The Camera app on your Chromebook is about to get an upgrade.
If you’ve used your Chromebook’s webcam, you’ll notice that it comes with some handy features. Namely, you can use a variety of filters similar to an iPhone in real time as you broadcast yourself. Personally, I don’t’ use the webcam…at all. I have no use for it, as I don’t really feel comfortable doing video chat sessions on Skype or Google Hangouts.
If you also rarely use the webcam, you may not have noticed the cool filters it has. If you want to access the webcam on your Chromebook, just do the following:
- Click on the Launcher icon (bottom-left), or just press the Finder key (magnifying glass on your keyboard).
- Look for the “Camera” app
- Click on it and your webcam will turn on. You’ll see a preview along with different filters you can apply.
The Camera app applies different lighting to make your image clear and sharp automatically. The filters also show a preview without any loading or waiting. It’s all instant.
So, this has been the case for the app since I’ve had a Chromebook. It’s basic. It works. It’s good enough.
However, it’s about to get an upgrade. (But most users probably won’t be able to take advantage of it.)
Google’s representative, François Beaufort, states on his Google+ profile that Chrome OS will now be capable of having multiple cameras.
A multiple camera selector for Chrome OS
What does this mean exactly? It’s where you can plug in additional webcams that you may have lying around via USB, and your Chromebook will give you the option to select between your basic webcam or your external cameras.
Yes, that’s “camera” with an “s.” You can have multiple cameras connected and choose whichever you want.
This isn’t anything spectacular, but I can see it being useful for a few different scenarios.
Who needs more than a webcam?
If you’re a gamer who makes YouTube videos of let’s plays, reviews, walkthroughs, etc., this feature could come in handy. You could record yourself with your Chromebook’s camera or any other fancy one plugged into it while you’re playing the game.
This could take the load off of your gameplay recording computer and let the Chromebook handle it as a secondary device. Besides your face, you can record yourself, your keyboard, or even your mouse. (Yes, people actually record that stuff in competitive play).
It’ll be by your side as a secondary computer as well if you need to look something, check on your stream’s stats, or even function as a stream preview device so you can see if everything’s working right.
Also, you can consider the use of this on tablets as well. With Chrome OS coming to tablets, the use of a camera selector makes sense. Tablets with both front and rear cameras need a selector to allow the user to select between them. Android and iOS both have this function built in as it’s a necessity, so Chrome OS will have to make the same feature available when it hits tablets. Two cameras mean a selector is necessary for the basic hardware, rather than plugging in a USB camera. This actually could be the likely reason for the update.
If Chromebooks ever have multiple cameras, this will fit in nicely.
It’s a nice upgrade for the direction Chromebooks are heading.