TechCrunch and other outlets are reporting today that SnappyLabs has been purchased by Apple. SnappyLabs is the one-person developer of SnappyCam which was far and away the fastest full-quality burst mode camera available in the App Store. I just checked and SnappyCam is no longer available for sale in the App Store and the website is down without a word from the developer.
Josh Constine’s excellent TechCrunch post on the matter says “The startup was founded and run solely by John Papandriopoulos, an electrical engineering PhD from the University Of Melbourne who invented a way to make the iPhone’s camera take full-resolution photos at 20 to 30 frames per second — significantly faster than Apple’s native iPhone camera.”
Essentially, Mr. Papandriopoulos re-engineered the JPEG algorithm to reduce bottlenecks and increase efficiency when compressing the images.
Although burst mode (or rapid-fire mode) in iOS 7 on one of the iPhone 5 series devices is impressive in itself — up to 10 full resolution frames per second on an iPhone 5S, the latest versions of SnappyCam offered up to 20 8MP images per second without noticeable image degradation. That’s almost video shooting speeds with big camera resolution.
Although I hadn’t fully reviewed the app here on LoFi, I thought it was a very good app and was very impressed with the latest versions. I often used the app to get multiple captures of difficult squirmy subjects, like my cat or my Dad.
Presumably, John Papandriopoulos (and his custom algoriths) will join Apple to help improve the iPhone’s Camera app even further.
Although it’s now unavailable for sale, if you already own SnappyCam, you should still be able to reinstall the app on any iDevice that’s tied to your iTunes store account.
You can read more about SnappyCam and it performed its magic here.