Nexus 7 camera can record in 720p with simple hack

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]
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Aaron Orquia

Aaron Orquia is an associate editor at Pocketables. He has been using Android and Linux since he bought his first computer years ago, and his interest in technology, software, and tweaking both to work just right has only grown stronger since then. His current gadgets include a OnePlus One, a Pebble smartwatch, and an Acer C720 Chromebook.

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13 thoughts on “Nexus 7 camera can record in 720p with simple hack

  • September 10, 2012 at 1:56 pm
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    What would be a practical use of a front facing camera in 720p? I mean I almost never use mine anyways, why would I need HD? Just a question, if anyone can come up with a good use I am open to changing my mind.

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    • September 10, 2012 at 2:19 pm
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      I’m not sure, but clearly someone wanted 720p recording out of their front camera.

      Reply
    • September 10, 2012 at 2:37 pm
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      So that the people you video chat with can admire all the details of our faces lol.

      Reply
  • September 10, 2012 at 2:57 pm
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    Instagram uses the FFC!!

    Reply
  • September 10, 2012 at 3:52 pm
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    It is easy why people want to hack the front facing camera.
    It is the only camera it has! There is no back facing camera, so you hack whatever you got and use it. Simple.

    Reply
  • September 10, 2012 at 3:55 pm
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    I rarely use the camera on any of my tablets, but my daughters love to play with them. I’m sure if I had a Nexus 7 I’d root and enable this hack.

    Reply
  • September 10, 2012 at 4:23 pm
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    Why did Googl think no one would want to scan and upload docs? I think they were saving money not having a rear camera.

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    • September 10, 2012 at 7:35 pm
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      Cut costs in productions, make it more affordable.
      Plus, most people have a phone to take pictures. Using a tabled (Like the iPad users do at times) in events and such, is stupid. The action is stupid and the person looks stupid.

      Reply
      • September 10, 2012 at 8:51 pm
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        Maybe, when you grow up you will care less for such narrow-mnded imperatives about what looks ‘”cool”.

        Tablets make smart phones an unnecessary expense. A tablet and a good old flip phone will work for many who don’t care to read and work on small screens.

        Reply
        • September 11, 2012 at 7:44 am
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          I wouldn’t say that it makes a smart phone unnecessary, after all a smart phone is way more handy than a tablet, smaller , does the same job if not more. but I rear camera would make it the nexus a lot more useful, there is so much more we do with camera’s now a days that it’s a bit of a draw back that it doesn’t have one. (scanning documents & QR codes etc.) I will say though it does look funny to watch someone take a picture with a 7 inch tablet though.

          Reply
  • September 11, 2012 at 2:51 am
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    Thank you for reporting this information. Cool and easy.

    Reply
  • September 11, 2012 at 8:48 am
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    Film some stuff, put it on YouTube, who knows? That’s a rad find though!

    Reply
  • September 11, 2012 at 6:05 pm
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    Thanks for the link! I did this via ES File Explorer. Worked great and it looks fantastic. You can see the difference right away.

    Reply

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