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New Camera API for Android to add RAW support, face-detection and more

A new report indicates that Google is working on a new camera API, which will enhance the camera experience on an Android smartphone.

Ars Technica in a report has published some changes expected in the new API, including support for RAW image output. As per the report, the RAW images are modestly compressed and processed when compared to a JPEG format, which is a default format for clicked images on Android smartphones. The RAW images would increase the amount of correction possible, and programs like Photoshop can do much more with a RAW file than a JPEG. It’s worth pointing out that Nokia has already introduced the RAW image output support in the flagship Windows Phone 8 phablet, Lumia 1520.

Further, the report reveals a month old batch of code that showed the new camera API was in the works. The code was first spotted by app developer Josh Brown. The code said, “DO NOT MERGE: Hide new camera API. Not yet ready.”

In addition, the alleged new camera API is rumoured to bring face-detection feature which would include bounding boxes around faces and centre coordinates, while Android’s OEM partners like Samsung, Sony and HTC have already introduced the face-detection feature in their top-end smartphones. Another expected addition is a revamped burst mode and a major overhaul to the image quality. The report includes documentation with phrases like substantially improved capabilities and fine-grain control, suggesting that Google is working closely on image details.

The leaked APIs also suggested that Google might bring removable camera support, much like Sony’s Cyber-shot DSC-QX100 and DSC-QX10 lens cameras, to Android smartphones. The report notes the API for removable camera, saying: “The camera device is removable and has been disconnected from the Android device, or the camera service has shut down the connection due to a higher-priority access request for the camera device.” The report does not reveal any details about the release of the new API for Android.

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Motorola Moto G dual-SIM model confirmed for India launch

While announcing the Motorola Moto G at an event in Brazil, the Google-owned handset maker confirmed its intentions to get back into the Indian smartphone market next year, in early January.

A tweet by Guy Kawasaki later confirmed that the Motorola Moto G dual-SIM variant will be making it to the Indian market, as well as Brazil. The tweet said, “#MotoG Dual SIM will be available in India and Brasil.” Kawasaki confirmed the news via a question and answer session with Motorola.

While Motorola has confirmed the Moto G will be arriving in India, it has not revealed precise plans for the rollout. We expect it to be sold in India via Motorola’s official online channels, much like the Nexus devices on the Google Play store. There has been no word on Moto G India pricing but considering US pricing of $179 for 8GB model and $199 for 16GB model, it can be expected to be priced around Rs. 12,000 to Rs. 20,000 in India, including various taxes.

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The Motorola Moto G runs Android 4.3 out-of-the-box and the Google-owned handset maker also has confirmed that the smartphone will be getting the Android 4.4 KitKat by January 2014.

The Moto G features a 4.5-inch HD ‘edge-to-edge’ display with a resolution of 720×1280 pixels (translating to a pixel density of 329ppi) and boasts a Corning Gorilla Glass 3 screen. Powered by a quad-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 (Cortex-A7) processor coupled with an Adreno 305 GPU, the Moto G features 1GB of RAM. On the optics front, the Moto G sports a 5-megapixel rear camera along with an LED flash and also includes a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera. The rear camera supports HD (720p) video recording.

The Motorola Moto G also features water-resistant nano-coating on the inside and outside. The Moto G packs a 2070mAh battery, which Motorola claims can deliver up to 30 percent more talktime than the Apple iPhone 5s.

Moto G – Google and Motorola’s new budget smartphone

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