Camera features added, by Android version
As Android has matured, new camera features have been added. However, that means that some features don't apply to all versions of Android. Here's a look at what was added when, for still photography. This list doesn't cover video. Also, not all apps will use all of the available features on any given release.
I'm going to assume that nobody much cares about versions prior to 2.2 (Froyo). The Android camera facilities in those early releases are pretty limited, and any phone built back then is probably going to have a camera with low resolution.
Android 2.3 (Gingerbread — API level 9)
- Multiple camera support — typically front and back cameras
- Some control over the preview's Frames Per Second rate
- App can read out the approximate focus distance
Android 3.0 (Honeycomb — tablets only — API level 11)
- Textured preview — I don't think I've ever seen this used
Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich — API level 14)
- Selectable focus area or areas
- Continuous focus
- Selectable metering area or areas
- Auto-exposure lock
- Auto-white-balance lock
- Face detection
- Snapshot during video recording
- A broadcast notification is sent to other apps when a picture is taken
Android 4.1 (Jellybean — API level 16)
- App can tell when focus motion starts and stops
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