One of the more publicized parts of the Galaxy Nexus is its new-and-improved camera app, which allows for both fast shots and integrated photo editing. While the actual camera hardware failed to wow us in our review, the software itself is enviable, and a good reason to patiently wait for an Ice Cream Sandwich update (or, like us, root your phone or tablet and get it yourself). Now there’s a new alternative for those who have just gotta have that awesome camera: Camera ICS, a free ad-supported download in the Android Market.

But there’s a hitch in the process. You shouldn’t buy this app. All the developer has done is repackage the Ice Cream Sandwich camera app from Android’s open source code and posted it on the Market. You can’t even access all of the features without having Android 4.0, somewhat defeating the purpose. Add to all this that the developer is sort of stealing Google’s content – it’s open source, yes, and there’s nothing illegal about redistributing it, or putting ads on it (or loading up a “premium” version for the low introductory price of a dollar). But it still strikes us as dishonest.

If you feel like a dollar and/or ads is a fair price to pay for something that’s free but hard to get to, go for it. But we recommend asking your friendly neighborhood Android dev to repackage the ICS camera for you – maybe even send them a couple of bucks for their trouble. Even if you don’t personally, someone will have another, similar app up on the Market before too long – with a truly free price tag.

  • Mike Dye

    I’ve been using the free version, and while the adds are annoying the camera app really is quite good. The scene and w/b selections is better IMO. Also i now have a panorama option built into the camera that works like a charm.

  • Space4rent

    Don’t blame them, blame Google and the OEMS for taking to long to release ICS.

  • Frank

    So don’t buy this from the Android Market but pay a developer to port it for you? Isn’t that the same thing? 

  • Robert Norris Hills

    I’m running an ICS custom rom on my S2…its nice to compare the Samsung panorama mode with the real thing. They both have their strengths…right now i’m using the vanilla camera the most. 

    I’m sure we will see big camera improvements from Samsung over the next few months.