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Google's new Camera App, walk through and review.

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Google had a problem.

The relationship between Google (making Android), the manufacturers building the phones, and the carriers distributing those phones meant that software support was noticeably more difficult than rival Apple's iPhone. After announcing an update, it could take months before consumers could benefit from new features and performance improvements.

Recently Google has taken to removing services from the OS and hosting them as individual apps on Google Play. Things like the Calendar, Keyboard, even the text to speech engine, are now updated directly through play. No longer will you have to wait for a whole operating system update just to get a bug fix for one small service. It's an end run around the current update method, and while customers might not always get the newest OS update, all of their services should be kept fresh.

Case in point, Google has released a new camera app which was originally only found on Motorola and Nexus handsets. Now any phone running Android 4.4 can use the "stock" Android shooter. This also helps Google's branding, as manufacturers like to run custom software, apps, and skins. People often aren't using "Android" as much as they're using "Touchwiz" or "Sense".

If you get used to using the Google Calendar, Keyboard, or Camera, it doesn't matter what phone you go to in the future, you can re-download those exact same apps, and you wont have to re-learn how to use them. If you get used to Samsung's camera app, and you move to an HTC, you'll have to learn a new layout.

Google's Camera is simple and subtle. One large bar on the side acts as a shutter, tapping it anywhere, not just the camera icon, will result in taking a pic or starting a video. There are exposure controls and a fast built in HDR mode. You can also shoot panoramas and "Photo Spheres", panoramas which travel vertically and horizontally and can be explored online in a VR like interface.

Compared to competing apps from Samsung and HTC, it's one of the cleaner apps. There's very little on the display to distract from composing your shot. Those looking for all kinds of wacky filters and features will want to look elsewhere, but those wanting the most streamlined experience for pics and vids will appreciate what Google is doing here.

You can also watch the related video for a full hands on look at all the features demoed on the LG G2.

Google Camera on Google Play

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