Google has confirmed they are working to add RAW image file and native burst shot mode support. This isn’t yet available for developers to take advantage of, however it does come as a nice follow-up to the report that surfaced earlier in the month on this very subject. The confirmation comes by way of Google spokesperson Gina Scigliano who mentioned that “Android’s latest camera HAL (hardware abstraction layer) and framework supports raw and burst-mode photography.”
Further details from Scigliano touched on the timeline. There wasn’t anything specific given, however it was said this support will arrive as a developer API in a “future release.” Simply put, this support went from rumor to confirmation and now the end user will be left waiting for the developers to get access, and then begin using these APIs in apps and app updates.
Along with the good news confirmation here, there may also be some good news for those currently disappointed with the camera abilities on the Nexus 5. Again, there isn’t any timeline given, however Scigliano did mention the “team is aware of the issues and is working on a software update.” This update is expected to be available “shortly.”
The catch with all this, while the improvements to the APIs will be nice and the update for the Nexus 5 will also be nice, we do have to remember this is not going to be a magic fix. Simply put, while the software improvements will be welcomed, there will still be the need for Android device manufacturers to use quality components in terms of the camera hardware. Nonetheless, it does appear as if Google is setting things up so that quality hardware (when used) will be able to be fully taken advantage of.