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October 18, 2011

New Android announcement offers NFC picture-sharing, Galaxy-Nexus phone promises zero shutter lag

The Google-Samsung-Android announcement has just ended in Hong Kong. This was a two-part announcement, of the Android 4.0 (Ice Cream sandwich) operating system, and the Google Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphone.

The new OS and the first phone will offer NFC (near field communications) sharing with Android Beam, just by touching two phones back-to-back you can share items. Pictures are among the many items that can be shared this way. This can be a quick and easy way to share pictures quickly with friends and family or even strangers who ask for their picture to be taken (assuming of course both people have a phone with the same technology).

The OS will feature a revamped picture gallery app, a built-in photo editing app, along with one-touch post-capture sharing to various social media services, a guided panorama feature, along with quick picture taking from the phone's lock screen. The panorama feature was one of just a handful of things that drew an audience applause.

If you are developing photography-related apps, the SDK and more details are already available.

The phone itself (Galaxy Nexus) will have a 5mp camera with 1080p video and it promises zero shutter lag. The live demo showed pretty fast capture, but it was a preset scene with consistent lighting, so we have to wait and see how it performs in real-world scenarios.

Video is 1080p and they showed a trio of real-world footage shot with by the water. It also offers "video snapshots" (take a still picture while it is recording video).

The screen sounds promising for picture sharing, it is a 4.65" Super Amoled 1280x720 HD screen.

The detailed specifications have not been revealed yet, the closest is this tablet at Engadget. It looks like it doesn't have a microSD card slot which may be a deal killer for some.

Post-game show is available right now at TWiT Live.

Why don't the camera manufacturers announce important cameras this way?
At a meta level, it would be nice if the camera manufacturers followed this approach (live webcast for the whole world to see) when launching important new digital cameras or systems. This is 2011, announcement by press release is about as modern as a TELEX!

Coverage at the Tech/Gadget blogs
+ they were live-blogging the announcement at Engadget and Gizmodo
+ hands-on at Engadget
+ hands-on at This Is My Next Verge
+ overview of Android 4.0 at Google;s Mobile blog
+ visual overview of features by Google
+ more/via Techmeme

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