Apple buys SnappyCam

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Date: Tuesday, January 7th, 2014, 08:54
Category: App Store, Apple, Apps, Developer, Digital Camera, iOS, iPhone, photos, Software

3015176-inline-i-1-snappy-cam-faster-appleNo more than a week into 2014 and Apple is already scooping up another small technology company. This time it’s an iPhone app called SnappyCam and its developer, John Papandriopoulos. Don’t go looking for it in the AppStore though, it has unfortunately been removed, so if you ‘snapped’ it up (couldn’t resist) consider yourself lucky. As for everyone else, wait a while and you may see the benefits of the app showing up in an iOS update. So what was so amazing about SnappyCam?

The developer, a resident of San Francisco, actually rewrote the JPEG algorithm specifically for the iPhone and its camera allowing it to take up to 20 full 8-megapixel shots per second in burst mode. Apple introduced its own burst mode to the iOS 7 software and the iPhone 5S released last summer, but it doesn’t do the job as well as SnappyCam. Apple’s version allows iPhone 5s owners to shoot 10 photos per second at full resolution. According to Business Insider, Papandriopoulos wrote the following in a blog post on the SnappyLabs web site;

“Let’s put this into perspective. The closest competitor to the iPhone 5 is the Samsung Galaxy S4. It’s “best shot” camera feature shoots up to 20 pictures continuously at full-sensor resolution, with each photo 0.1333 sec apart: an average of just 7.5 photos/sec. SnappyCam is able to deliver over 250% faster continuous shooting performance on the iPhone 5, in pure software, on a hardware rig that’s 10 months older than the Galaxy S4.

Full-sensor shooting works well on the older iPhone 4S as well: 12 pictures/sec at 8 Mpx, or 15 pictures/sec at 5 Mpx. The competing Samsung Galaxy S3 tops out at just 3.3 full-sensor pictures/sec. The iPhone 4S is also 7 months older than the Galaxy S3.

This is a big deal: even with older hardware, the iPhone beats competing mobile platforms in the race toward the DSLR continuous shooting experience.

Today the iPhone can be officially crowned King of Speed.”

Since the acquisition, the SnappyLabs web site has been taken down, but you can read the full blog post here. This is actually a pretty big deal, and Apple was smart to grab the software to build it directly into iOS. This could possibly turn the smartphone photo-taking space on its ear. Hopefully we won’t have to wait until iOS 8 to see the fruit of the buy-out.

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