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Google releases KitKat 4.4.1 with big camera fixes for Nexus 5

The latest update for the Android KitKat OS introduces new features for the Nexus 5 camera, addressing one of the main criticisms of the handset.
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Written by Liam Tung, Contributor on

Many Android owners are still waiting for KitKat to arrive on their phones, but Google has started rolling out a new version of the OS, Android 4.4.1, to the Nexus 5 and other Nexus devices.

Although 4.4.1 has been available for three Nexus devices since yesterday, the Nexus 5 appears to be the main beneficiary of the update, which brings a more responsive camera to the Nexus 5.

"It improves the camera with faster focusing, especially in low light, faster white balancing, for truer colours, the ability to pinch-zoom the viewfinder in HDR+ mode and less shutter lag," Google announced on Thursday.

The Nexus 5 has received glowing reviews, but the camera failed to impress, with ZDNet reviewers finding it was slow to focus and required good lighting to take decent photos, despite its HDR+ feature. 

As Google explains, the Nexus 5's HDR+ feature is meant to help take better pictures in poor lighting or large contrast conditions by taking a burst of shots and melding them together. The update should improve HDR+ and other features of the camera, according to Google.

The company doesn't mention the update being available for other Nexus devices, however Android specialist site Android Central has posted links to Google servers hosting the update for the Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 (2013, LTE version).

Though many Android OEMs are still only getting around to rolling out Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, KitKat has seen an impressive rise in its share of Android versions on devices, hitting 1.1 percent of all active Android devices within one month of its October 31 release.

The new OS shipped with the Nexus 5 and has so far been rolled out to Google's Nexus phones and tablets, the Google Play Editions of Samsung's Galaxy S4 and HTC's One, and the Moto X in the US.

Further reading about Android KitKat

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