Here’s What’s New with Chrome OS’ Pre-Installed Webcam App

Chrome OS has a webcam app known as “Camera” that comes pre-installed on any device that ships with the operating system. And you know what? It’s actually pretty good. It’s not the most complex app out there, but it has quite a few features lurking underneath the surface that should please most casual users. The app is primarily useful for taking selfies, but with its varied selection of filters joined by useful timer and multi-shot options, it’s actually really good at it. The app has evolved over time, so here’s a look at Chrome OS’s default Camera app as it currently stands.

This is how the Chrome OS Camera app looks when you fire it up now.

ChromeOSCamera-Standard

There’s a red camera button at the bottom center, filters accessible in the bottom left, and a gallery accessible in the bottom right. It’s all provided in a clean interface that maximizes what’s being captured on camera. This is a substantial improvement over the previous version. For the sake of comparison, this is how the old app used to look.

ChromeOSCamera-Old

Notice how a list of filters are provided on the left side of the screen in the old version of the app. Now filters appear along the bottom. A live preview of the effect is displayed right above the name, so you don’t have to click on it to get an idea of what it does. The active effect applies to the large screen, and after you take your shot, a cute animation of a photograph pops onto the center of the screen.

ChromeOSCamera-Filters

Next to the main camera button, there are two icons. The first is a timer. Click it to have the app give you roughly three seconds to get into position before it takes a picture. Each second is marked by a clear beep. The next icon enables multi-shot. If you toggle this icon, the app will take three pictures in rapid succession, stacking each photo in the middle of the screen so that you briefly see how the last photo turned out before posing for the next. The timer option and multi-shot one can work at the same time in case you need a moment before the multiple shots start coming in.

Once your photos are taken, the icon in the bottom right will take you to the gallery where you can view all of your work. Here you can delete what you don’t want or save the good stuff to local storage where you can move it or share it with whomever you want. There’s also a print button in case you want to hold a physical copy in your hands.

ChromeOSCamera-Gallery

Google’s Camera app isn’t complex, but that’s much of the appeal of a Chromebook. What’s there is simple and intuitive. However, if you need extra functionality, that may be difficult to come by. If you don’t already own a Chromebook, consider the limitations before making a purchase. But if you do already own one, go ahead and fire up the webcam app. You’re in for a treat.