spypics iphone screenshots


Version 1.1
Price: $1.99
SpyPic - Imaginary Feet, LLC

Rating 3 1/2 stars

Bottom Line: Overall, a surprisingly good camouflage cam with configurable screens. One or two bugs and many users may find the $1.99 price tag a little high for what it does.

SpyPic iPhoneI’m not completely brave. When shooting street photography, my biggest fear is getting caught. Overall, people in Dallas/Fort Worth are not used to seeing street photographers create their art. Stealth is key to capturing the moment undetected. As I call it “stealing souls”.

SpyPic by Imaginary Feet is a camouflage camera that let’s you take candid pictures while your device’s screen shows other activity. It has a few extra features that I like over other stealth cams, including easily adjustable viewfinder transparency and changeable screens that look like you’re actually doing something on your iPhone — a big improvement over other stealth cams that simply black out your screen.

SpyPic uses fake content screens to give the appearance of using a web browser, eBook, Twitter or other apps. Changing the “alibi” screen is easy and accessible — a simple horizontal swipe onscreen flips between the camouflage screens.

It features a full-screen big button shutter release. There are gesture-based onscreen controls to change the level of transparency between your camouflage screen and the viewfinder. Using a simple swipe of the screen, you can go from 0 to 100% transparent with the viewfinder. SpyPic makes it very easy to look like you’re tweeting, when in fact you’re taking stealth photos.

The app has a usable selection of fake camouflage screens. All are static and non- functional. It’s also very easy to add your own screens. Simply take a screenshot on your iPhone (press the power and home buttons at the same time), and load it into the app from your photo library.

I was surprised that SpyPic works as well as it does. It’s photographic subterfuge. Although taking street photography with an iPhone is easier than with other cameras, SpyPic really does a convincing job of disguising the iPhone’s viewfinder. Really, all the photographer needs to do is to be subtle in the positioning of the camera– avoid holding it like a third eye in front of you. SpyPic takes care of what people see behind you.

Settings are easily accessible by tapping the menu bar at the top of the screen. The app has a repeatable timer, adjustable from 1 to 60 seconds. It supports the front camera on applicable devices. It doesn’t support iOS 4 zoom. And it doesn’t support hardware flash at all — an essential stealth feature.

SpyPic has a great tutorial to first walk you through all of the app’s features. And it has a nice reminder about switching your phone to silent.

Overall, the app is solid. It never crashed during my tests. It saves at your device’s full resolution — up to 5MP on an iPhone 4. It photographs in both landscape and portrait modes. I found a problem with landscape previews. They don’t display correctly in the app’s preview, showing as squished and distorted. It’s a preview-only problem as they save correctly to the camera roll.

I downloaded the app a few weeks ago and it’s sat on my iPhone since then unopened. I initially had low expectations for SpyPic and the app surprised me and exceeded all of them quite well. I have few complaints about the app. For instance, I hope the distorted preview of landscape photos are fixed soon.

SpyPic is a surprisingly good camera app for taking stealth pictures, especially in situations where a little subterfuge is needed. It’s not for everyone. It’s not an everyday shooter. Many users may find the $1.99 price tag a little high for what it does (I picked mine up for free during a one-day promotion), but SpyPic is worth a look for iPhoneographers who like to shoot candid street photography.

It works on any iPhone or iPod Touch 4th Gen running iOS 4.0 or newer.

SpyPic - Imaginary Feet, LLC