As you might already be knowing, CyanogenMod will no longer be an open source aftermarket custom ROM for Android. The “great minds” behind it have now decided to get the CM environment to close it for independent developers by gettings its codes licensed. The father (CM) is now up to follow his son’s (MIUI) path. Founded by a few, but nourished by many talented developers of the Android community, one of the most popular AOSP-based ROMs will not be as we have known it for years now.
If you have been using the Android 4.2.3 based CM 10.2 Nightlies for some time, you must be familiar with the new introduced Focal camera app. Since Google’s PhotoSphere camera feature was closed source, the camera app found on all ASOP based ROMs CM, PA and AOKP did not come with it. To cater to this appetite, well-known developer XpLoDWilD came with a new app called Focal Camera that was integrated in the CM 10.2 Nightlies a couple of months back. This camera app, featuring the photosphere similar to those found on Nexus devices, was only available exclusively for CM users so far. However, some dramatic events have took a surprising, a little shocking too, turn and forced the developer to pull out his camera app from CyanogenMod.
If you are curious about the “focal drama” that took place behind the scenes, do not miss to read the interesting episode here. Anyway, the bright side of the thing is that the Focal camera app has now made its way to the Google Play Store and thus it is available for all users now who have a device with Android 4.1 and above.
Focal has a very plain user interface that is pretty similar to the camera app found on stock Android. It is loaded with some most coveted camera features like—
- PicSphere (Photosphere)
- Burst mode, timer mode, scene mode, shutter speed, etc.
- Double tap to quick capture
- Spot metering
This open source camera app also has device specific features that show only on specific devices. Focal is still in beta state and therefore you should not expect perfection from it. I have been using it for a couple of days and based on my experience I can say that it is a promising app that deserves a shot. If you love Photosphere and HDR, you’ll surely love it.