Popular iPhone camera app pulled over "Easter egg" shutter button

Posted:
in iPhone edited October 2014
Camera+, a popular iPhone application, was pulled from the App Store after it violated Apple's developer agreement terms and secretly allowed users to use a physical volume control button as a shutter button to take pictures.



Earlier this week, before the app was completely removed from the App Store, developer tap tap tap said that they had previously attempted to add the ability to use volume controls to snap photos to their application Camera+. Apple rejected the feature, dubbed "VolumeSnap," because it uses the volume buttons in a "non-standard way, potentially resulting in user confusing," the company said.



"While we're disappointed with their decision, we're at least happy that they're being perfectly clear about the exact reason for the rejection and that they're being consistent about it," the developer said. "I was told that overriding the volume controls is one of the most common reasons for app rejection."



Tap tap tap has remained silent, however, since Camera+ was removed from the App Store this week.



Apple yanked the software after the company, via Twitter, informed users how to enable the volume shutter button feature via a workaround. The feature could be enabled by entering a URL into the Mobile Safari browser on the iPhone. The offending post on Twitter has since been removed.



The company's official blog was last updated on Tuesday, touting strong sales of the Camera+ application. In its first month, the photography app earned $253,000 in sales, and sales increased in the second month to $254,000.







"So after two short months in the App Store, Camera+ has pulled in a whopping half a million dollars," wrote John Casasanta, head of tap tap tap and creator of the MacHeist promotion. "Needless to say, we couldn't be more pleased."



This isn't the first time that Apple has had to remove an application from the App Store that included a hidden "Easter Egg" allowing functionality that was not publicized. Last month the company removed an application that presented itself as a flashlight app, but it also included a hidden SOCKS proxy that could be used for tethering a 3G data connection.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 188
    bwikbwik Posts: 562member
    These arrogant customers must be stopped from using their product and having fun.
  • Reply 2 of 188
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    This isn't the first time that Apple has had to remove an application





    'had to'? 'chosen to' would be more like it.





    Come on Android!, come on!
  • Reply 3 of 188
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bwik View Post


    These arrogant customers must be stopped from using their product and having fun.



    Didn't you know that using a device in a non-standard way, violates the first law of 'think different'?
  • Reply 4 of 188
    diddydiddy Posts: 282member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post


    'had to'? 'chosen to' would be more like it.



    No, there was a rule about this sort of thing and Apple has a big warning about such easier Eggs. Unless Apple wants to send messages that their rules don't mean anything, they have to apply them.
  • Reply 5 of 188
    Why the giant advertisement for "Camera+"???



    What does that picture add to the article? Nothing.

    What about that picture is referenced in the article? Nothing.



    Camera+ is just one of many many camera apps. It's not even one of the best liked ones. They did this entire thing just for a round of free publicity and Apple Insider is not only happy to write about it, they put a giant advertisement for the product in the middle of the article.



    Your even promoting this deceitful nonsense by pointing out how much money these guys made by scamming the app store and screwing over their customers.



    AppleInsider is seriously going downhill IMO.
  • Reply 6 of 188
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    I agree, not allowing the use of volume buttons for other purposes is rule that does real harm: it’s something you can’t do!



    Let us remember, however, that this rule ALSO has benefits, and not pretend it’s a one-sided move of pure evil. The positive: the volume buttons on your device always work I think it’s a rule that does more harm than good. And Android has rules too, much as people like to think otherwise. If you want pure anarchy, you’re going to have to hack something—an iPhone or otherwise.



    (Also, why would I want a clicky button that makes the camera jerk and blur, when the current soft-tap shutter makes my iPhone a more stable and sharp camera than my “real” camera? To each his own, of course. This is a good example to use when asking, “exactly what is it that Apple won’t allow that you need to have Android for?” If a small UI function like this is important to you, then it’s good that the Android choice exists. You will, however, find OTHER problems with camera operation and general UI on Android—there’s no free lunch )



    I do like the apps (which Apple DOES allow) that give you a full-screen shutter button for tapping without having to look. It’s a good idea—although I manage to “feel” the existing shutter button pretty well anyway—it’s right above the physical Home button.
  • Reply 7 of 188
    I understand both sides of the argument. You don't want developers willy-nilly remapping the use of buttons that are used for other things. On the other hand it is nice to have a button (or two) that are re-definable. HP did this on there early computers for quite a while and it was a nice feature (in its day). User interface design has moved on though and I think the Apple model is they way to go.



    Apple has shown with its GUI (say as opposed to Windows) that consistency in user experience is very valuable. It is one big reason that the Mac has been so successful. I would have to side with Apple on this (although they will do as they please either way ).
  • Reply 8 of 188
    That's really anal. I use a patch on my Pre Plus that does the same thing (map the shutter to the volume buttons), because I hate tapping the shutter icon on the screen, as it makes it awkward to hold.
  • Reply 9 of 188
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Off topic, but I’ve been wanting Apple to make the toggle switch above the volume buttons also function as a pressable button. The current method of using voice controls or taking a snapshot would be much easier if that were a button as it would be easily used by the right index finger. Maybe it’s too difficult to be viable, but this is the one HW feature I think would make my iPhone much easier to use.
  • Reply 10 of 188
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nagromme View Post


    I agree, not allowing the use of volume buttons for other purposes is rule that does real harm: it’s something you can’t do!



    ...I think it’s a rule that does more harm than good...



    I am quite interested in the harm that you see from this.



    As you might notice from my previous post I think that allowing reassignment of the buttons is a mistake and agree with Apple but I gotta ask: Just exactly what is this harm?
  • Reply 11 of 188
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    Camera+ is just one of many many camera apps. It's not even one of the best liked ones. They did this entire thing just for a round of free publicity and Apple Insider is not only happy to write about it, they put a giant advertisement for the product in the middle of the article.



    As far as I'm concerned Camera+ is absolute trash. It has some fair features (some gimmicky) but eye-candy and whatnot nearly always wins out over actual photography (i.e. a clean workflow). You can't even get the app to open in a photo-ready mode (except through that stupid gimmicky viewport) unless you've already opened it. Not something for people thinking from a photographer's angle.



    I regret buying it. Fortunately I didn't pay much at all.



    Cool icon, though.



    Sidenote: I do see where Apple's coming from on this.
  • Reply 12 of 188
    walshbjwalshbj Posts: 864member
    Those volume buttons would be great for a shutter. Especially compared to what we have now.



    Who thinks it will happen in the native camera app??
  • Reply 13 of 188
    kpluckkpluck Posts: 500member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    Why the giant advertisement for "Camera+"???



    What does that picture add to the article? Nothing.

    What about that picture is referenced in the article? Nothing.



    Camera+ is just one of many many camera apps. It's not even one of the best liked ones. They did this entire thing just for a round of free publicity and Apple Insider is not only happy to write about it, they put a giant advertisement for the product in the middle of the article.



    Your even promoting this deceitful nonsense by pointing out how much money these guys made by scamming the app store and screwing over their customers.



    AppleInsider is seriously going downhill IMO.



    So which of Camera+'s competing apps did you write?



    -kpluck
  • Reply 14 of 188
    No shock that they pulled it, but I admire this company for what they did.



    Seems to be in the hacker spirit that Apple was initially based on......
  • Reply 15 of 188
    postulantpostulant Posts: 1,272member
    Great app, glad I nabbed it. The function can now be enabled by visiting a URL.
  • Reply 16 of 188
    There's been several solutions to accomplish these for a long time via jailbreak. And one and one install works for all the camera apps across the board. Thank you Apple for once again justifying a Jailbreak.



    Also what's going down in regards to these forums are the I.Q.'s. Full of alarmist people who seem to falling off the turnip trucks 50 times to Sunday. Gimme a break. When did Apple users start becoming so moronic. What a shame.
  • Reply 17 of 188
    The harm, especially now with multi-tasking is that when I want to change my volume I expect the volume buttons to work. If I'm listening to music and go to take a picture I don't want to keep track of what applications have remapped whatever buttons ad hoc.



    The numbnuts are the devs who raked in half a mil in two months, were told previously not to do it and yet went ahead and publicized it anyway. Would or do you raise your kids that way? And now they're losing $850-ish everyday. Someone there needs to take a basic business class or get themselves a real Product Manager.
  • Reply 18 of 188
    jupiteronejupiterone Posts: 1,564member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Apple yanked the software after the company, via Twitter, informed users how to enable the volume shutter button feature via a workaround. The feature could be enabled by entering a URL into the Mobile Safari browser on the iPhone. The offending post on Twitter has since been removed.



    Whoa! I don't have this app, but can someone explain how entering a URL in a browser can change the functionality of a real button on the phone? Is this something to be worried about?
  • Reply 19 of 188
    postulantpostulant Posts: 1,272member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JupiterOne View Post


    Whoa! I don't have this app, but can someone explain how entering a URL in a browser can change the functionality of a real button on the phone? Is this something to be worried about?



    It opens the Camera+ app... should you be worried? I dunno, but I'm not.
  • Reply 19 of 188
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 32,949member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bwik View Post


    These arrogant customers must be stopped from using their product and having fun.



    These arrogant developers have to stop trying to work around rules that they agree to follow. They knew that this wasn't allowed, that's why they tried to work around it in a stupid way.
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