Hands-On With CyanogenMod Project Nemesis Camera App ‘Focal’; Now Available For Download


If you are keeping a tab on CyanogenMod’s Project Nemesis, you’d likely be alert to the team’s latest developments in building many basic apps and pieces of Android through the ground up. The first factor that recently made its public appearance is Focal, a fresh camera app that CM claims will provide you ‘the right pixel, look, path, spark, and feeling with the right time’. The app may be designed to fill that gap between stock Android and OEM devices. We all know the stock Android camera isn’t as feature-laden as those present in many device manufacturers’ offerings including HTC Sense and Samsung TouchWiz ROMs. Focal aims to fill the void by developing a feature-packed camera app which can be used by anyone owning almost any android device. Read as soon as the jump for our full review.

When looking at the interface of the app, Focal looks simple and easy intuitive, and retains its resemblance towards the stock camera app. That said, there are quite a few changes beneath the hood making it more robust and user-friendly. Upon first launch, Focal gets you familiar with a few basic controls regarding the way it operates. The camera shutter button is positioned where it’s usually present in most camera apps, i.e. at the bottom edge with the screen while in portrait mode. The ring overlay on the center enables you to change focus and will be dragged anywhere inside capture area.

Focal Focal 2

An interesting element about Focal is that when you double-tap the viewfinder, a brand new Quick Capture mode kicks into play, helping you to take pictures no matter where you tap on the screen. In this mode, both the shutter while keeping focused ring automatically disappear through the screen. You can tap the rear button to come out of Quick Capture mode. Press and contain the shutter and are presented with five additional buttons that enable you to switch between front and rear cameras, and select PicSphere, video, panorama (that may now capture full 360 degrees landscapes) or perhaps the default camera mode.

Focal 3

On the camera front, the app features timer and burst mode, neither which are offered within the stock camera. The timer lets you set up a delay after pressing the shutter button, in order to easily capture your own photos by placing your camera on a stable surface. The timer boasts a built-in voice trigger that captures the photo if you say, ‘cheese’ or ‘cid’. The burst mode, conversely, has a bunch of shots in increments of 5, 10, 15, or infinite. Focal boasts an HDR mode, along with CM’s reply to Google+’s auto-awesome to automatically increase your photos.

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One rather startling aspect of Focal’s UI may be the Sidebar (that could be brought up by swiping in the bottom edge once the phone is at landscape mode), and the ability to get a new widgets shown onto it. This sidebar contains buttons for letting you toggle various camera elements including although not limited to LED flash, scene mode, HDR, exposure, ISO, resolution and timer, among other generic settings and controls.

Focal 4

When you tap some control, the pertaining widget immediately pops up, helping you to tinker featuring its available settings. You can also reorder these widgets, or hide them based on your preferences. It’s worth mentioning here that some features and settings provided by Focal could be device-specific, like ISO and resolution.

Focal 5

Although some minor bugs and fixes are still being ironed out, Focal’s first public release works very well overall, and you'll grab it via the XDA link provided below.

Download Focal for Android

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