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Remap physical camera button to different camera app?


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As the title says.  Is there a way (in the default Android 11) to remap the physical camera button to use a different Camera app vs. the built in one?  I find it nice to just tap that physical button to launch the app and then take pictures.

I looked a bit while I "messed around" with my Pro1-X, but didn't find anywhere.

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I suppose the camera button is connected to the default camera app like it used to be on the Pro1. Problem now is, starting with (stock) Android 11, changing the default camera app is not possible anymore for alleged security reasons. One of the many Android changes over time which artificially limit the versatility and reduce the usability of our phones.

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With the original Pro1 and LOS 18.1, I mostly did use 'Manual Camera' because I like its interface and it also can produce raw (DNG) files (not with the Pro1X, though), in theory giving me more options for post processing including best-of-breed noise reduction. For the Pro1X, I've now found 'ProShot', which not only can output DNGs, but also has an intelligent image optimisation, which, for example, sharpens the (generally weaker) corners more than the centre, producing visibly better default results than I've seen from other apps until now. Unfortunately it has no HDR options and therefore is even worse at low-light. 

Bottom line is, I'll be choosing between the stock app, 'Manual Camera' and 'ProShot' depending on what I want to do (and 'FiLMiC Pro' in case I'd want to get a bit more serious in shooting video), going through the launcher and not relying on the camera button anyway...

Edited by Rob. S.
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Sounds like you know a lot about photo apps and photos in general. What app would you use on the Pro1X for low light images?  I take a very wide ranch of photos (family, scenes, etc.)

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2 minutes ago, Logan said:

Sounds like you know a lot about photo apps and photos in general. What app would you use on the Pro1X for low light images?  I take a very wide ranch of photos (family, scenes, etc.)

(....Personally I would not use any phone for lo light images of anything but still motives. My personal pocketable favourite here is the Rx100III by Sony...)

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@Logan Like @EskeRahn, I usually resort to a "real camera" when I want to get halfway decent photos in low light 😉, but, I guess, for the Pro1X, 'Open Camera' might be a decent starting point for low light, too, if it has to be the phone. There might be special apps which add something like 'night mode' (which may or may not call for a tripod), but I have no experience with those...

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Thank you!  Yeah I'd love to carry a real camera, but right now I already have to carry 2 phones (work and personal), so just no room in general to have one with me.  Maybe I can look for a really slim camera that would fit away nicely in a pocket...

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1 hour ago, Logan said:

Thank you!  Yeah I'd love to carry a real camera, but right now I already have to carry 2 phones (work and personal), so just no room in general to have one with me.  Maybe I can look for a really slim camera that would fit away nicely in a pocket...

(Have a look at the reasonably pocketable Sony RX100 III, I think they are at VII, but photos on IV were marginally worse than III, and have not seen anything that persuaded me that V, VI or VII should give better images in poor light, in the wide end)

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More generally, does this mean (and I've no idea when I'll get my Pro1-X!) that you can't re-map the camera button to do something else?  For example, on my old / current Blackberry Key One I've had the equivalent key mapped to my Hub / Inbox...

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5 minutes ago, 749121 said:

More generally, does this mean (and I've no idea when I'll get my Pro1-X!) that you can't re-map the camera button to do something else?  For example, on my old / current Blackberry Key One I've had the equivalent key mapped to my Hub / Inbox...

With the current stock firmware, that is correct.  You can not.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've actually been very confused by the physical camera button and as a result now rarely use it.

The button doesn't just launch the stock camera app. It both launches the camera app and automatically snaps a photo. Sure, it tries to focus first before snapping, but it's a pain when I click the button by accident and it snaps some junk photograph.

I'm also not entirely sure that it even launches the stock camera app, by the way. When I already have the stock camera app running, it seems to launch a separate instance or separate version of the app that, for instance, displays nothing where the most recent photo in the bottom-left corner should be. (Granted, dispalying the most recent photo doesn't work well in the first place.)

When I already have the camera app open, the button can be useful to snap a photo with precision because it only snaps the photo when I let go of the button. However, given the risk that pressing the button will relaunch the camera app and thus delay my shot, I have come to avoid using the button even for that.

I will say that the physical camera button is far more stable than the Android feature of double-pressing the power button to launch the camera app. I had to turn off that feature since it quite literally made the entire operating system freeze/hang.

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8 hours ago, JECE said:

I've actually been very confused by the physical camera button and as a result now rarely use it.

The button doesn't just launch the stock camera app. It both launches the camera app and automatically snaps a photo. Sure, it tries to focus first before snapping, but it's a pain when I click the button by accident and it snaps some junk photograph.

I'm also not entirely sure that it even launches the stock camera app, by the way. When I already have the stock camera app running, it seems to launch a separate instance or separate version of the app that, for instance, displays nothing where the most recent photo in the bottom-left corner should be. (Granted, dispalying the most recent photo doesn't work well in the first place.)

When I already have the camera app open, the button can be useful to snap a photo with precision because it only snaps the photo when I let go of the button. However, given the risk that pressing the button will relaunch the camera app and thus delay my shot, I have come to avoid using the button even for that.

I will say that the physical camera button is far more stable than the Android feature of double-pressing the power button to launch the camera app. I had to turn off that feature since it quite literally made the entire operating system freeze/hang.

The missing preview is because it also works from the lock-screen, where you for security reasons are not allowed to access recent photos. But indeed the auto-shoot does not seem like a very good idea, in theory it could catch a moment fast, but in practise very likely to take useless photos out of focus. Had there been an option I would turn this feature off.

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1 hour ago, EskeRahn said:

The missing preview is because it also works from the lock-screen, where you for security reasons are not allowed to access recent photos.

I thought about that, but it just doesn't seem to handle that security issue very cleanly. Relaunching the camera app seems to affect the camera settings that I have been using, and it's not necessary when the phone is already unlocked.

1 hour ago, EskeRahn said:

But indeed the auto-shoot does not seem like a very good idea, in theory it could catch a moment fast, but in practise very likely to take useless photos out of focus. Had there been an option I would turn this feature off.

I would turn it off too, but I don't see that option.

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While there probably is no possibility to change the application invoked by the special camera button, it _is_ possible to have another camera application invoked after double-clicking of the power button. So as of now, I have the option of either starting the default camera or the alternative (in particular, I chose Open Camera). If I remember correctly, I had to deactivate the default camera application (Snapdragon Camera) temporarily (that caused the dedicated camera button not to do anything), then I could map the power button double-click to Open Camera and after reactivating Snapdragon Camera it started to work as described above.

My two main complaints against the Snapdragon Camera were:

1) It allows you to select an SD card as target for taken pictures, but it doesn't do _anything_ then (everything seems to be OK, one can hear the camera sound, except that the picture isn't stored anywhere). There may be additional dependencies (possibly the fact that I selected that I want to be able to take my SD card elsewhere when inserting it?), but that's what I got. Open Camera works OK with the same SD card.

2) It may be just me, but trying to get the application selector button (i.e. the square) displayed (e.g. to leave and/or close the application) while the Snapdragon Camera is running very often results with either selecting the other camera, or taking a picture.

On top of that, Open Camera provides some additional features not available with the Snapdragon Camera .

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On 8/20/2022 at 8:12 AM, Rob. S. said:

Problem now is, starting with (stock) Android 11, changing the default camera app is not possible anymore for alleged security reasons.

Bummer. I have also used OpenCamera with my Pro1 since day one.

Do you have any information on how not allowing users to set another camera app as default is supposed to be more secure? Did LineageOS 18.1 and 19.1 adopt that "improvement" or can Lineage users still pick whatever camera they want? Might be one more reason for me to camp on 16.0 a little longer ...

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2 hours ago, claude0001 said:

Bummer. I have also used OpenCamera with my Pro1 since day one.

Do you have any information on how not allowing users to set another camera app as default is supposed to be more secure? Did LineageOS 18.1 and 19.1 adopt that "improvement" or can Lineage users still pick whatever camera they want? Might be one more reason for me to camp on 16.0 a little longer ...

Lineage 19 allows you to set a default camera app for a long press of the camera button.  Mine is assigned to open camera.  The short press does nothing.

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4 hours ago, claude0001 said:

Do you have any information on how not allowing users to set another camera app as default is supposed to be more secure? Did LineageOS 18.1 and 19.1 adopt that "improvement" or can Lineage users still pick whatever camera they want?

I think Google wanted to make things easier for them, not wanting to be blamed for or having to deal with dozens of third-party apps' issues when called by any app that uses the camera for some purpose.

LineageOS sadly doesn't change that, either. But LineageOS, as @Hook already reported, does at least allow us to configure a standard app for the dedicated camera button. (Was already true for LOS 18.1, by the way.)

I'm wonder, though, whether it also might have been possible for Fxtec to add such a setting for stock Android. Perhaps someone who's helping them with the stock ROM in the Telegram group might want to ask?

Edited by Rob. S.
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5 hours ago, Hook said:

Lineage 19 allows you to set a default camera app for a long press of the camera button.  Mine is assigned to open camera.  The short press does nothing.

Nice thanks. On LOS 16.0, a half-press (i.e. the first stage of the shutter button) can be used for "Screen peek", i.e. shortly activate the (lock) screen only while the button is held. Does that no longer exist in LOS 18.1+? I find that quite useful for e.g. checking the time.

Of course, as Pro1X has no double-action shutter button anymore, it wouldn't work there anway ...

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If people want to avoid the camerabutton launching the stock camera app AND they want to use a different app (e.g. open camera), a way to avoid accidental launches would be to simply disable the default camera app

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