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Video: Google Camera Quick Look and Tour

As you now know, Google released a stand-alone camera app, called Google Camera, to the Play store this morning. The app is a major step towards bringing an excellent camera experience to not only Nexus devices (which have sorely needed it), but other Android handsets as well, since it runs on any device with Android 4.4+.

The new camera app introduces a brand new UI that replaces the old, confusing, and difficult-to-navigate UI of the stock Android app for Nexus phones. It’s refreshing actually, with a slideout camera options menu, a 100% viewfinder, and a massive shutter button that you likely won’t miss. 

The camera also introduces things like a new Lens Blur mode (for the bokeh lovers in the building) that lets you refocus images after the fact. You’ll find higher resolution settings for Panorama modes, a stand-alone settings menu, and Photo Sphere for all.

Check out the tour of the new app below.

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  • Ricky Kirkland

    Sorry to get off topic, but does anyone know what launcher/theme Kelen was using in this video?? Also I was playing with the lens blur this morning, its alright.

  • master94

    Most of the cameras features are disabled on most of the device I install including photosphere. Weird. Yes my phone is on the latest kitkat build and yes it had photosphere before. Oh well. Stock is faster.

  • Brian Wolfman

    Try zooming in (no that you ever should on a camera phone) but its cool…zoom indicators rotate and move in and out. But never zoom as its just cropping, crop and zoom after 🙂

  • wollac11

    I wish they used full immersive mode in this app though. Accidentally pressing the back, home or multitasking button while trying to snap a quick shot can be very annoying.

  • Bryan Moross

    Have you tried to take a vertical video? It’s quite hilarious. GO GOOGLE!!

  • Linda

    I can’t figure out how to enable the camera timer with this new update. Can anyone help me?

  • Kristin Jewell

    Okay, so can you or can you not take a still while recording a video? I’m not happy if that function went away.

    • Kristin Jewell

      Guess not. Uninstalled the new one. Back to the old, which I liked better.

  • Dave S.

    Has anyone else had issues installing the new camera app on their Nexus 10?

    It downloads (I’ve tried from the Play Store and from the APK I got from Droid-Life) but then it just sits in the install stage for an incredibly long time and never actually installs.

    (It downloaded & installed just fine on my Nexus 5.)

  • Ben Joynes

    No HDR option on my Note 3.

  • droidrazredge

    This app has made my Moto X experience even better now :). I can finally use Photosphere and Photoblur.

  • davidtb

    I sorta like it, simple, clean, I do all my fudgin’ on apps anyway. Works for me. ta

  • legend618

    HTC one M7 you can use the volume buttons to shoot

  • Tristan the Marine

    Ugh that icon though…

  • Jason Kahn

    I noticed right away touch to focus in the video camera mode, finally and the grid of s such a welcome option.

  • jeesung

    No panorama mode on Droid Razr Maxx, only Blur, Pic, Video

  • Scott Tucker

    Did a side by side test with the Touchwiz camera on the Galaxy S5. The Google camera is more zoomed in by default…that’s no bueno. Samsungs have crappy focal lengths as it is, no need to make it worse.

    • Sam

      i found just the opposite. Samsungs camera on my S4 is zoomed in more, Google showed the same exact shot at a farther distance.

      • Brian Wolfman

        Just took 2 pics with my G2 and the google camera. Both shots were the exact same, perfectly identical.

  • Tony Byatt

    You forgot to mention the reminder to turn your phone to landscape when recording a video…

  • James_C_L

    being that 98 percent of devices aren’t on Kit Kat, isn’t it kinda stupid that it only works on 4.4?

  • AggieGirl

    Is it available on the galaxy s3? My version is currently 4.3, but says that is the most updated version.

    • Ben Edwards

      KitKat 4.4 and above only.

  • ravenofdoom

    Just installed it on Galaxy S5. The app DOES NOT allow you to save images to the SDcard. Google’s on a real streak of hobbling devices with expandable storage… i.e. disabling SDcard writing by applications in KitKat.

  • Kevin

    This camera is giving us a clue as to what the next Version of Android color would look like.

  • cleefson guerrier

    If I was HTC I would be embarrassed, Google just embarrassed you by just improving their camera app

  • Shawn John

    Why do people even try to use the goofy on screen button to snap a shot when you can press the volume button to accomplish the same thing? I always thought pressing the physical buttons to take a shot was more camera like then adjusting your viewpoint and then having to focus on pushing the digital button.

  • stelios

    No time shift

  • MikeSaver

    those bezels tho?

  • Mark Aaron Collado

    Is anyone having trouble with HDR? You can tap anywhere on the black bar to take pictures.

    • JSo

      What kind of trouble? Mine is working fine.

      • Mark Aaron Collado


        • JSo

          No issues here. Maybe uninstall and reinstall. Clear app data. All the usual stuff.

        • Allan

          Happening to me as well on N5.

  • i9

    Slooooooow loading time. I uninstalled.

    • Grayson

      Loads fast on my N5. What phone do you have?

      • i9

        Nexus 5. Sits on black for maybe 1 to 1.5 seconds before loading the camera preview.

        • Shawn John

          reboot your phone and try again.

    • JSo

      Watch the video and see how fast it loads up. Must just be your phone.

  • Epic Tea

    why did they change the icon?? I know you can use launchers but I like using GEL.

  • Марк Соколовский

    I have it on my Droid Mini, and it’s transparent on there, too. All the features seem to work out well, but panorama takes a bit longer than my stock camera app, and photosphere is exceptionally speedy, but not the fastest as it would be on the Nexus 5.

    • Justtyn Hutcheson

      The SD800 is much, much faster at processing than the 2013 Motorolas. It is one of the few areas where the raw processing power of the SD800 is a significant advantage.

  • Intellectua1

    Now they just need to release the new Google Dialer to the play store..

    • JSo

      I doubt that will ever happen. The google dialer requires more than just one apk.

      • Meme

        Like that EVER stopped Google…

  • BeejRich

    How would I set this as the default camera app for the “twist the wrist” motion on my Droid Maxx?

    • Jaxon Wright

      Tasker profile that force closes the moto camera and then opens the google one

      • BeejRich

        Do you know of any tutorials on how to do that? I’m trying to figure out how to do it, but could use some help with tasker…

        • EVT

          does the launcher not give you the option of which app to use? I had set my old droid razr to always use Camera Zoom FX app when I launch the camera itself. Seems like you’d be able to do the same with a newer phone. I’ve got the HTC one M8, so I haven’t played with this app yet…

  • ragnarok180

    What happened to the countdown timer? I can’t seem to find it.

  • Volume rocker works as a shutter button. Not sure if this was standard in the stock Google camera app before, since I own a Moto X.

    • JSo

      That was there before.

    • moto x does this with their camera update

  • tyguy829

    Can someone post the nexus 5apk? Hdr+ is missing from the one on my Moto x

    • grumpyfuzz

      HDR+ is an exclusive feature to the N5 I’m pretty sure. You should still have HDR though.

      • tyguy829

        Don’t have any kind of hdr

        • Kevin

          HDR is on the stock motox camera

          • tyguy829

            I meant in the Google camera app

    • Bluewall

      HDR+ need some lib files if I’m not mistaken

      • tyguy829

        I thought that at first,but photosphere used to require libs too (remember that lightcycle stuff?), but doesn’t now with the new camera app. The same could be true of hdr+

  • Daeshaun Griffiths

    even when i use the app fullscreen (requires root) it just shifts down and has black space. I get why just thought it was interesting.

    • Guest

      I don’t get why the app wouldn’t fullscreen on a Moto X. I have a Droid Mini, and overall the phone is similar specs-wise, except for the fact that is has capacitive key buttons, instead of on-screen navigation buttons, and I’m not sure if it’s something to do with that screen real estate that the buttons use, but the camera goes fullscreen on the newer Droid phones.

  • James

    Shout out to Kellen and DL for getting this vid up in record time!

  • David Moylan

    So does the HDR, not that i use it, only show up on the Nexus devices? I cant find it on my Moto X?

    • JSo

      HDR is a hardware thing, I believe. So if your phone doesn’t support it, then you don’t get it.

      • David Moylan

        the stock app for the phone has it…so im not sure. like i said i dont use it anyways. just curious

        • JSo

          Oh, then I don’t know.

      • Bluewall

        It’s not hardware, but it relies on specific lib files

    • Colin Zack

      Didn’t see it on my X either. Might be a bug that needs fixing.

    • Justtyn Hutcheson

      It’s either a bug, the Motorola camera firmware is not completely plugged into the 4.4.2 camera APIs, or a combination thereof. Those, exposure control works, and the color and white balance are different between the two, so I’d lean more towards “bug” at this point.

  • Mike Dye

    Try and shoot video in vertical. Ha! its great!

    • Kyle Null

      haha yes!

  • Derek Duncan

    best implementation of blur effect i’ve seen.

  • Ryan Laursen

    Waiting… LG G2 (Verizon) is not on 4.4 yet…

    • panicswhenubered

      Mine is 🙂

    • DJyoSNOW

      Not 3 same comment…. Ug

    • iamevie

      Same with the S3 on Verizon… waiting…

    • Mine is 🙂

      • Ryan Laursen

        Are you using the leaked ROM?

      • Chippah

        Mine too, Xdabebb’s Camera IS THE SHIZZZZZ

    • Ryan Laursen

      Problem solved… Thanks Verizon Update Tool!

  • JT3

    Would like to see the ability to take snapshots during video, and also, to be able to set HDR+ mode on by default (all other options are sticky, but not that one, apparently). Otherwise, I’m very happy with the new camera app.

    • Grayson

      HDR+ appears to stay set for me. After swiping the app away from recents and opening it again, HDR+ is still enabled.

  • WitnessG

    What’s with this new blur trend? First the S5, then the M8, now the stock app.

    • baniels
    • JSo

      It actually makes pictures look good when done right. I think they are just finally figuring out how to do it right with mobile devices.

    • Scott H

      It might be a new trend with mobile cameras. But it can be a way of life with photography, depending on the subject (a landscape for example, would probably not want that effect). I shoot a lot of sports, and if you don’t get the backgrounds blurred (crowd, etc), it’s very distracting. That is controlled by settings (and equipment to an extent). Also often referred to as ‘depth-of-field’. But with an SLR (for example), it’s often an intended out-of-camera result not a post-edited “effect”.

      For example, compare the background on this pic: http://static1.businessinsider.com/image/5245957869beddfc5f8f0425/mlb-playoff-scenarios-heres-what-the-11-teams-that-are-still-alive-need-to-do-this-weekend.jpg

      to this one: http://shrewsbury.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/little-league.jpg

      And I’m not referring to the number of people. 🙂 The kids in the background being nearly in focus is distracting compared to the first pic where the crowd is not at all in focus. Those are two extreme examples, but you get the idea.

      • Scott Tucker

        As a photographer, I’ve never seen a software solution that can hold a candle to an out of camera image with shallow DOF. Hopefully it continues to improve, because even today, these solutions are unusable with anyone with an eye for camera photography.

  • One of the greatest things about this is that we can get updates for the camera now (one of my top 3 most used apps) without waiting for a full OS upgrade! Woohoo!

    • Scott Tilney

      The worst thing about this app is being on a Verizon GS4, that won’t get Kit Kat for another 20 years. *Sigh*

      • Vermin_Cain


      • michael arazan

        But it’s great for Moto X owners

  • Josh Flowers

    “Google has done here with 1 camera what HTC has tried to do with 2”

    • LionStone

      Yet Google’s camera app is still catching up… Sizzle 🙂

  • For the blur effect, instead rotating the camera with your body as the pivot, try rotating it with the subject as the pivot. I think that’s how it said to do it in the little instructional screen when I first installed it. I’m getting pretty consistent (and good) results that way.

    • JSo

      You are correct. He did it wrong in the video. You are supposed to keep the subject centered in the camera.

    • gimmedatnexii

      Can you expand on that, I never understood this for photosphere either. So I should move the phone up and down, and not tilt it?

      • Justtyn Hutcheson

        For the “Lens Blur”, imagine that there is a string going from the middle of the camera lens to the middle of the subject. Move the camera in an arc upwards, so that “string” stays taut.

        For photosphere, imagine that the center of the camera lens is fixed in place, and rotate the phone around that point until the dots line up. If you move the lens up/down/left/right from where it took the last shot, it may not all line up right in the end.

      • Grayson

        Yes, move the phone up, don’t just tilt it up.

  • Daeshaun Griffiths

    cant take a picture while recording video. I’m sure it’ll come. It would be cool if i could change camera mode without lifting a finger, as if the middle was a slot for selection. Think timely.

  • TSK

    not sure why, but on my moto x my camera button is semi transparent, where on my N7 it is opaque.

    • Daeshaun Griffiths

      in video mode?

    • kkruglov

      may be it depends on resoliton and it’s ratio? I mean, proportions of screen in video and photo are different, so that’s why in video you have semi transparent button, but in camera – only on some devices where camera of your device have another ratio of photo resolution, and for full view of photo – button stays transparent, if i’m not wrong – on moto x it is 10mp, so..

    • Justtyn Hutcheson

      The Moto X has a 16:9 camera sensor. The Nexus 7 has a 4:3 sensor. The Moto X the button is semi-transparent so you can see a 1:1 preview of the image you’ll get without any black bars. the Nexus 7 does the same, but since the screen is 16:9, it simply turns the “extra” area behind the camera button (conveniently sized to fill the difference in width between 16:9 and 4:3 at the same height) black.

      • kkruglov

        oh, this is exactly what I thought.

    • DKDigitally

      Same here one the One (M8) all modes except front facing are transparent.

      • Wilsonian

        Question for you: when you use the quick access to the camera, does it now tell you “Camera error, Can’t connect to the camera”? Mine tells me that every time, but if you click OK it still goes to the camera.

  • James

    goddam look at dat button

    • again, we now have a 100% viewfinder…so that trumps “dat button”

    • grumpyfuzz

      It’s transparent on the GPE HTC One, don’t know why the N5 has a solid color.
      Edit: Just read why 😛

      • Carlos Lopez

        Also transparent on my GS5

      • antwonw

        Wait, why is it not transparent on the Nexus?

        • grumpyfuzz

          Take a look at Justtyn Hutcheson’s post near the bottom (sorted on best). He explained it perfectly.

          • antwonw

            Don’t see it. He talks about photosphere and blur but not why the button is not transparent on the nexus 5

          • S2556

            Copy and paste from his comment after some digging: The Moto X has a 16:9 camera sensor. The Nexus 7 has a 4:3 sensor. The Moto X the button is semi-transparent so you can see a 1:1 preview of the image you’ll get without any black bars. the Nexus 7 does the same, but since the screen is 16:9, it simply turns the “extra” area behind the camera button (conveniently sized to fill the difference in width between 16:9 and 4:3 at the same height) black.

          • antwonw


          • grumpyfuzz

            Sorry I didn’t answer a bit earlier, but S2556 got the comment I was talking about 😛

    • James

      it’s so big i just want to grind up on it

      • BillySuede

        what… hahaha

    • Grayson

      Large is good in my opinion. When taking photos, I am focusing on the viewfinder. With the old tiny button I would sometimes miss and have to take my eyes off the viewfinder.

  • Blue Sun

    Downloaded & excited to give the updated camera a whirl. I wish this would have been updated 2 weeks ago before I went on vacation & took more than 600 photos.

    • Pete Arado

      600 photos with a phone?! Damn, that’s impressive. I think you need a real camera, if you don’t already have one 😉

      • Blue Sun

        My wife utilizes the real camera. I take the panoramic, dining photos, etc. It’s a lot more compact & with each generation of smart devices, the photos are getting better & better.

    • usaff22

      Same here! I just returned today from Spain and took around 500 photos! I am so unlucky..

      • Blue Sun

        At least we got time to familiarize ourselves with the new app before the next trip.