Android source code hints at new camera API with RAW support, face detection and more

Alex Wagner
Editorial Director of News and Content from Omaha, NE
Published: November 18, 2013

Nexus 4 camera

Google isn't exactly known for having stellar camera features in stock Android or its Nexus hardware, but according to some code that's recently been dug up, the company may be working to change that. Google+ user Josh Brown and Ars Technica have found references to a new camera API for Android inside of the public Android source code that date back to December 2012. However, the API was yanked from the Android framework in early October and was replaced with a warning that reads "Hide new camera API, Not yet ready," suggesting that Google paused work on the new API to finish work on Android 4.4 KitKat.

So what kinds of goodies are included in this new camera API? Folks that love to touch up their photos after capturing them will be glad to hear that support for the RAW file format is in there, which will give photographers access to less-compressed and more-tweakable photos. Also included in the API is face detection, a burst mode and even support for a removable camera.

The one bit of bad news with all of this is that it's not yet clear when Google might actually implement this new camera API and all of the goodness that's included. Still, it's good to see that Google recognizes the flak that the stock Android camera and the shooters on its Nexus hardware has gotten and that it's working to improve the Android photography experience. Here's to hoping that now that Android 4.4 and the Nexus 5 are officially out in the world, Google has gotten back to work on this camera API and is able to finish it up soon.

Via Ars Technica+Josh Brown, Google Android source