Former Google senior vice president of Social, Vic Gundotra, said in a Facebook post that the iPhone 7 has a good enough camera for him to replace his DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) camera.
However, in response to a comment that claimed that Samsung’s Galaxy S8 has an even better camera, Gundotra claimed that, in his opinion, this is not the case — and, most notably, that Android is the problem.
According to Gundotra, the open source nature of Google’s system makes it difficult to innovate both on a hardware and software level simultaneously, as Android needs to be “neutral to all parties.”
“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?” said Gundotra. “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.”
But his comments get even more interesting than that, as the ex-Googler brings Android in direct comparison with Apple’s iPhone — a device long praised for his camera capabilities. Gundotra says that innovation on the hardware level is but one piece of the puzzle, as most of it happens “at the computational photography level.”
In his own words, “Google was crushing this five years ago,” but “recently [it] has fallen back.”
But that doesn’t seem to be a problem for the Cupertino company. “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,” said Gundotra.
The 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.”
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