We haven’t seen a ton of new features rolling out for the Chromebook camera lately. With the current state of cameras on Chromebooks, you can’t really blame the developers for not focusing in on this feature. Cameras across the board for Chrome OS laptops, detachables and convertibles are pretty lame with only a few standout performers. Devices like the Samsung Chromebook Plus V2 and Pixel Slate have better-than-average shooters, but they still aren’t something you really would want to use.
While I’m not 100% saying that the Lenovo Chromebook Duet’s camera will be great, it at least has a few things on paper that set it apart from most other Chromebook cameras. For one, the rear shooter is 8MP – a big step up from most of the 720p or 1080p webcams we get on most Chrome OS devices – and it actually has auto-focus. In a world where most people carry around very capable, very robust cameras in their pockets every single day, none of this sounds stellar. I get that and, again, I don’t want to claim that the Duet’s camera will be much better in use than what’s come before. But at least having a good resolution and auto-focus might make it usable in a pinch.
With a camera like that in a small, light, one-handed device like the Lenovo Duet, small additions to the camera functionality will actually be useful. What we’re tracking being added to the Chrome OS camera is one of those features.
[CCA] Press volume button to start shutter.
Set CCA window can consume volume button. Add new mojo API monitoring tablet mode state. Trigger camera shutter when CCA window receive volume button event in tablet mode.
Phones generally have the ability to use the volume rocker as a hard capture button as do iPads and in many situations, this functionality is extremely helpful. For phones, it comes in most handy for those times when your grip is just right for the photo, but not angled where you can hit the on-screen shutter button. For devices like the iPad, it is even more helpful as the size of the device makes hitting the on-screen shutter that much harder in certain situations.
Soon, you’ll be able to snag your photo with just a push of the volume rocker on your Chromebook tablet or convertible as well. While shooting photos hasn’t been something I’ve done very often with most Chrome OS devices due to crummy cameras or heavy devices, the Lenovo Chromebook Duet is a very, very different animal. I don’t see it taking the place of anyone’s phone, but I can definitely see users wanting to snag a quick photo unlike they’ve ever done with any Chrome OS device before. With a thin, light, one-handed device like this, behaviors around how we’ll use this Chrome OS machine will differ very much from what we’ve all been used to, and this new camera feature will go a long way towards making the photography part of that equation a lot easier.