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Apple cracking down on Camera apps that use volume buttons?

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By Jesse Hollington

Social Media & Software Editor, iLounge
Published: Friday, August 13, 2010
News Categories: Apple, Apps + Games

Following news from earlier this week on a hidden volume shutter button feature in the Camera+ app, it appears that Apple may now be cracking down on other iPhone camera applications that have employed similar features. In a post on Tap tap tap’s blog explaining how its Camera+ update was initially rejected by Apple, developer John Casasanta noted that there were other camera apps that “make use of the volume buttons for snapping photos” but that Apple advised him that these likely “slipped through the review cracks” as a result of developers intentionally omitting the feature from descriptions and screenshots.  Tap tap tap was forced to remove the volume button shutter feature from Camera+ but later revealed via Twitter that the feature was still hidden away within the app and described how to enable it. Camera+ was subsequently removed from the App Store, presumably for violating the terms of Apple’s Developer Agreement.

Today, another iOS developer, KendiTech, released an update to its Camera Zoom 2 app with release notes indicating that it had “Removed [the] Volume Button Shutter feature.” It is unclear whether this removal was precipitated by a specific request from Apple or whether the developer chose to be proactive in removing this feature as a result of the demise of Camera+.

Citing precedent with Apple’s approach to LED flashlight apps, which were originally banned from the App Store for a similar reason, Casasanta has submitted a feature request to Apple to allow for the hardware volume controls to be used for other purposes and encourages users to send feedback to Apple to attempt to pressure the company to change its policy.

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Comments

1

Apple are complete dicks sometimes. Isn’t their philosophy supposed to be that its all about the user experience? well guess what? its a lot easier and more natural to use the volume buttons when taking a photo than to touch the screen!!!

Posted by kevlar on August 13, 2010 at 11:24 PM (PDT)

2

It seems to me that Apple could avoid user-confusion issues (the stated rationale for disallowing this feature) by requiring that any developer who wants to use hardware controls for a non-standard purpose leave the non-standard function turned off until expressly enabled by the user. 

Is there any reason why that wouldn’t solve the problem?  (And yes, I realize that’s essentially what the developer did here.  My point is simply that this policy should be sufficient to address Apple’s concern.

Posted by bluespark on August 15, 2010 at 5:44 PM (PDT)

3

When will Apple start doing what their customers want?  They’re such a stupid, aggravating company sometimes.

Posted by Matt on August 16, 2010 at 3:44 PM (PDT)

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