Convincing Google to allow innovation with underlying hardware to be surfaced to other applications via the appropriate API could take years, he says.

Why does your phone click worse images than iPhone Android to blame says Ex-Google VP
Atom Smartphones Tuesday, August 01, 2017 - 14:19

Apple’s iPhones have always been known for their stunning cameras. In fact, its latest flagship, iPhone 7 and 7 Plus deliver DSLR-like images. And, according to a former Google Executive, the reason why the images on your phone do not match up to that on iPhone is not your handset, but Android.

As per a report on NextBigWhat, Vic Gundotra, who previously headed Google’s mobile efforts, recently posted a picture of his children, taken with his iPhone 7 Plus and went on to praise Apple for its portrait mode.

He took to Facebook to share his thoughts over the ‘end of the DSLR’ and how advanced cameras on the iPhone 7 generate stunning images.

This triggered a debate from photography and smartphone photography enthusiasts on how the death of the DSLR cameras is really here. When a user noted how Samsung S8 does a better job to, Gundotra responded by saying, ‘I would never use an Android phone for photos!’

When asked to elaborate, he said that the reason image quality in these phones is still behind that of iPhone is Android.

“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?” he said.

According to Gundotra, when a 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, which could take years.

He points out that the most of the innovation currently is happening not at the hardware level, but 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,” he adds.

Apple on the other hand, doesn’t have these constraints because they are able to innovate in the underlying hardware and ‘just simply update the software with their latest innovations (like portrait mode) and ship it’.

He ended saying, “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.”

However, while many agreed with him, there still were several who seemed to disagree with Gundotra on this.

One user pointed out that it’s not about Android or iOS but about the dual lens camera and image processing.

“S8 doesn’t have dual lens camera if u see the results in the web comparing iPhone 7plus portrait vs S8 bokeh mode it’s clear that Apple uses depth map with the help of machine learning and it gets better and better... the S8 and pixel uses normal edge detection to blur out the background which is not perfect doesn’t get better on use also you see weird blurred out spots in your photo.. Apple is now using heic format so that it preserves the depth map so that you can later take it to photoshop and do some creative things... this is why Vic is using iPhone as mobile camera,”

Some went on to point out flaws in the picture first posted by Gundotra, while many went on to praise Google Pixel’s camera quality, calling it superior to that of Iphones.

While the debate goes on, what’s definitely true is how much smartphone cameras have evolved over the past few years. And with every brand focusing a lot more on camera-centric phones, the death of the DSLR might just be around.

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