Gray’s Anatomy – Changing My Religion – By Richard Gray

Readers of my last column will know I’ve been thinking about switching to Android. Jokingly in one of my recent iPhone photography classes, I said to people: “I’m thinking of going over to the dark side”. I thought it would get a bit of a laugh, but the faces that greeted me weren’t all smiling. Some seemed concerned for my well-being, as if I might have been taking drugs. On others, jaws dropped wordlessly. Others seemed to be accusing me of betrayal. Judas. Admittedly, there’s a clue in the name of this class that might mean people have a certain prejudice. Even my wife looked at me when she realised I was being serious and said: “That will be a bit sad”. I feel I have to explain myself to people. I just want a bit more screen space. Please, don’t hate me, my eyes are getting a bit tired, my eyes, it’s my eyes, I’ve been pleading. So, why don’t you get an iPad Mini, comes the curt merciless reply. I was too upset to respond with a sensible reason: I also want a phone with it.  I feel like one of the procession of prisoners in the Tower of London in the recent Tudors television series before the inevitable decapitation after being convicted of heresy.

The strength of feeling this decision has evoked in people around me is a testament to Apple’s branding. That Apple logo has been seared into people’s minds as a symbol of all that is good, smart and pure. I’ve got nothing against Apple really. They very kindly hosted one of my very first talks about iPhone photography. I’m typing these words on one of my most treasured possessions, a Macbook Air. But I admit it’s not just about the screen space. I’m a Luton Town supporter and I guess I like supporting the underdog. The iPhone seems to be getting a bit too all-conquering and a bit too confident for my liking: the Manchester United of mobile phones. I also like pixels and the iPhone camera seems stuck at 8MP. I also like trying out new things (although I do fear being bottom of the class once again, spending hours on the Android forums (they do have them over there don’t they?) asking things like, how do you take a photo, there doesn’t seem to be a button for the shutter?)

So my new Galaxy 4S is due to be delivered next Tuesday. I’ve cleared my diary for the rest of the week to get to know it properly (they say it’s like learning a new language). Converting to a new religion doesn’t happen in one day. However, although I say to people that I’m switching, I’m not trading in my old iPhone. They will have me back if I truly repent won’t they?



‘I’m not a heretic!’ – ©Richard Gray

Richard's mobile photography has been exhibited around the world and published in various magazines and on many websites. He launched the world's first live course in iPhone photography in early 2012 with Kensington and Chelsea College. He has given workshops with The Photographers' Gallery and British Journal of Photography. Sport England recently commissioned him to cover various of its Sportivate initiatives with the iPhone. A keen observer of this new photographic genre, his writing has been widely published (most notably in The Guardian) and he writes a blog (iphoggy-bloggy). With a big camera, he specialises in music photography ( and syndicates to Press Association (with both big and small cameras).


  • Gerry Coe

    OH! do let me know what you think, I’ve held off upgrading to the iPhone5 and am waiting to see if the 5s will be very much better. Decisions…Decisions…and Money!!!

  • Charles Maclauchlan

    It often happens that people confuse appreciation of a tools capabilities with love for the brand. We see it all the time. We can learn though to overcome this. Competition is a good thing. It drives innovation as well as “affordability.” For example, how many photographers have more than one camera…quite often from a different manufacturer?
    Has Android caught or surpassed iOS in functionality for you? Does Android offer something extra, something that excites you or something that better fits your needs? Go for it. Customer support fuels a company’s ability to innovate and their successful innovations attract the attention of their competitors. (ain’t capitalism grand?)

  • Stef LP

    From my experience most of the pews of traditional forms of worship are now empty.
    Some have become museums.
    When one finds the truth …it’s an easy decision.
    And on that note…

  • Mike

    Androidography? You crazy fool Mr Gray. Who knows, next time around you might opt for an actual camera 🙂

    • Richard Gray

      I have (and use) one of those too Mr Mike. The device maketh not the photo as they say (ps are you that same Mr Mike who has been stalking me relentlessly about how evil mobile photography is? pps this is a column and a website mainly about mobile photography)

  • Colleen Gutschenritter

    I hope you divulge all your favorite and must have apps for it in future posts. I love my Galaxy S3, but I always transfer to ipad to do all the fun stuff. Except for snapseed, most of my favorite apps are over on apple.

    • Richard Gray

      I will Colleen. That’s one of the things I’m looking forward to – a whole new galaxy (excuse pun) of apps to explore and be opinionated about. Interesting what you say about using the iPad for the serious apping.

  • Cat Milton

    Hi Richard, I also use iPhone but recently got myself the Samsung s4. I hate it! The definition’s good on the camera but I’ve had to install another app to use it (Pro Capture)
    I -half- joked after the 1st week that if my Samsung flew out the wind and was run over by a lorry, I would grin!
    Clunky, buggy and the app range is atrocious! Not dissimilar to Colleen, I edit now on my iPad…
    I’ll be very keen to see what you think of the apps available! Sincerely, good luck!!

    • Richard Gray

      Interesting, Cat. I’m hanging onto the iphone just in case! I do sense that I might be doing less apping with it that’s true, as I’m perhaps a bit apped out. Watch this space!

  • Tracy Mitchell Griggs

    I agree with you. I have stopped taking photos because I cannot do the things I want to do technically on that itsy bitsy screen. Reached an impasse with it.

    I don’t own a laptop, iPad or other processing software. My eyes are shot too. I probably won’t buy an Android $$ and I have invested in over 200 apps that I hope transfer easily to an iPad, my next eventual purchase. But I hope the developers realize that there a whole lot more ‘Droid users out there. Cha-ching $$$$$$.

    • Richard Gray

      Doing the apping is great on the iPad so you can look forward to that when you get one. I just like doing some apping on the go too. Yeah I’m sure the developers are busy developing for Android as we speak – they say Android sales are outpacing iphones, so they have interest in it!