If you’re a Nexus 5X owner, you may have noticed issues with the smartphone’s camera in some third-party apps.
In a recent Reddit thread, a Google engineer explained that the orientation of the Nexus 5X’s image sensor is different from most smartphones. Because of this, apps using Google’s old camera API result in the viewfinder’s preview being flipped upside down.
“Image sensors on a compliant Android device can be mounted in one of two ways,” writes Eino-Ville Talvala, the tech lead for Android’s camera framework, on Reddit.
“Most devices use one way, so a lot of camera apps have never been tested on devices that pick the other way.”
The Nexus 6 also suffered from this strange camera sensor quirk, although the problem was less noticeable because it was only present in the smartphone’s front-facing camera.
“Far fewer apps support the front-facing camera than the back-facing one, so it was less of an issue than it is for Nexus 5X,” said Talvala.
While some have been quick to condemn the Nexus 5X’s camera because of this issue, most people won’t notice the problem. Popular apps like Instagram, Flickr and Snapchat work exactly how you would expect. The issue begins to pop up when an app hasn’t been recently updated and is still relying on Google’s outdated camera API. Most people are reporting problems with banking-related apps and QR barcode scanners.
Google says it’s encouraging developers to update their apps to support the latest Android camera API in order to insure the Nexus 5X’s camera issue is resolved quickly.
The Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P’s front-facing camera is a significant improvement over what was featured in past Nexus devices, particularly when it comes to low-light performance.
Related reading: Nexus 5X review: A worthy successor to the Nexus 5