An Interview With iPhone App “Snapture” Developers

This image described by apps, iPhone apps, apple iphone, Snapture, Interview, Microphone_5

Snapture is by far one of the most highly downloaded apps for the jailbroken iPhone.

Simply said, Snapture is a better photo app for the iPhone.

Although Snapture has lots of great features, the two most prominent are:

  1. Camera Zoom
  2. Touch anywhere to snap photo

This image described by apps, iPhone apps, apple iphone, Snapture, Interview, Snapture1

Click here to read our full review of the Snapture app (which got an A grade) and to see all it can do.

Visit the Snapture site here:

This image described by apps, iPhone apps, apple iphone, Snapture, Interview, Microphone_4

The Apple iPhone introduced a whole new frontier for developers, allowing them to gear their creativity towards an easy-to-use smartphone with mega capabilities. However, with the iPhone 3G and App Store around the corner, the game is soon to change.

We interviewed the developers of Snapture – Bowei Gai, Ajay Panagariya , Prameet Shah , and Samir Shah – to have a first hand look into the iPhone developer’s world.

This image described by apps, iPhone apps, apple iphone, Snapture, Interview, Microphone_3

Snapture is a great success in the iPhone world, what gave you the idea to create this app?

Like several apps in the jailbroken space, the idea came from: "I love my iPhone but I wish it could do _____ better."  The stock camera app was especially disappointing because there was just so much wasted potential.  Think about it.  You have a device with a viewfinder larger than most real digital cameras and yet all you got was a one button point and shoot.  It’s like going to a heavy metal concert and then having some guy take the stage with a banjo.  Don’t get us wrong, we totally understand that there is elegance in simplicity. We just wish that users got the option to order from the adult menu once in a while.

Did you ever expect Snapture to become such a popular app?

We were certainly surprised to see how many people downloaded our app.  20,000 downloads in a matter of hours of our first release was simply mind boggling. What was even more surprising was the fact that we had users from all over the world.  We really had to push hard to internationalize our application and that was something that we never planned on doing.  With popularity comes great responsibility however.  We learned pretty fast that if you’re going to release a major app that you have to have the horsepower to support your users. After our first release we dedicated a lot of our effort towards rolling out bug fixes and responding to emails.

What new features will Snapture 2.0 "Sugar High" offer?

X-Ray vision….Just kidding.  C’mon, you know we can’t tell you that.  All we can say is that we’re working hard to add some really cool, creative and innovation features in the next release.

The limitation of Snapture (one that’s obviously out of your hands) is that its only market is jailbroken iPhones. With the iPhone 3G around the corner, the jailbroken market is in danger (especially with the App Store). Are you planning to work in the Apple developer program to get your apps in the App Store?

We have thoroughly examined all of the frameworks provided in the Apple iPhone SDK and unfortunately at this current point in time, we simply do not have the required access to provide an adequate user experience.  Saving image files, running background processes and having direct access to the camera are all necessary for us to develop a version of Snapture for the AppStore crowd.  We remain optimistic however.  Think about it.  The SDK was a reactionary step that the company took to capitalize on a market that was opened up by developers in the jailbroken space.  As a result, the SDK developers were likely mandated to focus on the essentials to meet aggressive deadlines for rolling out the betas and we can understand that camera access may not have been a priority.

At WWDC, Apple proved that they are taking some steps to provide solutions that work for both them and their developers.  For example, the barrier to creating an IM program was lifted when the new Push notification system was unveiled.  Furthermore, we hear that there’s some chatter about SlingMedia possibly getting the access they require to bring SlingPlayer to the iPhone.  We’re keeping our fingers crossed but for now Snapture lives in the jailbroken world. 

At the WWDC, Apple flaunted the ease with which the iPhone SDK can be used to develop applications – do you agree or are there still lots of kinks to work out in the SDK?

In the software world, nothing is ever perfect.  Sure there’s some bugs here and there but nothing too annoying.  All in all, we think that Apple’s done a solid job with their SDK.  It seems to be getting better with each beta as well.  One of the things that we would like to see eventually is the ability to use a webcam as the camera capture device for the iPhone simulator.  This is something that Google’s Android SDK has and it makes a lot of sense for developers who need camera functionality. 

Are there any other apps in the works from the Snapture team?

There’s been a ton of ideas that the team has floated around the past few months.  Some of them are just plain crazy, others are doable but don’t have an obvious niche market, some of them make a lot of sense and will be pursued shortly after the next release of our flagship product.  We can’t be too specific but let’s just say that iPhone app dev is only a small part of what team Snapture has been working on.

This image described by apps, iPhone apps, apple iphone, Snapture, Interview, Microphone_6

Make sure to download Snapture.