Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu writes in today’s note to clients that Apple is working on a “notable upgrade” to its stock Camera and Photos apps which come included with the iOS mobile operating system powering iPhones, iPads and iPods.

This isn’t terribly surprising given that “notable upgrades” are presumably needed to enable new photo and video sharing functionalities recently mentioned by more credible sources.

I guess Wu’s a regular reader of the Wall Street Journal newspaper, which reported last month that iOS 6 will bring the ability to synchronize video clips across devices through iCloud, as well as share sets of photos with other iCloud users and comment on them…

As you know, iCloud in its current incarnation syncs only photos and stock Camera and Photos apps offer only bare-bone features.

According to AppleInsider, which relayed Wu’s note to clients, the analyst “speculated that the changes would make it less necessary for iPhone users to rely on third-party applications like Instagram”.

As for iOS Photos and Camera apps, Apple CEO Tim Cook said at this week’s D10 conference that Apple had no interest in buying Instagram, which was acquired by Facebook for $1 billion in April.

With Facebook now reportedly shopping for a video sharing service, the new Facebook Camera app now on the App Store and ongoing talk of a Facebook phone project, Apple clearly must double down on its social strategy and improve upon iOS feature set.

It would be nice, for starters, to have deep Facebook integration in iOS 6 so we could post photos to Facebook directly from the Photos or Camera app.

I’m also keeping my fingers crossed for a major Photos overhaul. It’s seriously lacking in the editing department, offering only basic features to touch up your snaps.

And don’t get me started on the messed up album management on the device, lack of per-image options for Photo Stream, the inability to take snaps at a lower resolution and so forth.

There’s really no excuse to leave out those simple yet sought-after features.

What’s your wish list for the Camera and Photos apps in iOS 6?