updated 02:54 pm EST, Mon November 18, 2013
New camera API for Android not included in KitKat release
Google could be working on a way for Android devices to handle RAW image files, alongside the current JPEG images created by the current camera. The public source code for the mobile operating system shows a camera API for Android that was not added to KitKat before its release, due to a comment claiming it was "not ready yet" for inclusion.
The initial commit for the camera mentions that it would have allowed for the uncompressed RAW images, reports Ars Technica, which would lead to more control of the final image by the photographer after the shot is finalized. RAW image support is not usually offered by smartphones due to the associated image size, but in recent months, smartphones such as the Lumia 1520 and Lumia 1020 have gained the ability to do so.
The API would also offer face detection, including bounding boxes surrounding recognized faces, each of which could be assigned a unique ID that could be used by developers in their apps, such as by applying masks to individuals in a group shot. A burst shot mode has also been spotted. The option to use a removable camera also makes an appearance, suggesting that more devices such as the Sony QX10 and QX100 could be more closely supported in Android.
It is not clear when the camera API will be included in Android in the future, as it is equally possible that Google may wait for the next major Android release, or to make a partial update to KitKat just to introduce the API.