Google has given the stock camera app for Android a makeover with a new user interface and a few new features. Google Camera is now available as a standalone app from the Google Play Store for the first time.

That lets users update the app without updating their entire operating system — and allows Google to push out new features, bug fixes, and other updates more quickly.

Google Camera

The new app should be available for most devices running Android 4.4 KitKat or later. If you’ve got a phone with the stock camera app and you’re running KitKat, you’ll probably be prompted to update the app. If not, you can grab it from the Play Store.

Like earlier versions of the Google Camera app, the new app lets you snap photos or videos using the front or rear cameras on your device. There are also a few extra goodies including Panorama Mode and support for 360 degree Photo Spheres.

Google has also added something entirely new called “Lens Blur,” which lets you doctor photos by adjusting the depth of field to focus on a small element while the background blurs.

android cam_04

Google says this provides an SLR-like view, and while the results vary depending on how you shoot your Lens Blur photos, Google does let you edit the focus after-the-fact, so it’s not too hard to get some nifty shots using this new tool.

There’s also one other feature that’s both funny… and helpful. If you try to shoot a video while your phone is in portrait mode, an icon will pop up suggesting you tilt your phone and record in landscape orientation instead.

android cam_05

Google Camera won’t stop you from hitting the record button in portrait mode. But clearly Google doesn’t think it’s a good idea.

Support Liliputing

Liliputing's primary sources of revenue are advertising and affiliate links (if you click the "Shop" button at the top of the page and buy something on Amazon, for example, we'll get a small commission).

But there are several ways you can support the site directly even if you're using an ad blocker* and hate online shopping.

Contribute to our Patreon campaign

or...

Contribute via PayPal

* If you are using an ad blocker like uBlock Origin and seeing a pop-up message at the bottom of the screen, we have a guide that may help you disable it.

6 replies on “Google redesigns Android camera app, puts it in the Play Store”

  1. Perhaps a future update will provide a corrective shock in addition to the “turn your phone” animation.

    1. Try them once and you’ll remember them forever? They’re really not that cryptic….

      Switch camera, no flash, no HDR, overlay grid, and exposure. These are pretty standard on any digital camera.

    2. I also prefer text. I don’t have KitKat so I can’t test it but some Google and 3rd party apps will popup a text description when you tap and hold the icon. Too bad for me, I need to look around my fat finger to read them. It’s not ideal but it’s better than just plain icons where understanding them could be culturally dependent.

  2. “That lets users update the app without updating their entire operating system”.
    True only if you have Android 4.4, else you can’t install it.

Comments are closed.