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Why Android is my OS of choice in an IOS driven Photography Industry

There is no doubt that Apple and IOS (iPhone and iPad) are the overwhelming choice when it comes to professional and amateurs alike in the photo industry. For a while, it seemed like that was the only choice and if you have anything different, it was surely inferior. Well times have changed...

This image is a screen shot of my Samsung Galaxy Nexus Android phone. Nearly all Android phones give you the ability to not only replace your battery with an extended edition, giving you longer battery life, but also load 3rd party software, ROMs and kernels to help customize and tailor your Android experience. After some tinkering, I am now able to get over 20 hours of battery life on a single charge with my Galaxy Nexus and this is with pretty solid use throughout the day.

As a photographer I can tether my phone to my Canon DSLR's for live view shooting, connect a usb thumb drive or HD to my phone with USB host support and now with Chrome Beta for Android, finally have a FULL web browser experience on a mobile device and not just a watered down mobile version.

Long story short, Android, especially with their latest Operating System ICS (Ice Cream Sandwich), is now a viable option out there on the market for photogs on the move.

Later today I will publish a blog post with 20 must have Android applications that any photographer should have on their device.

#android #galaxynexus
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109 comments
 
What's your screen on time?
 
Now if only more app developers would bring over some of the better apps to Android, then we droidians would be in a perfect world. One can wish.
 
I have an ICS phone and am really looking forward to hearing your must have apps for photographers.
 
I know that I'll be making the "switch" from iOS with my next phone +Colby Brown for all to many reasons to list here.

I've been drooling watching my photographer friends and their Android phones. Its just a matter of waiting for this contract to be over time.
 
I would like to hear more about tethering Canon and Android
 
Surely android gives something...i don't know why everyone prefer iphone, even when other mobiles got more than it has...
 
Pretty much agree with you, Colby. I had every new Android phone since they first appeared on the market, and galaxy Nexus is the best one.

One question though: did you ever had iPhone? I still feel like i need to get my hands on one, just to have that experience and to be able to compare these two different worlds myself.
Jun C
 
Preach on!!! :) And holy crap! 20+ hours? sheesh... that's beast!
 
Thanks, I will keep an eye out for your post later.
 
+Colby Brown I've never seen anyone get 5 hour of screen on time with 21 hours of screen on time. I'm pretty much obsessed with battery life... I just haven't seen it.

What kernel and what UV settings?
Jun C
 
i made the switch from iPhone 3G to Samsung Epic 4G... but decision ever and I don't regret it one bit... there are a few things that I like about the iPhone... but there are a lot more things i like about Android...
would definitely like to hear more about tethering too! and I look forward to that app list...
 
I own an Asus Transformer Prime with Ice Cream Sandwich... and I am more than impressed with his performance and the photos it can take. The amount of Apps out there and the overall feel of the Android Arena .... Loving it.
 
+Colby Brown how are you liking tethering your phone to your camera? Is the app as nice as it looks? </cannonenvy>
 
I'd love to know what tweaks you've made to be able to get 20 hours of solid use out of your GN. Mine won't do nearly that much on a single charge even with only moderate use...
 
+Colby Brown Yes..... I run Codename Android with imo's LeanKernel.

I got 42 hours of battery a while back but that was with only 1.5 hours of screen on. I barely used the phone. I see most people getting 4 hours screen on with maybe 18 hours of usage.
 
+Derek Ross I was playing with CM for a while thanks to some of the members giving me a sneak peak and while I love it, I wanted to experiment. Currently I am running the ICS 4.0.4 leak with Franco's 16.1 Nightly Kernel (3.0.18). I have it set to turn off one core when the screen turns off, which helps a ton. I am not overclocking or under volting just yet. Wanted a baseline first.
 
What app are you using for Live View? I've played w/ Eye-Fi, but am curious about your setup.
 
+Colby Brown I'm using the IX Governor as well. I wasn't aware Franco's Kernel would work on 4.0.4 as it is a leaked stock release and not AOSP +Francisco Franco, correct?
 
I had an iPhone 3G, good phone, but AT&T terrible reception, then I got a DroidX. I love the huge screen. It's average quality though, but the new OLED screen on the Nexus is amazing, compared side by side. As good if not better than the iPhone and it's huge. The iPhone interface is very slick, but the android is much more customizable and improving. Android must upgrade their photo app/ software. Who needs Siri? I already have enough women in my life telling me what to do. Looking forward to better battery life, better photo app on next Android. Yea competition.
 
+Derek Ross - It is meant to only work on 4.0.3 but works perfectly fine on 4.0.4.
 
LOVE my Samsung Galaxy S II (Epic 4G Touch)! I've had it for about 3 weeks and so far have kept it stock. Looking forward to ICS.
 
+Doug Shoop - Good things are coming to Android Photo apps and the experience. I am working with Android on this.
 
SGN is great, ICS is awesome. Too bad camera and lens on SGN is much worse, especially in low light situations, than the i4S camera. And I'm stating this as owner of both those phones, not blindly repeating after others ;)
 
I'll wait for your new post about app, Tomorrow my Galaxy SII will arrive :)
 
+Colby Brown You mentioned turning off one core... h.. ho.. howww?
Is this part of 4.04?? I'm running a rooted Nexus, but still on stock 4.02.
 
+Terry Bailey The stock kernel has this CPU profile, it can do it, however you would need to be rooted and install an app such as SetCPU to do this.

In case you want to do it, the CPU profile +Colby Brown mentioned is called InteractiveX. When the screen turns off, Core #1 turns off.

There is also HotPlug, which is buggy. It turns off Core #1 in the same way that InteractiveX does with the addition of turning off Core #1 when the phone is on and active but not using a whole lot of CPU, such as sending a text message.
 
I am looking forward to your suggestions on the "Must Have Apps". ICS certainly opens up a lot of features that are not available for the older OS's. I am now realizing that my rooted Evo 4G may be a while without a stable ICS. Might need a new phone so that I can unlock some of those features.
 
you might pursuade me not to switch to an iPhone, but we'll see.
 
Amazed to see such a long battery life!but is it after the continuous use of 3G/WiFi?
 
Thanks for the info Colby, can you also provide the mods to the phone? I love my iPhone but have to say the battery life alone is becoming a problem on the 4s. Further, I went to CES/PMA and found out what a toll a crowded market can have on battery life. I was lucky to get 4-hours of life out of the phone and was constantly looking for places to charge. Granted, this is an exception, especially when you look at how much battery must have been used to send just one text (assuming you actually could). This is not an iPhone problem but I would have loved to had a battery that could at least go half-a-day.
 
Teach me how :-) I get about 12... mind you I use 3G mainly which is a power sucking alien.
 
As a fellow droid user that has been resisting a move to the iPhone, this is coming at a great time. I plan on updating my Droid x2 within the month and wanted a viable 4g droid option. can't wait to see the top 20 apps.
 
My 3G Nexus S cant get half of that without using an app like "Easy Battery Saver". Battery life is the worst experience I have with the device.
 
I'm mostly on 3G too because for some reason when I'm on Wifi connected to my home router, it loses connection after awhile. I mean it still says it's connected to the WAP but all apps says no connection :-/
 
I'm using my Nexus S with ICS on it. Don't really see the need for an upgrade yet as is more that powerful enough for my needs. I have noticed carphone warehouse in the UK are selling it for £199 total bargain for a rather slick ICS handset with 16G
 
thanks, +Derek Ross - Im rooted (stock 4.02), have installed SetCPU, and see "Interactive" and "HotPlug"..... but not "InteractiveX"
Is this only for Android 4.04??
 
Not to mention, camera hardware in phones will see its next big boost later this year :) some nice software and its golden.
 
I have tried android and no matter what I cannot get to grips with it, my wife has an android phone and my son a tablet, I have the iPhone and android does not come close to the intuitive nature of the iPhone, for me its just too clumsy and awkward.
 
+Mike Shaw - Not sure what you used, device wise, but the newer ones are very different. Certainly to each their own though. For me, the iphone was to simplified. No customization. No tinkering to make it work for me. It was just what it was.
Jo erg
 
+Mike Shaw try out an Android 4 device - it's completely different (well engineered).
 
+Colby Brown My wife has the HTC Wildfire S and my son a low end tablet (he breaks too much stuff) I have tried to set them up but you seem to have to jump through hoops to get them as you want them. I suppose using the iPhone has made me a little lazy when it comes to things like this but I may look into a top end android phone when my contract ends this year but for tablets I don't think anyone has come close to the iPad yet :)
 
+Mike Shaw - Just wait for my review on the Asus Transformer Prime tablet on Friday. Ipads are great...no doubt. But doesn't hold a candle to what you can do with the Transformer Prime :)
 
"let take a pic with my iphone... oh wait the battery just died"
 
+Alex Georgevitch - My 4G (LTE) Galaxy Nexus is Rooted and Unlocked. I recently installed the leaked ICS 4.0.4 update (I hear this is officially coming relatively soon) and then installed the Franco 16.1 Nightly Custom Kernel that allows me to easily adjust voltages and over-clock (if I wanted). It also has a hot plug that allows me to turn off one of the dual cores when the screen is off so that it doesn't waste needless battery life. XDA-Developers is a great forum to research any or all of this.

+Derek Ross - LTE

+Chris Sewell - It has been great. I haven't tried it since I moved to 4.0.4 but assuming it still works, the Chainfire app is awesome and gets better with every update.

+Alex Koloskov - My wife and I used to be Apple junkies. We both had iphones and ipads until one day I got sick of their limitations and bought an Android Droid X. The rest is history.

Apple does make killer products that obviously people love. But they offer almost no customization, no tinkering and a very useful by dry interface. I love widgets and the fact that just by pressing the power button I can tell the weather, look at emails without going into the application, listen to music from on of my wallpaper screens and get news feeds....all why not being forced to enter and exit every app to get this done.
 
I bought the MyTouch 4G Slide mainly for its camera. It isn't running ICS (yet, still on Gingerbread), but it has a BSI 8MP sensor and the software/hardware combination is amazing. Zero shutter lag, built-in HDR, panorama, night-mode, burst mode of 3 FPS, and a very capable macro mode. I love that the screen can be off and all I need do is a quick touch of the shutter to wake up the camera and snap. I get a day of use, I typically put it on to charge at night when I sleep.
 
The advantage with any open source software is that it's easy to fix, based on user demand. If needed, I could fork a popular software and tailor it to exactly suit my requirements. With the number of people doing this, it's not difficult to find a software that does exactly what you want.
 
+Colby Brown Colby - how are you tethering your android device to your camera? Is this specific to ICS or can Gingerbread do this as well?
Jun C
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+Colby Brown. All the stuff u mentioned regarding emails, weather, etc... is possible on the iPhone too... but, you have to be jailbroken and you have to do a hell of a lot of tinkering and SSHing.. and you also need a lot of technical know-how...
Most people wouldn't bother with it tho... it got really tedious for me since i wanted to customize the look of my iPhone a lot... its so much easier w Android.. unrooted...

And then when u do root... the possibilities are awesome! :)
 
It all depends on taste. I work in the software industry, and spend a ton of time in photoshop, and the last thing I want to do is spend more time tinkering with computers and operating systems. That would cut in to family / friend time or hiking time. So I went with an iphone - I don't feel the need to tweak things. That and Verizon didn't offer an Android phone with 64gb of storage space when I got my 64gb iphone.
 
+Mike Shaw I've always been a hardened iOS fanboy.

Over the past month I've been spending some time with +Mike Spinak and his Android phone... and I'm here to say the jealousy factor is running hot in my blood.
 
+Scott Miller I don't know why its felt that Android has to be tinkered with in order to work well. In a lot of ways I feel it is a lot more efficient, particularly relating to multitasking or sharing between applications

ICS is a big improvement there
 
So I'm pretty new to Canon DSLRs (and serious photography in general)... but are there any apps that would let your Android work as a digital electronic follow-focus? Does ML have a digital electronic follow-focus feature? How about an Android port of ML? Is such a thing even possible?

Eagerly await the list of apps.
 
+Scott Miller - The "tinkering" or customizing is not always just for looks. Often I am adjusting things so that I have features or functions that help my photography business. Want to tether my phone or tablet via live view to my 5D Mark II or 1D Mark IV...no problem. Want expandable storage to carry multiple files on a few micro sd cards...no problem. Want to bring extra batteries for a long trip or work in a location with no electricity....no problem. Want to connect a thumb-drive or HD to my Android devices to work as a middle man to backup images on the fly...no problem. Want my phone to last for two days of moderate use...no problem.

As I said above...the iphone is a great device....but it can't do much of any of this. The limiting nature of IOS is the issue for me, not that I can't change the keyboard of I wanted to :)
 
Can't wait to get my Samsung Galaxy.
 
+Colby Brown How did you replace your softbuttons? I'd like to try something similiar on my Galaxy Nexus. Does it require rooting? :)
 
I love all the new stuff that Android is doing and the features and awesomeness of the Nexus is what has me wanting one really badly.

But to be honest the main reason I went to iOS was not having to deal with all the tinkering, customizations, and extra work of tweaking to get that extra battery life and other things. My iPhone just worked right out of the box and did what I asked it to do, to this day my iPhone 4 lasts me a 1.5 days plus off the cord depending on what I'm doing. That's really what has me on the fence at the moment. Maybe I'll start off slow with a toy like a tablet and then see if I want to move my whole mobile phone in that direction.

My buddy has a Xoom and loves the hell out of it.. the DSLR tethering is great as well.
 
+Marlon Perez - Well with ICS you don't have to tinker anymore to have a great experience. But it is there to make your experience your own. My issue with IOS is that yes...it worked out of the box...but that was it. Everything from day 1 is the same as day 20 or 500. With IOS you can not have USB host support, expandable storage or tether your DSLR as you mentioned. Those are big things. Personally I do not look at my phone or tablet as toys, but tools for my personal and business lives. With the features of Android, my life would be a little bit harder now that I am used to having those features.
 
+Jonathan Franklin The interaction between the apps is really a big + point of Android. I wouldn't want to use a phone anymore without this functionality. It saves so much time and is so useful when you can share almost everything from one app to another.

+Maciej Freudenheim If the phones camera is so important for you the Sony Xperia phones might be worth a look for you. They're at least as good as the iPhone 4s camera - in some situations they've even a bit more in the details. There's also a Sony sensor in the 4s. And Sony also changed it's behavior and is updating all last devices to ICS. For me personally: "one time a Nexus, always a Nexus" but for people who really care about the internal camera that much the Sony Xperia Phones are a good choice on Android.

+Chad Powell Things are changing. Slowly, but they do. In the last weeks more and more wonderful Apps got released in the Android Market. One I highly recommend for Transformer Prime Users is for example JotterPad HD. A lovely beautiful text editor with many features like timeline, common keyboard shortcuts, pdf export and such things. (http://2ndclasscitizen.com/2ndcc/)
Wes Lum
 
Can't wait to see your app list +Colby Brown! I've been meaning to share some of mine eventually too...hopefully you'll just have the same ones so I can just share your post instead haha.
 
Thanks +Colby Brown That's exactly what I mean, my whole freelancing (3D not photography 'yet') business depends entirely on my availability to access and communicate with my mobile phone, I'm afraid to make a switch and then have to deal with the customization and the issues (or rather, perception of issues) that come along with switching to Android and have down time between the devices. That's why I'd like to do a test run before jumping into the deep end of the pool with an actual phone that's needed for everyday business.

I'm definitely going to give the platform a shot.
 
wow!! -- +Colby Brown - I would be extremely interested to see how you tether live view with your phone. + looking forward to all of the apps you recommend!
 
+Ashley Hurst - Be strong....she will buckle eventually. I will make sure she hears it from my end too :)
 
nope... never :) apple-advocate-4-life
 
+Marlon Perez Devices like the Galaxy Nexus are already pretty good and powerful out of the box. You've the opportunity to go deeper and change much, but it's not necessary. At least the GSM Version (which everyone who travels would pick I guess) has already out of the box a pretty decent battery life. Of course there is much room for improvements as +Colby Brown said, but it's not necessary to get happy with the device.
 
+Leif Sikorski Good to know, thanks. I'm not that crazy about camera phone quality, I just wish my Nexus had i4S's camera capabilities, sometimes it's useful, I made two pictures I really like and are A4-printable with i4S, that's all. I doubt I would enjoy Sony's phones after going G1 -> N1 -> NS -> GN route ;)
 
The Polaroid SC1630 is an Android running Camera with optical zoom and Wi-Fi. Over the time this will not be the last Android Camera Gadget and we have to talk about android cameras with build in mobile phones...
 
Hi +Colby Brown great article. I was given a Sony Xperia arc S last week and must admit its a nice phone, battery life is not crash hot, worse that the iPhone 4.

I cant honestly see myself moving from the IOS platform till such time that they competitive, or better apps on the Android platform.

As a mobile photographer I rely heavily on the quality of creative photography apps on my iPhone. Currently I am using Snapseed, Camera+, ProCamera, Scratchcam and Instagram on a daily basis. Android has nothing that even comes close to these apps. I wonder when the developers of these apps will start developing for the Android platform? +Lockey McGrath +Brett Patterson +Steve Arnold +Lisa Bettany

Its not just about the hardware its also about the supporting applications.

Michael, Sydney Australia
 
Not a photographer at all, but this has given me the motivation to finally really dig in and fully customize my galaxy nexus. If your savvy enough to be comfortable doing so, android (especially a nexus model) tops iOS hands down. 
 
+Michael N Sutton Snapseed got already announced and demonstrated for Android at CES - so I guess we should see it soon.

A useful replacement for Camera+ might be Vignette. I also like ShotControl which is which is pretty new but offers a very quick and handy exposure control.

Instagram is coming, but from the last interview with them (gizmodo website) it sounds like they're still busy with scaling up their servers. They seem to be a bit afraid they might not handle such a big grow from one to another day when the release their Android app. The Android release might double their amount of users in a very short time.
A good competitor to it is StreamZoo which just launched 2011. They also offer a little extra features like WebInterface, Video Support and a social gaming part and the community is very friendly.
Don't know anything about those other two apps so I can't say if there is something like it.
A little bonus for Android is Adobe Photoshop Touch which isn't available on iOS yet.
 
get the app llama helps u save even more...
 
+Leif Sikorski & +Michael N Sutton
To me personally having Snapseed available on Android could make it a Game Changer. By far the best Photo Editing on IOS at the Moment. Also love the Desktop Version for Mac. Hopefully we'll see Instagram on Android too soon. But I fear it is not on their list of priorities at the moment.
 
+Alexander Kesselaar To be honest I don't really get why so many people care about Instagram. http://www.streamzoo.com (available on both plattforms) is at least as good as Instagram in my opinion for photo sharing. Or is it more because most friends use it already? That might be a point then. But Instagram might come very soon. In the last best buy commercials where they show the founder of popular apps the Instagram founder hold an Android in the camera, not an iOS device. Guess this is already a little hint. They're also developing the Android versionfor a long time, so they maybe really just wait until they got their server capacity stocked up (article http://gizmodo.com/5878942/inside-instagram-how-slowing-its-roll-put-the-little-startup-in-the-fast-lane)
Adobe Photoshop Touch is a bit similar to Snapseed, but after what I've seen about Snapseed I agree that this will still be a big deal for Android. I also don't got very familar with the masking function in Photoshop touch yet, but well..just using it since 2 days now.
 
+Leif Sikorski That is exactly it for me. All the great mobile photographers are already there. And I'm not really interested in starting from scratch again. Let's hope you are right. I heard from a fairly reliable source, that they are interested in expanding to other platforms, but that it is not one of their priorities and there are no announcements in the near future
 
+Alexander Kesselaar Ok, that's really a good point then. Just the thing that they haven't released an API to publish pictures from other apps to Instagram yet showed that they're more careful about the amount of data they get I think. So that seems really to be the big deal/problem for them. On the last LeWeb in 2011 he spoke about the Android App (LeWeb 2011 Kevin Systrom, CEO, Instagram and Alexia Tsotsis, TechCrunch) and the article on gizmodo I posted above is pretty new and there he mentioned Android again. I personally think that they might release it during the Mobile World Congress by end of this month, but this is just a thought of me.
 
+Leif Sikorski and +Alexander Kesselaar Lightbox is also a great photo-sharing APP/Site (with filters), for Android.
(http://www.lightbox.com/feed https://market.android.com/details?id=com.lightbox.android.photos)
For editing the in built stock editor on ICS is great (picnic-esque from the Google creative kit editor) and there are a bunch of other good editors including the photoshop ones.

Instagram looks okay but I don't see the fuss either, maybe when I have it I'll understand (or not).
 
Seriously? Some people here feel like they are photographer because they use instagram or Photoshop? If that's true, the world is going wrong...
 
+Christophe Versieux The size or price of the camera doesn't make the photographer, the photo does. Whether you're shooting with a 1DX, a 5DMKIII, a D4, a Hassleblad, an iPhone or a DIY pinhole camera, ultimately they all do the same job. Lastly, I believe the definition for the word photographer is "a person who takes photographs", so I believe they are indeed correct...Seriously :)
 
So we totally agree.

What makes a good device for photographer is the fact that I can take/Transfert picture on it without getting frustrated while trying to find an Hotel/Library/CyberCafe that has a computer with iTunes to transfert pictures when I am In a country at the other side of the world...

Instagram does not makes the best choice, etc...
 
I'm looking forward to the review of the Asus Prime. At the moment I still prefer a small notebook for when on the road because I can use photoshop (elements) on it
 
+Mark Verlaecke - I prefer to never do any serious editing on a laptop while traveling. It just pales in comparison to my office setup. I do use it for basic edits and reaching out for social media. So far, the Prime looks to replace my 2011 MBA just fine in that category.
 
Thank you, +Colby Brown.

I got an Android phone a couple months ago, and I've been using it a lot for photography (among other things), ever since - both to support picture making with my DSLR, and also for making pictures with the phone. I've been very happy with it - much more than I expected.
 
I started tethering my phone to my camera after I lost my remote trigger in Death Valley. :( But then I discovered that using the phone is way cooler. :)
 
Each of them was expertly exposed.
 
de puis longue temps je veux instaler indroide sur mon prtable samsung gt m3710.mais je ne peux pas ece que je peux le instaler ...qq" un me denne de l"aide...merci
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