A long drawn question on which is better for photography- Apple iPhone or an Android phone, has been answered. A former Google Vice President, who once said that Android is a better option than Apple because it is open-source, now thinks otherwise. Three years after leaving Google as the VP, Vic Gundotra said that one of the biggest problems of Android (today) is that it is open-source. This comment was mainly directed towards differentiating the quality of pictures taken by an Apple iPhone and a flagship Android smartphone. Gundotra is an ex-Googler responsible for leading the tech giant into the social world with Google+ recently took to Facebook and said,”If you truly care about great photography, you own an iPhone. If you don’t mind being a few years behind, buy an Android.” Gundotra is astonished by the iPhone 7 plus and its new feature of Portrait Mode.
The iPhone 7 Plus has a dual-camera setup – 12-megapixel + 12-megapixel — on the rear wherein one is a wide-angle lens while the other is a telephoto lens. The iPhone 7 Plus with its twin cameras can take pretty impressive photos with shallow depth of field. However, the feature was not always so good. Initially, during its launch in beta, the Portrait Mode struggled to make a mark on the consumers. Later, with time it has grown better and is currently the best camera phone on the market. The portrait mode is heavily based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) photography.
Gundotra himself took pictures of his kids using his iPhone without using the flash. After sharing the pictures of Facebook he wrote,”The end of the DSLR for most people has already arrived. I left my professional camera at home and took these shots at dinner with my iPhone 7 using computational photography (portrait mode as Apple calls it). Hard not to call these results (in a restaurant, taken on a mobile phone with no flash) stunning. Great job Apple.”
On his Facebook post, Gundotra said that the primary reason why all Android phones basically suck at photography is because they run Android, and Android as an operating system is quite fragmented.
Here is how Vic Gundotra, the former Google VP explained his point:
“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? 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.”