Google is rolling out the latest update to its Android camera app. The update allows users with Android Wear devices to use them to remotely trigger the camera to take a picture.
Google has been making an effort to come up with more uses for Android Wear devices, which largely consist of smartwatches made to run on the Google Now-based platform. The latest effort to get users to see Android Wear watches as a valuable accessory is a bit of an odd one however.
When opening the camera app on an Android phone or tablet, an accompanying card will appear on the watch screen. Users can tap this card to start a countdown timer, which will instruct the phone to snap a photo in three seconds. Unfortunately the watch will not serve as a viewfinder, so users must carefully set up the photo beforehand. However, once the photo is taken, it will appear on the watch screen. This allows the user to determine whether there is a problem with the photo and decide whether or not to take another one.
The Android Wear functionality will only work with the Google Camera app, since it has been modified specifically to support Android Wear devices. Other popular camera apps may try to add the function in the future if it proves to be something users want.
The camera update also includes improvements to the panorama function. Users now line up large bold circles to ensure that each picture is properly aligned with the previous one. The Photo Sphere feature, which allows users to capture 360 degree views of the environment, has also been updated. The new interface attempts to make the function easier to use by providing a clearer representation of where the camera needs to be pointed to properly align the pictures.
An in-app help interface has also been added to the app. Google is also adding help features to other app, reducing the need for users to open the help website with a browser to receive support information. The update is already available on some devices, and will continue rolling out over the next few days. It is unclear when the update will be available on all Android devices.