Former Google exec says Android cameras ‘years behind’ iPhone 7 Plus

If you’re using an Android phone for photos, you’re doing it wrong. That’s the word from Vic Gundotra, who just so happens to be a former Google executive in charge of mobile operations.

In a startling criticism of his former employers on Facebook, the former Google SVP of engineering said Android phone cameras are “a few years behind” the iPhone 7 Plus.

Gundotra was remarking on photos taken using the iPhone 7 Plus Portrait mode and said he “would never use an Android phone for photos!”

Related: Google Pixel

He added in comments (via CNET): “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.”

The rationale Gundotra used was the constraints placed on Android manufacturers due to the open source OS requiring neutrality to all parties.

This makes it harder for manufacturers like Samsung to innovate with the hardware, he says, because “they have to convince Google to allow that innovation to be surfaced to other applications via the appropriate API,” which can take years.

He also praised Apple’s computational photography effects like Portrait, which uses both rear camera lenses to create a bokeh effect with a sharp foreground and defocussed background.

“Apple doesn’t have all these constraints” he adds. “They innovate in the underlying hardware, and just simply update the software with their latest innovations (like portrait mode) and ship it.”

Naturally, Android fans are besieging the comments with claims Gundotra is either wrong or bitter at his former employers.

The comments are certainly controversial, given the critical reception afforded to the cameras on the Google Pixel phones especially.