Ultra HDR image capture could soon come to third-party Android apps

Summary

  • Google is working to add Ultra HDR image capture support to the CameraX API, allowing third-party apps to take Ultra HDR pictures on Android 14 devices.
  • The new JPEG_R format will be used for Ultra HDR images, rendering them differently depending on the device’s screen capabilities.
  • The fragmented Android smartphone market makes it difficult for camera app developers to ensure compatibility across all brands, hindering progress in utilizing the full potential of the latest camera APIs.


The plight of any Gen Z-er or millennial that grew up with an Android smartphone is the annoyance of how awful photos and videos look when captured using Snapchat. Heck, this author even remembers the theories other kids had to explain how horrible the quality of some Snaps were. Some of those theories turned out to be true, such as people saying it took a screenshot of the camera’s viewfinder. A trip down memory lane notwithstanding, the Android camera API situation is a mess. Third-party camera apps have had varying levels of difficulty enabling certain features across the spectrum of cameras on Android devices due to lacking API versions and compatibility problems. Android 14 added Ultra HDR support to pictures taken in the default camera app, but it hasn’t been usable by other apps beyond Google Photos. That seems to be changing.

According to Mishaal Rahman, Google is preparing to add Ultra HDR image capture support to the CameraX API. That means that for any third-party apps — like Snapchat — that use the latest API for image capture — unlike Snapchat — they will be able to take Ultra HDR pictures. Those images will be saved not in the widely-used JPEG format, but in JPEG_R. This new format renders images differently depending on if the screen is capable of UltraHDR or

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Reddit’s API changes kill third-party Android apps

On July 1, Reddit has enacted a new API policy that charges exorbitant fees to developers of third-party apps for the website, which is having the effect of shutting down these popular apps, including Reddit is Fun, Sync for Reddit, and more.


Update 7/1: As of today, Reddit has enacted its new API policy and charges, and in turn effectively pulled the plug on countless third-party Reddit apps for Android and other platforms.

As we reported on in June (original coverage below), that includes the shutdown of Sync for Reddit and Reddit is Fun (RIF). The API changes have also killed off Boost for Reddit, BaconReader, and more have all shut down.

There are some apps that will survive the shutdown, such as Relay for Reddit and Now for Reddit. Both of those apps have announced a subscription-based model which will allow the apps to continue. Joey for Reddit is also inexplicably still working, but it may not last. Infinity for Reddit is also moving to a subscription-only model.


As confirmed today, both Sync for Reddit and Reddit is Fun (RIF) will be shutting down on June 30. The popular third-party Reddit apps for Android have amassed millions upon millions of downloads and are especially popular among Reddit’s most active users.

Reddit is Fun (RIF) has been an especially popular choice for Android users, as the app has always been exclusive to the Android platform. It has over 5 million downloads from the Play Store. Meanwhile, Sync for Reddit is also shutting down both its Android and iOS apps.

Reddit’s new paid API, announced last month, has been a death knell to many third-party apps due to the intense costs associated with the API, as well as the changes the API imposed. Under the new rules,

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