Only a few years ago, Dave Burke remembers, cellphone users were just happy to have a camera at all. But expectations have changed. “If you have a smartphone, people want it to take pictures like a DSLR. Even in one year the quality bar and expectation bar has gone up higher and higher. Internally, ours have too. I think we can do better, and we are.”
As he says this, Burke, Google’s Director of Engineering for Android, is walking through all the changes Google has made to the Nexus 5’s camera in the five weeks since the phone hit the market. The fruits of the Android team’s efforts is Android 4.4.1, the update rolling out over the next few days that is designed to fix the buggy, inconsistent camera on what is otherwise one of the best Android phones on the market.