It’s not necessarily Android news per se, but new rumors about next year’s iPhone (yes, already) suggest Apple could be taking cues from the HTC One M8 and its unique dual lens setup. You know, the one most everyone thought was great in theory, but ultimately failed in execution? According to John Gruber of Daring Fireball fame, Apple could be planning something big for the next-gen iPhone (iPhone 6s?) with their secret weapon being 2 lenses outfitted on the back that are said to deliver DSLR-like photo quality.
Promises of enhanced image quality on most any flagship smartphone are nothing new. But year after year, this usually doesn’t amount to much, with little-to-moderate improvements over previous iterations. We saw this with the HTC One M8 which uses 2 cameras on the back — one 4MP “UltraPixel” camera sensor for capturing more light, and the other for capturing depth data — but did little to actually improve photo quality. With smartphones becoming thinner and thinner every year, an extra camera housing on the back could be one way manufacturers tackle the problem of low light quality and depth of field, 2 areas smartphone cameras have long struggled with thanks to their tiny sensors.
Of course, nothing has been confirmed just yet and it wasn’t entirely clear how Apple would use a 2-camera setup to improve image quality (DSLR quality could mean a lot of things). For instance, back during Mobile World Congress, a company called Corephotonic (in collaboration with Qualcomm) showed off dual-camera lenses for mobile devices that provides 3x optical zoom without any of the bulk or moving parts you find in larger sized cameras. Take a look at CNET’s video below.
With the ever changing mobile landscape, fierce competition in the space has resulted in Android OEMs pushing the boundaries of mobile technology further than we ever thought possible, sometimes resulting in truly unique ideas like the HTC One M8’s DuoCamera. As was the case with NFC, Apple typically takes the wait and see approach, allowing Android OEMs to duke it out and vet the best technologies before jumping in. And here you thought the DuoCamera was just a gimmick.