Google may be shifting its focus to Android's camera abilities

Nexus 5

Samsung makes a big deal about it. HTC won't stop talking about. Even LG and Sony tout it. All of the Android manufacturers trumpet the enhanced camera capabilities of their flagship phones, and for good reason: up until now, Google hasn't made it enough of a priority. But a "sources aware of Google's plans" tellĀ Engadget that we should expect a shift in the coming months.

Google is apparently testing out its new camera application. It sports a new interface, a background-blurring effect for portrait shots (glamorous selfless, anyone?), and improved panorama and Photo Sphere modes. Google is also allegedly fixing issues with its stock camera's photo framing abilities and opening the camera API for third-party filters, which would allow Android developers to create custom effects specifically for the stock camera application.

None of this has been explicitly confirmed, but with Google I/O fast approaching, we could assume we'll hear more about it at the annual developers conference. That old adage, "the best camera is the one you have with you" rings especially true for smartphone users, and with companies like Apple and Nokia taking the cake for smartphone photography, Google probably wants consideration for it, too.

Engadget also notes that the new camera app will come as a separate app to help bypass the waiting period required by carriers and manufacturers to test Android OS updates. It'll be interesting to see if the app will exist alongside the brand-specific camera apps from HTC, Samsung, Sony, et al.

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