Google Said To Be Bringing Background Blur, Third-Party Filters And More To Android Camera App

Google is working on a new and improved camera app for Android-powered smartphones, according to a new report by Engadget. The company plans to overhaul the user interface, but also add new features like the ability to selectively defocus the background on portrait shots, as well as better Panorama and Photo Sphere capture.

The update will reportedly come via a standalone update to just the app itself, and not something lumped into an Android general OS update. It’ll also bring support for third-party filters, meaning that developers can create custom effects which users can download and add to the stock camera app. HTC currently lets users create and save their own custom filters to the One’s camera app, but this sounds like it could pave the way for more of a Google Play shop for filter effects.

The focus features are said to resemble those found in Nokia’s Refocus app and HTC’s new camera features for the One, but without special camera hardware we’ll see how well it competes with the rest of the field. Recent imaging software advances mean it’ll probably do a decent job, however. Improvements to Panorama and Photo Sphere offer better resolution for captured images, according to the Engadget report, which should make for better sharing to other sources like the desktop, which are arguably better for viewing them anyway.

Google has invested a lot in imaging tech, both in its Google+ product and on mobile. Camera updates to the built-in Android camera indicates it’s not done building yet, and hopefully that will help improve the quality of pics from all Android-powered smartphones.