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Android 4.2: Still "Jelly Bean", But A Beefier Panorama Mode And Other Features For You

Google didn't evolve the project name when incrementing from Android 4.1 (introduced in late June) to the more recent and latest 4.2 release. However, the newest "Jelly Bean" version makes several notable imaging improvements that will be of interest to embedded vision application developers. First off is Photo Sphere, an enhanced version of the traditional panorama mode that I discussed in some detail in early May. Photo Sphere builds on the conventional side-to-side multi-stitching foundation by combining images captured during both horizontal and vertical camera sweeps, generating results that are reminiscent of those you'll see with Google Maps' Street View mode. It's not a stretch, I'd even suggest, to imagine the company merging its own 360-degree captured images in the future with those which it has 'crowdsurfed' from users of various Google services, fed by Photo Sphere and other sources.

Android 4.2 also adds HDR (high dynamic range) multi-image exposure merging, a feature which some standalone cameras (not to mention iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 smartphones, along with other iOS-based devices via third-party applications) have supported for some time now. Additionally, it offers several scene-tailored capture modes such as "party" and "night", tailored for particular lighting, motion and desired depth-of-field combinations. For more information on Android 4.2, please see the following additional coverage: