Meet Focal: CyanogenMod’s new feature-packed camera app for Android
The CyanogenMod team has unveiled a new camera app of their own called Focal, which forms part one of the Nemesis project, an attempt to improve on previously lacking features of the most popular custom ROM for Android.
Only a few days back the CyanogenMod team teased something called Nemesis without giving too many details, which got people speculating on what the team behind the most popular custom ROM for Android was cooking, with some even going so far as thinking it could be a CyanogenMod smartphone. Well, today the first stage of the Nemesis project has finally been unveiled – meet Focal, a brand new camera app that will replace the existing application in upcoming CM releases.
Focal is an attempt to bring a feature-rich camera app to stock Android. Once you fire it up, you’re greeted with a minimal UI with only a shutter button visible, which you’ll be able to keep pressed to take shots in quick succession, even on older devices without fast shutter cameras. Manually touching and swiping on a part of the screen will enable manual focus selection.
Swiping up on the shutter button will let you choose from a number of shooting modes, including normal photo, video, panorama, front facing cam, and also PicSphere, which is CM’s answer to Google’s Nexus-only Photo Sphere feature. Swiping from the left of the display opens a settings menu, which is where you’ll find the plethora of image options and tweaks CM has coded into the new app.
There’s an enhanced software HDR mode, higher resolution panorama, the option to change ISO settings, color effects, exposure, set a timer and more in this sidebar, and pressing either option will add a widget to the screen. Several widgets can be on-screen at the same time, so you don’t have to go digging into the menus to adjust various settings, making it far more convenient than it currently is on CM or custom manufacturer camera apps. Developers building CM for a particular device will be able to configure the settings presented in the menu, with the option to remove or add new features according to the hardware they’re working on.
With Nemesis, CyanogenMod is looking to improve on features that have been lacking in the past, and since the stock Android camera app has pretty much been stagnant compared to how far manufacturers have taken their own implementations, it isn’t surprising that its re-imagining forms phase one of this ambitious project. Focal is still under testing, but if everything goes according to plan, we could be seeing it in CM builds as early as next week, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it to try it out.
What’s next in Nemesis? Well, we’ll just have to wait and see where CyanogenMod takes it, but in the meantime, be sure to take a peep at the source links to get a complete rundown on Focal and watch the intro video below.