Google has made Android (and iOS) the photography platform to beat...

Nokia's hopes of capitalizing on its admittedly great camera hardware to attract users to Windows Phone just died a quiet death today, in my opinion. It isn't exactly easy to see, because Google didn't do so by introducing a new phone with a fantastic camera. On that end, Android still remains a mixed bag.

But what Google seems to have realized is that while a lot of people want to take good looking photos using their smartphone, they care more about how the end product looks, rather than how it was achieved. Google today introduced a slew of new automation tools that tweak user's automatically updated photos and videos, making them look much better, no matter their source. Even more impressively, many of these automated enhancements are now getting granular controls so people can, if they so choose, go and make changes to their photos based on their preferences.

On the one hand, this completely obviates the need for apps like iMovie, which is handily trounced by Google+'s ability to automatically remix movies that you can then tweak to your hearts content. On the other, this makes the call to shift to Windows Phone for a better photography experience less powerful. Sure, your average Android phone is incapable of producing great pics compared to the best Lumias. But once they go through G+'s algorithms, it won't matter anymore to the average customer.

Its the best strategy they had, because setting a common camera hardware standard for Android manufacturers would have been impossible. But by making a seamless upload, enhance and share software experience, they've made up for it as far as the average consumer will notice.

Making all this free, and completely in the cloud only adds to the power of these tools.