In some Facebook postings over the weekend, Vic Gundotra shared his opinion about the state of smartphone photography and it is sure to rankle Android fans. Gundotra, who is mainly credited with the Google+ social network although he also played a big part in evangelizing Android, opined on the how well smartphones compare to traditional DSLR cameras. In follow-up comments, he praised Apple and said he thinks Android is trailing several years behind.
To understand Gundotra’s position, one has to realize that he is focusing more on the end to end user experience. Since the posting, Android fans have been pointing out things like DxOMark scores that show just how good Android photography hardware is. The problem according to Gundotra is that “the greatest innovation isn’t even happening at the hardware level – it’s happening at the computational photography level.”
Gundotra says Google was “crushing” that space as well a few years ago, but has fallen behind. However, his main issue appears to be the old canard of choice that exists in the Android ecosystem. He posts at one point that,
“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.”
Do you think Gundotra has a valid point?