damn, this is a big difference. Can’t wait to test it! Nice job Google!

    • jnt

      And even more exciting is what you can’t see – the speed and consistency improvements. Anxious for that more than anything else!

      • Steve B

        I just want the damn thing to take a picture of moving objects WITHOUT blur.

  • Ben Murphy

    Good on Google!