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Tapping the viewfinder or the blue shutter button of the Nexus 4 Android 4.2 camera app brings up the rotating circular control shown in the screenshot. What is it used for? How does it work?

enter image description here

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Pretty sure it's just a focus/centering indicator (green == focused, red == out of focus). – eldarerathis Apr 12 '13 at 17:17
up vote 1 down vote accepted

This is a new feature as of Android 4.2. It serves two purposes:

  1. To focus your camera on what you click on
  2. Long press it and you get a radial menu of different camera settings to change (flash on/off, etc). This is the exact same behavior as if you clicked the icon in the top right corner of your screenshot.
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Just an FYI, you should be able to long press anywhere on the preview pane to bring up the radial menu. You don't have to do it within the focus ring. – bassmadrigal Apr 12 '13 at 20:58

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