A wise man once said that the best camera in the world is the one that you have with you, and that has never been more true than it is in 2017.
We take a huge number of photos these days, whether they are of our kids, our loved ones or even just that really awesome breakfast we had this morning. Everything is documented in pictorial form, and that is thanks to the quality and ease of use of the smartphones in our pockets.
In 2017 it really is impossible to choose a smartphone that is capable of taking really bad photos, and if you spend the cash required to get one of the flagship phones, you know you will have the best of the best cameras in your pocket. Unless, according to the former head of Google’s mobile efforts Vic Gundotra, you buy an Android phone.
That’s somewhat surprising thought comes from the man that helped create Google+, used to be the main man when it came to mobile in Google, and also happens to be a big photography guy. According to him, if you really want to take awesome photos on a smartphone, you should probably plump for an iPhone. We kid you not. Hefty quote incoming.
Here is the problem: It’s Android. Android is an open source (mostly) operating system that has to be neutral to all parties. This sounds good until you get into the details. Ever wonder why a Samsung phone has a confused and bewildering array of photo options? Should I use the Samsung Camera? Or the Android Camera? Samsung gallery or Google Photos?
Building on the argument, Gundotra goes on to explain:
It’s because when Samsung innovates with the underlying hardware (like a better camera) they have to convince Google to allow that innovation to be surfaced to other applications via the appropriate API. That can take YEARS.
Also the greatest innovation isn’t even happening at the hardware level — it’s happening at the computational photography level. (Google was crushing this 5 years ago — they had had “auto awesome” that used AI techniques to automatically remove wrinkles, whiten teeth, add vignetting, etc… but recently Google has fallen back).
Apple doesn’t have all these constraints. They innovate in the underlying hardware, and just simply update the software with their latest innovations (like portrait mode) and ship it.
Bottom line: If you truly care about great photography, you own an iPhone. If you don’t mind being a few years behind, buy an Android.
That came following a post on Facebook in which Gundotra shared two portrait photos, taken as you may now expect, with an iPhone 7 Plus. That feature alone can be an iPhone seller, and Android manufacturers have yet to really get to grips with it.
(Source: Vic Gundotra)
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