Tag: TapTapTap »
Camera+, the popular (currently in the top 5 in the US App Store) and well-received camera app, rated 5 stars here on 148Apps, is not resting on its laurels when it comes to updates. TapTapTap has introduced a new filter called Clarity to the recently-released 2.2 Camera+ update. This filter, designed as a response to the HDR feature introduced by Apple in iOS 4, is designed to draw out colors and details from photos that may have otherwise been lost, through multiple behind the scenes adjustments. TapTapTap's site goes into how it works and provides some examples it can improve photos, but how does it work in the real world?
I decided to test out the new Clarity filter on some pictures I've taken with my iPod touch 4th Generation, including ones taken before the app was updated with the Clarity filter, so you can definitely use the filter on any picture you've taken or any you've imported into the app. These photos below are of Louie, the greatest dog in the world, and in these photos, he is wearing a dog Snuggie. On the left, you see the untouched photo - it is a poor lighting situation, and a lot of the details are lost. On the right is the photo after running the Clarity filter. As you can tell, a lot of the details that were lost in the original photo were lost - the colors that were too dark to stand out in the lighting are more visible now. A lot of the grain of the iPod touch camera is now more visible, but this is largely due to the mediocre camera, than the filter itself.
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So while this won't magically turn your mediocre photos into wonderful pictures, it can dramatically increase their quality to a point where they're actually decent photos now. While it's not a replacement for taking a great photo with proper lighting, sometimes the photos we take aren't in perfect situations - and this filter can definitely help out a bit with correcting those imperfections. As well, the 2.2 update has a variety of other bug fixes and improvements, listed on their blog post for the 2.2 update. These updates as well as the Clarity filter are now available as a free update to Camera+, currently on sale for $0.99.
tap tap tap's Camera+ was allegedly pulled from the App Store by Apple this morning for sneaking in a hidden feature that Apple had previously denied.
The feature in question was tap tap tap's manipulation of the volume control buttons, letting them control the camera shutter rather than a button on the screen. In their own words, by using the volume controls instead of an on-screen button, "photos can be sharper because you can now hold your iPhone steadier with two hands instead of fumbling around for the shutter button on screen."
It makes sense, as it puts the volume buttons right where the shutter button would normally be on a camera, but Apple didn't like it. Apple, in their statement to tap tap tap regarding their reasoning for rejecting the feature, wrote that,
Your application cannot be added to the App Store because it uses iPhone volume buttons in a non-standard way, potentially resulting in user confusion. Changing the behavior of iPhone external hardware buttons is a violation of the iPhone Developer Program License Agreement. Applications must adhere to the iPhone Human Interface Guidelines as outlined in the iPhone Developer Program License Agreement section 3.3.7.
Instead of letting the feature die though, tap tap tap threw in a hidden trick in their latest version. They released in a tweet that "by visiting the URL camplus://enablevolumesnap in Mobile Safari, one could make the volume buttons on the side of the iPhone instead act as a camera shutter button".
The tweet was pulled soon after, but tap tap tap had to have known that the feature would be widely publicized and eventually found by Apple. They said themselves in their blog post regarding the initial feature rejection that, "When Apple finds out about these incidents, they tend to crack down pretty hard on them, sometimes going so far as completely banning the developers from the App Store. So this is definitely not the smart way to go."
Now what are the chances that tap tap tap, in order to spur sales for an app that was admittedly slumping in sales, planted the Twitter post, knew that big sites would pick up on the story, and then pulled the app themselves?
Regardless, the app is not in the App Store anymore, and it is unclear if Apple will do/ has done anything about the situation. There have also oddly been no comments from tap tap tap on their blog or elsewhere about the app being pulled, which, considering the apps popularity, would be expected if they were going to try to force Apple's hand through public support. Media stunt or not, it'll be interesting to see how it all plays out.
I love vague e-mails... I really do. By putting very little, but bizarre content into an e-mail, I feel like I'm getting a JJ Abrahms teaser trailer for one of the first Lost seasons. John, from TapTapTap, makers of Convert - the unit calculator (now the #10 paid app in the store), just sent me a great one.
I just put up this "stop motion" video that shows the long process we go through in designing our apps, condensed into a few minute span...
I had to check it out. Here's the video. I'd like to call it "design OCD at its finest". Enjoy!