Moto X

Motorola Update Camera Application Adding Manual Exposure

May 20, 2015 - Written By David Steele

Motorola has now released two Moto X devices. Each Moto X is a flagship device with a difference; both models eschewed the usual flagship stance of stuffing itself with the latest and greatest hardware components and instead biased themselves more towards functionality. The Moto X models came with some truly innovative and elegantly beautiful software features, such as the display briefly lighting up to show notifications and the device having voice control even when locked. Whilst the second generation Moto X was perhaps closer aligned with a conventional flagship device compared with the first, both Moto X models have two weaknesses in their specification list. One is the battery capacity and the second is the camera. Today’s news concerns the camera.

One of the trends we’ve witnessed in the Android world over the last couple of years is device manufacturers releasing their own custom applications into the Google Play Store to allow customers to easily update and add in additional functions and features. The advantage to this process is that it means a customer does not wait until the next device software upgrade before benefiting from new features that are otherwise ready for the device in question. The manufacturer benefits from being able to roll out updates and bug fixes to customers using a far more direct route other than waiting for the carrier’s software team to test and subsequently approve a software update. Another important advantage to the manufacturer is that they don’t need to support the file download process or host the APKs, instead this is handled by the Google Play Store.

Motorola are one of the manufacturers adopting this practice of including their custom, bundled applications into the Play Store. We’ve seen updates to a number of Motorola applications designed to improve how the device works: for example, when Motorola released the 2014 Moto X, they (essentially) back ported several of the new features to the 2013 Moto X and Moto G via updated applications on the Google Play Store. This is a clean, simple and effective way to keep older devices more up to date than waiting for the software update, which in the case of the 2013 Moto X, took a considerable time before Android Lollipop was ready for the device.

With this in mind, Motorola has today released an update to the Motorola Camera application with some new features, including manual exposure control rather than the customer always reliant on Motorola’s automatic exposure control algorithms. Motorola have used an easy way to adjust the exposure and the control system is somewhat similar to Google’s SnapSeed image editor. When the camera is in the tap-to-focus mode, simply drag the slider on the screen left or right to add or remove light by changing the exposure. In addition to including manual exposure settings, Motorola has also fixed a number of bugs in the camera application, which is always welcome.