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Android to iOS: Day Five and Six - Cameras and Cloud Services

If there's one area where Apple changed the game without really having the apparent technical lead, then that is photography. From the original 2mp camera that graced the first iPhone through to the current camera the iPhone has always punched above its weight, managing to take better pictures than similarly or better equipped cameras.

Both HTC and Nokia have attempted to redress this by releasing phones with cameras that focus on improving low light performance - allowing  you to take shots that would otherwise turn out a dark, grainy mess. HTC have done this by reducing the number and size of the pixels, Nokia by using their PureView technology which includes optical image stabilisation. From an image quality perspective the iPhone has been caught and passed in most comparisons - here's a detailed example with plenty of sample shots.

In the real world, where shots are viewed in isolation I don't think anyone would be disappointed with the images captured by the iPhone. On the other hand if taking photographs is a big piece of your smartphone buying decision you should know that the iPhone has been surpassed.

Feature for feature the iPhone camera app has matched the competition - although HTC promises to have moved the game on with Zoe.

In stark contrast, an area where Apple have not done so well has been in the provision of cloud services. iCloud hasn't had a great reputation for stability or features so far. In the time that I've had my iPhone iCloud has had a lengthy period of downtime affecting both iMessage and FaceTime.

That downtime aside though, I've been relatively happy with iCloud. Safari on my Mac, iPad and iPhone are kept in sync, not just bookmarks but open tabs. Similarly, Reminders and Notes track from one to all others. Its pretty much what Google offers withe Android, Google Drive, G+ and Chrome, but collected under one banner. Oddly Apple doesn't let you back up your text messages to iCloud...

So where are the problems with iCloud that I've been hearing about? A little research shows that its most related to third party apps which use iCloud to sync databases between clients on iOS and OS X, as I don't currently use any of those I've not run into any problems.

Where I have seen problems however, is in Apple Maps. My first real world use of the navigation feature would have sent me some 30 miles south of my destination - on what should have been a three mile journey. Fortunately Google Maps knew where I wanted to go and how to get there. At least Apple has recognised that there is a problem and is working to fix it.

Tomorrow I'll wind up a week as an iPhone user with some thoughts on the overall experience when compared to an Android phone.