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.