Google Nexus 7 hack unlocks high-definition video recording

The Google Nexus 7 can now shoot video in 720p on its front-facing camera thanks to a sneaky mod from a user at XDA Developers.

The excellent Google Nexus 7 tablet might not have a powerful rear camera like many of its tablet chums, but it's packing a 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera -- and thanks to some sneaky hacking from the chicks and chaps at the XDA Developers forum, it's now able to shoot video in 720p.

The front-facing camera on the Nexus 7 is only really in place for video calling, using programs like Skype or Google Hangouts, but it was quickly tampered with by Android boffins to let you record video to the tablet.

XDA Developers user Hillbeast gave the camera the final push to 720p quality, PocketNow spotted, stating, "It's not a limitation of hardware... rather it's just Google didn't add the media profile for 720p to tell it how to use 720p."

Hillbeast also gives information about how exactly to unlock this high-quality treat on your own slate, so head over to the forum if you fancy it. You'll need to refer to our guide to rooting your Nexus 7 . As always though, be very careful when rooting your device and using hacks such as these -- if you do things wrong you could very well damage it beyond repair and CNET UK takes no responsibility for any harm you might cause by following the given steps.

That said, the camera is still pointing to frontwards, so the only thing you're going to be able to film -- while seeing what you're pointing at -- is your own face. You can turn it round to film your family, friends and pets, but you'll have to vaguely guess at what you're capturing, so I don't expect any dramatic art-house films to be created on the Nexus 7.

While most of you probably aren't too fussed about these kinds of hacks, there will undoubtedly be a few who want to squeeze every available pixel from the camera. If you're not bothered, you can sit back and play with all the other gems the Nexus 7 has to offer, such as the latest Jelly Bean software and its Google Now feature, that high-definition screen and a really powerful quad-core processor. All for the super-cheap price of £159.

What do you make of these Android mods? Are you interested in diving into the source code or would you rather just use the tablet as the manufacturer intended? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below or over on our Facebook page.

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About the author

Andrew is a senior editor at CNET and has always been fascinated by tech. When not getting up close and personal with the latest phones, he can normally be found with his camera in hand, behind his drums or eating his stash of home-cooked food. Sometimes all at once.

 

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