It’s become quite common for Google to update many of its first party Android apps on Wednesdays. While today isn’t exactly a large-scale Update Wednesday like we’ve seen in the past, Google has just launched a couple of extremely tasty treats for Android users everywhere.
Chrome Remote Desktop for Mobile
First, we have Chrome Remote Desktop for Mobile. For those who may recall, Google launched Chrome Remote Desktop a few years ago for its desktop browsers. This allows users who have the appropriate web store app installed to access their primary computers from anywhere in the world, all courtesy of the Google Cloud.
Bringing Chrome Remote Desktop support to mobile has been in the works for quite some time now, and today Google has officially released it into the wild. In order to get it working on your own device, install the web store app. Then, simply login from the Android app, select the computer you wish to access, and you should be good to go.
Next up, we have Google Camera. Though technically not an entirely new app, this is the first time that the Google Camera app has been available in the Play Store. And surprisingly, the app is available to install on all smartphones and tablets running Android 4.4 KitKat—not just Nexus and Google Play edition devices.
In addition to the new distribution method, today’s update packs quite a bit of added functionality. For starters, Google Camera version 2.1.037 can simulate depth-of-field blur (i.e. bokeh) on all devices. In addition, Google Camera now also allows users to “change focus” after a shot has been taken.
Both of these features are similar to what the HTC One M8 offers with the Duo Camera System, but with a few differences. The HTC Duo Camera System, which had its APIs released earlier today, generates depth data through the use of two cameras. Google’s solution instead uses software to pick out visual features by using Structure-from-Motion and bundle adjustment algorithms. Then, Multi-View Stereo algorithms compute the depth data for each pixel. Finally, this depth mask is used to simulate the large-lens, shallow depth-of-field look typically seen in DSLR cameras. And for those wondering, depth data and this bokeh effect are applied at differing levels based on subject distance, as to more accurately simulate the optic effect. In addition to the new features, today’s update also brings a nice UI revamp, higher resolution panorama mode, and an icon to indicate that you must shift to landscape orientation when taking a video.
To get started, simply head over to the Google Play Store listings for the Google Camera app update and Chrome Remote Desktop for Android. You can also learn more by visiting the official Chrome Remote Desktop for Mobile and Google Camera blog posts. And for those living in regions without Play Store access, we’ve gone ahead and mirrored the APKs on our DevHost account:
What do you think of these new apps? Give them a download, play around with them, and then let us know in the comments below!_________
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