Category: Reviews

Google Camera now on the play store!

Google Camera
For those who’ve been waiting since ages, Google Camera is finally on the play store for all devices running Android 4.4.x!
Google has made a number of improvements and refinements here, introducing a much cleaner interface “that gets out of your way” with a prominent shutter button. A brand new Lens Blur mode promises to achieve “SLR-like photos” offering a shallow depth of field.
Google says,ย “Lens Blur replaces the need for a large optical system with computer vision algorithms and optimization techniques that are run entirely on the mobile device, simulating a larger lens and aperture in order to creating a 3D model of the world.”. The company also posted details on how the Lens Blur came to be on their ‘Research at Google’ Google+ account.

I’ll present you with the Google Play description of the app and share what I found out from the app.

The Google Play description of the app says:

Google Camera snaps quick and easy photos and videos, and has creative picture modes like Photo Sphere, Lens Blur and Panorama.

  • Photo Spheres for immersive 360ยบ views
  • Lens Blur mode for SLR-like photos with shallow depth of field
  • Panorama mode with high resolution
  • 100% viewfinder for getting the maximum resolution from the sensor (no dropped pixels)
  • Updated UI that gets out of your way and is centered on an extra large capture button
  • Works on phones and tablets running Android 4.4+ KitKat

Let’s compare this with what I saw.Main screenApp menu
When you first start the app, it opens in the expected camera mode. The menu shows 5 different modes. Camera, Video, Lens Blur, PhotoSphere and Panorama! When the first time you start the Lens Blur, Panorama or the Photosphere modes, you’ll be greeted with a short explanation of how to use it. The UI as you can see, follows the Google design guidelines, (Duh! Google App!) and looks very modern. For those who have used the Nexus camera app and Nexus devices might think that this might not be very different, but it is, you’ll again need to get to know the location of all the menus and stuff.

  • The photosphere feature is well known of course to all Nexus users or whoever managed to use the Nexus camera app. So I can’t say there’s any significant improvement here, for good photospheres, you still need a tripod or something.
  • Lens Blur! Frankly, that’s new, and it works reasonably good! If you’re going to Lens Blur a pic of your plate for Instagram, it’s perfect, since the instructions say that it’s best for photos of objects closer than 5 feet. It’ll need a bit more work, but it’s absolutely great, once again, the quality of the lens blur depends on how well the user handles it.

Lens Blur

  • Now there’s something new in the Video mode. On setting video mode, it’ll recommend Panoyou to change turn off auto-rotation lock and then turns the layout to landscape mode itself! If you didn’t listen to the people saying that videos are meant to be shot in landscape mode, now listen to Google!
  • The panorama mode really does take hi-res pics! But then, users of HTC, Sony or Samsung smartphone, or other popular brands like LG and Motorola, they all have already used High resolution panoramas already. So, nothing exciting here, except that the way this app takes panos is new. Perhaps better!
  • Umm, generally all major brands have camera apps with ย a “100% viewfinder for getting the maximum resolution from the sensor (no dropped pixels)”. So I don’t really know what’s special there.
  • For the next part, you can already see how large the capture button is. The app really gets out of your way to let you do your thing. Even though a large capture button is easier to click and all, but it looks… too big? Yeah. Too big. Could have brought that area to better use!
  • And of course, the last part is nothing to brag about, Google knows it’s a limitation and is presenting it that way. (By adding it under “features”. Really?)

Overall, this is one great camera app! Fast, fluid, modern, has a way too big capture button. Everything that you need! And of course! The brand you amazing Lens Blur! Haha! Just kidding, it’s a good app, try it!

Google Camera on the Play Store
The Google Research Blog
The Verge

Captain America: The Winter Soldier viewer review with plot.

Hello everyone!
Today i’m posting a movie review about the stated movie, that I watched a few days ago in 3D, it was my first 3D movie. ๐Ÿ˜›

So, the movie starts with showing off how physically our serum-boosted avenger is as compared to a paratrooper. This paratrooper turns out to be what we know as Falcon from the comics. To me, the guy kinda looked like will smith. But that’s not an issue. Later, the Captain and S.H.I.E.L.D.’s S.T.R.I.K.E. team intercept and rescue hostages from a pirate vessel. Till now, this movie feels enough badass already!cap_am_ws

We’ve seen the captain jump right into water from hundreds of feet up and take down an armada of soldiers stealthily and swiftly. The fact that no one heard jack was a bit weird, but perhaps the ocean was that loud. Or everyone was high. Who knows? Also, till now we see a new entry from the comics, the S.T.R.I.K.E. team. Later in the movie, Director Nick Fury is assualted in the middle of Washington D.C. or I can’t remember what city was it, but, 6 cop cars taking down an SUV in the middle of a major American city that ends up as a hot chase running through the middle of the city as we don’t see ONE DAMN COP. Not one! Odd? Yes. Very. Also, after assuming for the sake of superhero movies that Nick Fury’s SUV was apparently “tank proof”, it has a pretty shitty AI. And for Nick’s escape from the situation, we see some kind of handheld laser burning gizmo which we hear nothing about.

Later Nick turns up at Cap’s apartment, gets shot by the Winter Soldier, who turns out to be Bucky with his memory erased later. Turns out Cap’s cute neighbor was also a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who helped get Nick into the hospital. Nick seemingly dies, so that he can fix shit when he returns cuz thanks to plot conveniences, they used some chemical that reduces heart beat to 1 beat/min.

Cap’n has trust issues, and hides a USB Drive acquired by Black Widow on the ship, handed to Fury and given to Cap’n at his apartment, in a F**KING VENDING MACHINE! Captain America logic, “Oh, so the dying director of S.H.I.E.L.D. gave me this mysterious USB Drive with a S.H.I.E.L.D. logo on it that possibly has super sensitive data about the Winter Soldier and what not? Let’s put it in a vending machine!”, later Cap’n was called into the Triskelion(am I getting the plot timeline right?) where he chit-chats with the S.H.I.E.L.D. official Alexander Pierce who asks for some info on Nick but Cap’n withholds the info, as a results Pierce brands him as a fugitive.

A lot of soldiers surround him inside a lift where the Cap’n beats em all and when the lift has to stop, he simply jumps out the lift into a very conveniently placed and deep pool. Takes away a bike and survives the bullet rain of a S.H.I.E.L.D. jet which shoots as if a Storm Trooper is piloting it. And of course as the plot would demand it, Cap’n takes down a F**KING jet with his shield.

Hunted by the agency, Rogers meets with Romanoff. Using data in the flash drive they discover a secret S.H.I.E.L.D. bunker in New Jersey, where they activate a supercomputer containing the preserved consciousness of Arnim Zola(This guy. He can annoy even from under the grave. -_-). Zola reveals that since S.H.I.E.L.D. was founded after World War II, HYDRA has secretly operated within its ranks, sowing global chaos in the hope that humanity would willingly surrender its freedom in exchange for security. The pair narrowly escape death when a S.H.I.E.L.D. missile destroys the bunker, how do they do it? There was an iron grating, huge one, in the middle of the room near them of course! Because plot convenience! I mean, just over an hour into the movie, you can’t think the Cap’n would die right? Main Character! Duh!

Then Rogers and Romanoff crash at Sam Wilson’s place, who tells them the location where the Falcon ExoSkeleton is. Captain-America-2-Falcon-Movie-Costume-Wings
Of course it’s easy for Cap’n and Natasha to break into anywhere and get it. So they do. Later, Deducing S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Jasper Sitwell is a HYDRA mole, they force(they threw him off a building and Falcon picked him up before he hit the ground. Why? Because you need a good time to show off the expensive CGI powered suit right?) him to divulge that Zola developed a data-mining algorithm that can identify individuals who might become future threats to HYDRA’s plans.

The Insight Helicarriers will sweep the globe, using satellite-guided guns to eliminate these individuals. En route to S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters, Rogers, Romanoff, and Wilson are ambushed by the Winter Soldier and Sitwell is thrown into oncoming traffic. Well, now we know that Bucky was ordered to kill the Cap’n. And in the position they were in, after smashing Sitwell into oncoming traffic, doing the same to Cap’n would take hardly 10 more seconds, but no! “Let’s fight him for half an hour that would potentially damage my metal arm and perhaps they might even escape!” Because, plot convenience! During the fight, Rogers recognizes the Winter Soldier as Bucky Barnes, his World War II comrade, before being captured by S.H.I.E.L.D. Ok, I would go with Cap’n not being able to recognize Bucky, the new look of the same old guy was damn! Before the movie I knew who the Winter Soldier was, but even I couldn’t recognize him with the mask! Also, the Cap’n gets beaten to a pulp! Also, at one time, Bucky who was shooting his enemies in an instant, took 10 seconds to shoot Romanoff which was enough to the Cap’n to intervene.

Hill rescues them and leads them to a safehouse where Fury, who had faked his death, is waiting with plans to sabotage the Helicarriers by replacing their controller chips. After members of the World Security Council arrive for the Helicarriers’ launch, Rogers reveals HYDRA’s plot to everyone at the Triskelion. Romanoff, disguised as one of the Council members, disarms Pierce. Fury arrives and forces Pierce to unlock access to S.H.I.E.L.D’s database so Romanoff can expose HYDRA by leaking classified information. This was one hell of a scene! Also, we hear that Romanoff puts alll of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s information, including Pierce’s, on the web. If I was doing the job, I think uploading all the files on Dropbox and Sharing a link to Facebook, Twitter and Google+ would do!

At one point here, Pierce activates some button that causes the badges given to all S.H.I.E.L.D. alpha members severely electrocutes them, hence killing them, but it doesn’t activate that on Romanoff. Also, when it does, the electric shock seems to be much less severe on Romanoff. What? Pikachu used Thunderbolt! It was not so effective? Later Nick pierces Pierce’s dirty ass. Finally. Meanwhile, Rogers and Wilson storm two Helicarriers and replace the controllers, but the Winter Soldier destroys Wilson’s suit and fights Rogers on the third. Wilson really does some kind of magic with his suit! I mean, it looked better than Iron Man! Hell! So when Bucky broke the wings off, I was disheartened. And before the Captain could replace those chips, he gets shot like 3-5 times or so. Now, some questions arise. Why didn’t buck shoot him in the head? Cuz he shot him 3-5 times anyways, did he cleverly aim so that Cap’n doesn’t die? Also, is the memory erasing machine bullshit? Cuz we know Bucky had his memory erased before entering the movie, and once within the movie, despite that he could remember the Captain after a few hints and a bit of persuasion? Come on! You had only one job Zola! One job!


After that, when Hill takes control of the HeliCarriers, from targeting all the avengers and other important targets dangerous to HYDRA, the Helicarriers target each other and shoot each other down to hell! What a F**KING waste of money man! Good thing Nick appeared dead, else he’d have a f**k load of debt over him. Rogers falls from the Helicarrier as it crashes into the Triskelion, where Wilson fights double agent Rumlow, the S.T.R.I.K.E. team’s leader. Note, Rumlow doesn’t die. -_- I mean, seriously? A HELICARRIER CRASHED INTO YOUR LEVEL FOR GODS SAKES! Neither does Falcon die. How convenient. Rogers lands in the Potomac River and is rescued by the Winter Soldier, again, convenient memory-gain timing, who then disappears. With S.H.I.E.L.D. in disarray, Fury, under the cover of his apparent death, heads to Eastern Europe in pursuit of HYDRA’s remaining cells as Romanoff appears before a Senate subcommittee where she speaks some cheesy lines which didn’t make much sense to me, really. Rogers and Wilson decide to track down the Winter Soldier with information from Romanoff on the Winter Soldier program.

In a mid-credits scene, Baron von Strucker, at a HYDRA lab, proclaims the “age of miracles” has begun as scientists examine an energy-filled scepter(Loki’s scepter?) and two prisoners: one with superhuman speed(that’s Quicksilver), the other with telekinetic powers(Scarlet Witch)(They both happen to be siblings as we know from the comics). In a post-credits scene, the Winter Soldier visits a Captain America exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution. Yeah, it always has to be the Smithsonian…

Other than all of it’s flaws, you should know I am a superhero movie fan and I really enjoyed it! ๐Ÿ˜›

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