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Do we need another mobile-phone camera app? CameraAwesome from SmugMug says yes

Here the folks behind SmugMug who have been working for 18 months on a new camera app for the iPhone (Android coming soon). You can check it out in the video here or download it here: http://itunes.apple.com/app/camera-awesome/id420744028?mt=8

I've been using it for a week and in my tests it does exactly what Don says it would: it's faster, has more filters, and is smoother to use than other camera apps like Camera+. It'll be interesting to see your reactions.

Oh, and why aren't we seeing more Android apps like this faster? Don and I spent a lot of time talking about the Android market. I assumed that he might be scared of Apple who has lots of leverage because of things like the iTunes store. +Don MacAskill told me that really didn't matter and what's keeping Android from getting apps like this faster is simple fragmentation. Building apps for Android is a real pain in the behind, he told me. Why? For several reasons:

1. The tools aren't nearly as good for building Android apps. The emulator crashes, the memory management isn't nearly as good, etc etc.

2. On Apple you really are building for one device, one API, and you don't have to worry about making sure your UI works on different resolutions, different hardware. On Android you not only have to worry about a ton of different hardware, but most users aren't yet on the latest software either so there's a ton of variables you have to both design for and test for.

He thinks the difficulty of developing for the platform is the single reason you don't see apps like Instagram on Android and why you'll have to wait for CameraAwesome to come to your Android-based devices.
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Gordon Laing's profile photoRobert Scoble's profile photoKyle Field's profile photoMark Koschwitz's profile photo
41 comments
 
Funny, just today I downloaded Camera+ and Smugmug looks pretty much the same to me.
 
Downloaded, thanks for posting. I'll give it a try now, and will be interesting to compare with my current favorite, Camera+
 
good job ! (like the tee-shirt "Super Genius")
 
You're right (as usual). This is an amazing app! Awesome says it all. Thanks for pointing us to it.
Rae O.
 
downloaded.
 
Pretty sweet app. I like that it can do video as well. Only wish Camera+ would add video functionality, so I'm not switching back and forth between apps. Though this app may replace them both.
 
Just checked out the app, great camera app, if not better than Camera+. Hoping to see this app getting higher in the chart.

I also agree with the point that developing for Android is a "pain in the behind". I'm a co-founder of a small iPhone app company, and we decided to focus on the iPhone first, since that's where the money is. With the fast growth of Android, we are very tempted to port one of our apps over to the new platform and see how it does.

However, being a start-up and self-funded, that's a very risky move for us. As pointed out, fragmentation on the Android is a huge problem if we want to deliver the best user experience. So for now, it's still iPhone, and possibly, we might just go to Windows Phone when there's still not as many competitions.

Finally, a little promo :P I just launched a new app today, Fuzel, a collage maker for the iPhone, you might like it and check it out.

Official site: http://www.fuzelapp.com
Video: https://vimeo.com/36686060
Blog post: https://vimeo.com/36686060

Please let me know what you think about it. Thank you.
 
Filmed w CameraAwesome I presume! Thx for t info, still working on t features though! (& expanding, since I want all😉)
Cheers 
 
is it going to be the camera+ killer?
 
He lost me when he said he didn't do competitive research.
 
Love this idea - but why is there no built-in SmugMug sharing with Google+ yet ????
 
+Bethany Douglas yeah, I find that statement of his to not match up with reality and not a good one for a CEO to make. I think he was trying to find a funny way to say "we don't talk about our competitors." Off of camera it's clear that Don knows a lot about the competitors.
 
+curtis stage there isn't an API on Google+ for pushing photos in here yet. That said, my photos automatically come up here from my camera roll.
 
Yes, this is a cool app. But there are 2 fundamental criteria mentioned here that are not widely spoken of yet. 1. iPhone and like devices are the future of photography for 95% of user base. dSLR's are great (I have one) but it won't stick in my pocket or ezily be carried around. 2. The app is NOT tied to SmugMug wich is a smart move and should bring in a wider user base. I have talked with Olympus several times about lenses, or the lack thereof locally. They have stated publicly they are focusing on the PEN type cameras. They can be as sophisticated as a dSLR for the bulk of folks so dSLRs won't disappear, just once again become perhaps more of an elite product. Of course just like when word processors came into play and everyone thought they could write the great American novel, so now do these types of cameras now make many people feel they can be the next Diane Arbus, Weston, etc..
 
i just installed it i loved the shooting UI/X
 
+Robert Scoble it doesn't do everything I want in a camera app, fortunately I'll have one to show you shortly :-)
 
fast burst is incredible! that's worth it right there... ohh yeah its free
 
imho i believe that camera+ will stay dominating the top grossing chart
 
Ah yes..the good ole 90% 10% rule. I lived by it when I worked in the tech world. Another interesting stat is that app 50% of tech projects either get chopped before finish or dropped when people really understand how much money they cost.
 
I'm probably the only tool who uses Photoshop Express to take pictures lol
 
+Bethany Douglas +Robert Scoble When most people talk about 'competitive research' they talk about things like 'how does the feature checklist compare?' or 'why don't you do it like X?' or 'you just copied Y'

We don't think about products that way. We build products that we want to use. Period.

We don't decide to put something into Camera Awesome because someone else has it. I've used Instragram, Camera+, etc. But I honestly couldn't tell you whether they have feature X or option Y. Gun to my head, I couldn't tell you.

I do know that I don't like using them. I know millions of people do, and that's great, but I don't. And it's not just one or two things - it's all the little details and nuance. I just don't love them. If I did, I promise, I wouldn't have built Camera Awesome. This was an expensive, difficult gamble for us, way way outside of our comfort zone, and it may not pay off.

But I wanted a camera I could love. I couldn't find one. So we built it.

It shoots fast. It makes my average photos look awesome. It shares almost everywhere I'd like it too. (Man, I wish Google+ had an API for this!) We have a ton of other things I want to put in there, but it's a pretty effing awesome v1. :)
 
Looks great, can't wait for the Android version!
 
+Robert Scoble - I like that you have opened my eyes up to the value in the long tail of apps that come out. This was the real revolution that iOS brought to the mainstream and is an amazing platform for developers to drive all sorts of innovations that truly do improve lives. I tend to have a fairly static home screen (as far as apps I frequently use goes) and honestly havent taken the time to dig in as much as you so passionately do. I appreciate our differences and am learning from yours.
Cheers!
 
I would love to have single post app like this for my video or DSLR. Can CameraAwesome import from camera roll? The obvious future - which he hinted at - would be CameraAwesome connected/integrated to photo/video devices. Looks great, look forward to that!
 
Thanks +Don MacAskill for clarifying that. It's why I like Smugmug. It just happens to be that what you want a lot of us want too!
 
Thanks! I'm really looking forward to using the autopublishing feature while on vacation -- of course publishing back to SmugMug.
 
Watching this on Feb 29th when the first few minutes says that it won't be shown until March 1st... I win!
 
+Robert Scoble makes you appreciate the work we have done on Android. I find it a little funny that bigger companies are so scared to launch on Android while a small team like ours built a very complex app on the same platform. This app looks great though
 
+Don MacAskill would love to connect with you sometime. We do some interesting stuff with multires viewers and things of that sort.
 
It looks great!! I'm trying it!! Thx guys!!
 
This app looks really great! I'm an android user, so I really hope that it gets ported to work on my devices. When I switched from the iPhone 4 to the SGS2, one thing I found that was really lacking was a good photo taking and/or editing apps. I used to use PhotoForge2 on the iPhone and really loved the editing tools, which are more similar to the tools I use in Adobe Lightroom or Photoshoip (Curves, Unsharp Mask, Hue, Saturation, etc.). It seems that most camera apps only allow you to apply static filters and effects, so I was a little disappointed to see that the business model for CameraAwesome based on micro-transactions for filter bundles. However, it is still miles ahead of anything on Android currently. Wishing SmugMug a successful launch!
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