Google Confirms Support For RAW Images & Burst Mode In Android, Promises Nexus 5 Camera Improvements


Google has confirmed that its latest Android camera API contains support for RAW images and burst mode, and that these features will be available to third-party developers in the future.

The company has also acknowledged the complaints about Nexus 5 camera performance, and it promises improvements are coming soon.

Evidence of Android’s support for RAW images and burst mode first surfaced earlier this month, when Google made its latest Android source code available to developers. Now the search giant has confirmed that these features are present, and that it will be opening them up to third-party developers in the future.

“Android’s latest camera HAL (hardware abstraction layer) and framework supports raw and burst-mode photography,” said company spokeswoman Gina Scigliano. “We will expose a developer API [application programming interface] in a future release to expose more of the HAL functionality.”

Once that API is available, Android developers will be able to integrate RAW image support and burst mode into their own camera apps. This should lead to significant improvements in the camera experience on Android-powered smartphones.

With burst mode, we’ll be able to take multiple photos in rapid succession, ensuring that we never miss the perfect shot. This is ideal for those action shots when the subject is moving, and you don’t have a lot of time to get your photo.

As for RAW image support, that’s something you typically need a high-end camera for. The RAW format provides better quality and more flexibility than a common JPEG, but it requires manual processing, which means only more seasoned photographers are likely to use it.

But it’s unclear at this point how exactly Android will deal with RAW photos.

Google has also been working to improve the performance of the Nexus 5’s camera. It promised us the device would take photography seriously, and it even boasts about its camera in the Nexus 5 ad, but as things stand, it leaves much to be desired.

Fortunately that won’t always be the case. Google is optimistic that it can greatly improve the Nexus 5’s camera with some simple software tweaks, and it says that those will be available soon.

“The team is aware of the issues and is working on a software update that will be available shortly,” Scigliano said.