Thursday, June 4, 2009

Cupcake's Camera and Widget Improvements

After a few days with the Cupcake update, I'm still discovering new things on my T-Mobile G1. The camera software for example has improved a bit. It hasn't crashed on me since the update which is a good thing considering how unstable it was before. It has also improved the interface by adding a camera icon which acts as a shutter switch for taking pictures. As with the physical camera button, I've found that holding until the camera snaps gives better results than just tapping it since it compensates for the G1's slow shutter speed.

A second icon shows a thumbnail of the most recent picture which has been taken with the camera. Tapping on it leads to a full screen picture overlaid with icons for managing pictures. In other words, it's a simple picture viewer. You can flip through pictures, enlarge them, set them as wallpaper or contact icons, share, and delete them. Menu options include rotation and cropping. Some of these options were already available in the original camera app but they are now better organized and easier to use.

One thing that wasn't available before was the Camcorder application which is exactly what the name implies—a video recording app. I haven't had chance to play around with it but it's nice to know it's there.

I also noticed that the naming convention for pictures taken by the camera has changed. Instead of naming each picture with string of numbers that begins with "124" on my phone, it now names them with a number that is made up of the date and time (down to the second) on the picture was taken.

Another addition that Cupcake brings to Android is better support for widgets that sit on your desktop. As a result, there is finally something interesting besides clocks and search boxes to put on the desktop. I find that the Weather Channel and Twidget Lite (for Twitter) widgets are nice for at a glance information. Of course these widgets do take up a lot of space. It's a good thing Android has a three screen desktop.

No comments: