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Planned Android 4.4.1 KitKat update should help Nexus 5 take better photos

Florence Ion | Dec. 6, 2013
Just as a car wouldn't function without all four wheels, the Nexus 5 hasn't been much of a smartphone with its subpar photo-taking abilities.

Updated at 4:31 p.m. PT to mention that the Android 4.4.1 software roll out is now live.

Google continues to tout the camera application on its latest smartphone, the LG-manufactured Nexus 5, since it launched more than five weeks ago, but the handset has failed to deliver. Even though the stock camera software is capable of piecing together 360-degree panoramas and snapping HDR+ photos, the overall photo quality remains subpar. As a result, the search giant is coming out with an update to Android KitKat to help address those camera performance issues.

According to The Verge, Android 4.4.1 is expected to arrive in the coming days with a heaping assortment of camera improvements aimed at helping with autofocus, exposure, and white balance; it should also improve shutter time. Look for other minor tweaks to things like the HDR+ feature, which will include a status indicator to let you know your phone is processing the photo it just took, and a slight reworking of the camera interface that should make it a little easier to navigate. The test shots provided show that the Nexus 5 will produce photos with a bolder color profile and without some of the faded colors that were visible before.

While the software update is unlikely to push the Nexus 5's camera abilities to the top of the charts, it will at least ensure that you don't have to install a separate application just to fix the color profile on your photos.

Android 4.4.1 should begin rolling out in the coming days. It's unclear if the update will come packaged with anything else but camera improvements for the Nexus 5, though we've reached out to Google for clarification.


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