Android + NX

Started Mar 15, 2012 | Discussions thread
Billx08 Forum Pro • Posts: 11,373
Android + NX gets beat by the Thom Thom

bebopberg wrote:

It would be pretty sweet to have a user-programmable NX camera.

But 'droid may be the one to avoid.

Android is Not the Answer

March 15 (commentary) --With Engadget's reporting that Samsung is developing an Android-based camera, I'm seeing more and more people saying Hallelujah, here comes what Thom asked for.

Sorry, I didn't ask for that.

I love some of the comments I've read about the Android camera possibility:

  • There's a big universe of Android photography apps that could be run. Uh, no. If you talk to any Android developer they point out that they pretty much have to do a custom compile for every Android device they support. There is no perfect common code base you can deploy in the Android world. Thus, a camera would have to become incredibly popular to attract developers. Unfortunately, compact cameras sell in far lower volumes than even the mediocre smart phones. So when the developer of Super Android Photo App With Angry Birds is looking at which platform to next spend time and energy to get it working, it's going to be on Mediocre Smart Phone Ten, not Android Camera One.

  • We'll edit on our cameras! Do you really think we're going to edit images on 3" VGA displays? Not very useful, IMHO. So the Android camera has to either grow a few pixels on its display (like 4x) or I hope you like crude. Oh, and the display will need to be touch, plus we need a fast CPU with a lot of internal memory. Hmm, all this on a cheap compact camera? While smart phone prices look cheap, they're subsidized by the carriers. Are you really willing to pay US$700 for an Android compact camera?

  • Users will start programming their cameras. After all, Android is an "open" environment, right? Less open every day, but that's not the point. How many of you actually program? And how many of you who program actually know how to do "camera things" or "image editing things" in the Android environment?

  • Cameras will start talking directly to the wireless phone networks. That'll be fun to watch. A couple of the camera companies (Panasonic, Samsung, Sony) do have divisions that work with the network carriers, but again we run into that volume thing: if Android Compact Camera can't outsell Mediocre Android Smart Phone, what network is going to give a darned about it? And who wants an AT&T logo on their camera with AT&T exclusive features, because I don't think networked Android Camera will happen without the phone carriers getting into the design act. Oh, and can you imagine the firmware update issues with an OS (Android), carrier (AT&T), and camera company involved?

The simpler solutions are twofold: first, the one I showed last week (camera add-on to the phone) or just WiFi to the phone and have an app that understands the camera on the phone. Both are simpler to do and cheaper to the user.

All that said, someone will be first. First to fail with an Android-based camera, that is. I forget where I read it recently, but one of the wiser Web writers wrote something akin to "the sad thing about bad products or poorly considered products that come out of R&D is that the company decides they have to sell them anyway." Note to consumer electronic companies: that's not what Apple has been doing, and it might actually be part of their success. Just a thought.

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