09 AUG

Apple Rejects VolumeSnap in Camera+ Update

by Marianne Schultz
 

Last week we reported on tap tap tap’s submission of an update of its popular Camera+ app that included the VolumeSnap feature that would allow use of the iPhone’s volume buttons to control the camera’s shutter. We thought that this would be a very nice feature to have in Camera+ (and other camera apps as well, including the iPhone’s native app also to be honest) but tap tap tap posted this afternoon in its blog that Apple rejected this update.

Apple’s official reason for the rejection is as follows:

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.

While we do appreciate Apple’s desire to avoid user confusion, we happen to think that this is one area where this type of behavior wouldn’t be an issue. It’s not hard at all to remember that a volume button will activate the camera’s shutter in one app and not anywhere else, in our humble opinion. Also, it can be quite intuitive to seek out the volume buttons to use in this way when holding the iPhone in landscape orientation to frame a photo.

However, all may not be lost. tap tap tap points out one area where Apple did recently change its policy about the use of iPhone hardware: flashlight apps using the iPhone 4′s LED light (see our round-up of 9 of those apps here). If you want Apple to change its policy on the use of volume buttons as tap tap tap has tried, submit feedback to the company here.

UPDATE: Commenter wob darden points out that VolumeSnap can be enabled in Camera+ on your iPhone by going to the Safari app and entering “camplus://enablevolumesnap” without the quotes in the address bar. Entering this URL will automatically open the Camera+ app and the VolumeSnap feature will work (it took two tries for us, but it does work). Note that you don’t need to keep entering the URL to use the feature – it will be enabled for good once you enter it, though it’s likely that this setting might be changed when Camera+ is updated next and it may or may not be possible to enable it again in future versions.

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13 Comments

  1. Brett

    :( I was really looking forward to this update/functionality. I just submitted the following to Apple through the link you provided:

    “I just read that you recently rejected an update to Camera+ because it used the hardware volume buttons to control the shutter and take a picture. I’m taking the time to contact you in hopes that you reconsider and accept this change. I think it would make the iPhone’s camera much more natural feeling and also lead to fewer bad pictures.

    You need to give the consumer a little credit that they will not get confused that these buttons serve different purposes in different applications. In fact it’s MORE confusing the way it is. Naturally people WANT to press a physical button on the top of the device to take a picture. Being that the iPhone is a device with very few hardware buttons, if a developer wants to take advantage of them in new and creative ways that improve the user experience, I think you should embrace and encourage that, instead of putting very little faith in the intelligence of your consumers. If the true reason for rejection is possible consumer confusion between the stock camera app and Camera+, then perhaps its time for a refresh of the stock app?”

  2. John Mc

    wow – Apple must think we users are really stupid. This from the company that redefines a button depending on if i click double click or hold it. If I can figure that out I could probably remember I launched a camera app that takes over the volume button…

  3. Diana Posey

    I too sent them an email to hopefully rethink it, and they accept the update. Hope it helps.

  4. wob darden

    Open Safari, enter ‘camplus://enablevolumesnap’ as the url, enjoy VolumeSnap.

  5. Fred

    This is why people jailbreak. For the simplist of functions that make perfect sense yet Apple denies them. Another would be lockscreen notifications.

  6. MZK

    Wow, I actually found 5 mins to write this letter based on your initiative..way to go..verbose but I hope it gets the point across.

    My letter:
    Dear Sir or Madam
    I have been following a blog where it has been reported that after a submission from camera+ app developer, ‘tap tap tap’ to offer volume buttons as a use for camera shutter activation within the app only, it was summarily rejected on basis of violation of rules.

    As it is quite obvious that such an enhancement for an app would plausibly improve the camera function I will not debate the merits of why it might be a good idea.
    Instead, I would ask why the violation must be adhered to and if there is no danger of the programming of such an ‘enhancement’ causing problems with general usage of the iPhone (ie outside the app itself), then why would Apple decide to disallow it?
    Already the LED function, originally designed specifically for the camera is being utilized (and for good reason) as a very powerful and useful light by certain apps.
    Likewise, I think it would be a missed opportunity not only to hinder the enhancement of tap tap tap’s camera app volume button function, but in fact every single app in the photography department including native iPhone photography app.

    I want you to know on a personal level, after owning a 3g and now the great iPhone 4, I have only now started seriously using the photography of my iPhone as a replacement to a hand-held digital camera.

    Where I had not previously bought any photography apps, I now have 2 folders chock full of some of the most expensive photography apps in the iTunes store.
    And this is strictly due to the exponential increase not only in the hardware capturing capability but additionally the processing power within the iPhone itself.

    What I’m trying to say is that while the iPhone 4 rides a great tide of continued success, it cannot be overlooked that the excellent photographic capabilities of the iPhone provides a big part of that swell and is a serious niche for smartphone users who want more from their phones than the obvious functions a smartphone provides.

    Best regards,
    MZK

  7. MZK

    Hey –Wob THANK YOU..don’t know if you got this directly from tap tap tap but worked instantly ..thanks again AWESOME!

    VOLUME SNAP WORKAROUND (ONLY FOR CAMERA+ APP USERS)

    open safari on iPhone (ensure you have camera+ app installed):

    Enter :
    ‘camplus://enablevolumesnap’
    where you would enter the url (eg. ‘www.apple.com’)

    The app camera+ instantly launches and you can now enjoy using your volume buttons to snap a pic!

  8. thegreatdandini

    @wob – thanks, excellent find. Does entering that ‘url’ enable the volumensnap permanently, or would you need to do that every time you want to use camera+?

  9. Nervebreaker

    I relaunched app without the URL and it still takes pictures with volume button so you’re good to go I believe!

  10. mindprint

    What a great tip MZK. I am on 3G using Camera+ 1.2.1 and it works great . Thank you

  11. Lucas

    Thanks for the Safari trick, works a treat!!

    I probably won’t be updating the app next time, I’ll wait and see if the trick still works ^^

  12. Simon

    I remember when all of this was kicking off!

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