Apple iOS 7 improves camera and photo experience, but the HTC One still offers more

Apple is going to improve the camera and photo experience with iOS 7, including new image filters and viewing tools. The HTC One already has these capabilities and a whole lot more.
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer on
Apple iOS 7 improves camera and photo experience, but the HTC One still offers more

Apple Insider has a post describing the new iOS 7 camera and photo features and I wanted to offer a comparison to what is available now on the HTC One since that Android phone is also focused on the imaging experience.

Camera applications

As the Apple Insider article states, Apple is adding the ability to apply nine image filters to the camera before photos are taken. On the HTC One there are 15 available image filters and some of these have slider bars to customize the affect of the effect. iPhone 4 and 4S owners who upgrade to iOS 7 can only apply these filters later in the Photos app and not in the camera app.

In addition to still images and video, one reason I use my HTC One more than my iPhone 5 is for the Zoe 3-second video clips that capture more of the moment. There doesn't look to be any of this type of capability in iOS 7.

Another function in the HTC One is the wide angle front facing camera that is quite handy for including yourself in images. We may see such a camera in the next generation iPhone so the imaging experience with iOS 7 may partially depend on the hardware to be announced.


Photos/Gallery applications

Apple also improves their Photos app by grouping photos according to date and location with the intent to make it easier to find photos in your image gallery. The HTC One Gallery app also does this with organization via albums, some automatically created, events, and locations. I primarily keep my Gallery with the Events toggle on since HTC does a good job of grouping photos with date, location, and time frame data so that distinct events accurately reflect my life.

Beyond just grouping photos into these distinct events, the HTC One automatically creates Highlight Videos composed of photos, Zoes, and videos that you can easily share with family and friends via Facebook, YouTube, and more. You always have the option to manually create specific events to generate custom Highlight Videos as well. I expected Apple to come up with something like this since this feature has had a major impact on my decision to use the HTC One for most all of my photo and video needs.

In addition to advanced photo organization and automatic content generation, the Gallery editing tools on the HTC One are much more advanced than what you find in the iOS Photos app. iPhoto approaches what the HTC One does natively (iPhoto is a paid app), but take a look at my photo editing comparison to see how much more you can do on the HTC One.

Photo services


With the iPhone and iOS you can view photos you capture or sync to your iPhone from your computer, shared photos, and albums, but there is no place to show photos from other services. To view photos on other services, such as Flickr and Facebook, you have to launch those specific applications. You can configure services like Dropbox to save your photos to their servers and I recommend that you do since there are storage limits on iCloud that require manual management to avoid automatic deletion.

With the HTC One, other Android and Windows Phone devices too, you can configure photo services so that these photos also appear in your image gallery. I prefer this so that I can easily enjoy and further share photos from family and friends. I was hoping to see some service integration in iOS 7, but from what we have seen so far that is not coming.

It is great to see Apple improving the Camera and Photos applications in iOS 7, but there is still a lot of work to do. If you have a focus on imaging and photos, there are other better choices available and I would argue that the HTC One is one of the best imaging-focused devices available today.

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