Former Google Senior Vice President Says Android Cameras Are 'Years Behind' iPhone

Former Google Senior Vice President Says Android Cameras Are 'Years Behind' iPhone

In perhaps an unexpected move, a former senior vice president at Google has said that Android cameras are "years behind" the iPhone.

Former Google Senior Vice President, Social Vic Gundotra recently made a Facebook post in which he commended his iPhone 7 Plus' camera, saying: "The end of the DSLR for most people has already arrived." When a commenter mentioned that the Samsung S8 camera was superior, Gundotra disagreed, saying he would "never use an Android phone for photos." He went on further, noting that his issue was not with the hardware, but with the relationship with Google:

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.

It's certainly a surprising sentiment to hear from someone who used to be so high up at Google, though complaints of fragmentation and the like have long plagued Android. As mobile phones continue to become important photography tools, it'll be interesting to see if and how Google addresses this. 

[via 9 to 5 Mac]

Posted In: 
Log in or register to post comments

7 Comments

Notice also "former" 😉

The Pixel and HTC U11 and Galaxy S8 have come a long way from what he probably saw...

Lane Shurtleff's picture

From his wikipedia page "On 24 April 2014, Gundotra announced his resignation from Google after almost 7 years"
YEAH he's out of the loop big time. While some of his analogies are a little off, just because Crapple can control the hardware AND software implementation, doesn't mean outside vendors are "years behind" in designing software for Android. ONLY GOOGLE is behind in doing anything good with Android, not the 3rd party vendors. iPhones can do a relatively decent job in most situations, but trying to adjust or override it's own stupid algorithms to fix backlighting etc are a PITA.

Daniel Lee's picture

iPhone 7 and S8+ user here. The S8+ camera is indeed better, but only marginally so. I guess this means that Samsung is ahead by years to stay so close?

Paulo Macedo's picture

This has to be a joke! Since when? I remember when my phone came out on par with the iPhony 5S, mine already had .DNG files lol Since when is crapple ahead? This is just another article to praise crapple, like sony cameras articles some of them are irrelevant and add nothing besides praising..

Michael B. Stuart's picture

Vic seems like a really nice guy, but his opinions on photos, cameras, and the quality of them begs some serious questioning:
Photos posted by Gundotra on Google+
https://plus.google.com/photos/photo/107117483540235115863/6287927179483...
https://plus.google.com/+VicGundotra/posts/UWzw8qCMNKx
As much as I love the convenience of a cell phone camera, if I care about capturing it, I want my DSLR.

joe o sullivan's picture

"If you truly care about great photography, you own an iPhone." There's just so much wrong with this sentence..

You'll probably have a DSLR if you care about 'great' photography.

Any sentence that starts with "If you truly care " is attempted manipulation, suggesting if you don't own an iPhone you don't care about photography. It sounds like those Facebook posts that go something like:"click like in 5 seconds or your family will die".

I really hate Apple, now I really hate this guy too..

Stas Aleksandersson's picture

I love apple but hate butt licking posts about it. Who cares about cellphone cameras really? 🙄