The reason ASUS decided not to include a rear camera in the Nexus 7 might be because Google didn’t think it would be useful on a tablet – or it was simply an attempt to save money. Whatever the reason, though, the Nexus 7 doesn’t include a rear sensor and has only a front facing camera, which I haven’t found to be very good. In fact, Google doesn’t even include a camera app, and the Nexus 7 only allows you to use the camera for video chat, which is usually restricted by bandwidth anyway.
However, if you want a bit more out of your front camera for one reason or another, then XDA user hillibeast has posted a fairly simple hack that allows the camera to record in 720p, instead of the stock 480p. It does require root, but as long as you are already rooted, then it is as simple as editing a few lines in the media_profiles.xml file and installing the Camera.apk. Once this setting is changed, you can then use the front camera on the Nexus for 720p recording, and as a regular camera with the camera app.
Although I don’t have a particular use for this feature, the before and after videos posted on XDA (along with detailed instructions for applying the tweak) are quite impressive. Clearly, this simple hack increases the camera quality by quite a bit, and might make the front camera on the Nexus a little bit more useful. I’m still not sure what uses the front camera has apart from video chat, but if you win a Nexus 7 in our contest, perhaps you could come up with some of your own.[xda-developers via PocketNow]