In June, we were contacted by Apple asking if we’d like to participate in a promotion. Generally, when Apple offers your app some attention, you leap at the opportunity. This was a little different though: Apple wanted to give our app away for free.

But hold on, Obscura is a paid app right? If we give our app away for free, how are we supposed to make any money?

Obscura is a paid app, it does also include a few In App Purchases (IAP). At the time, we offered two filter packs that provided more options when editing images. …

Today is a big day for Obscura. As part of a promotion in the Apple Store retail app, we’re making Obscura free to new customers for a limited time.

Here’s what that means:

Obscura is not a free app.

Obscura is still a paid up front app, and we have no plans to change that. The promotion will run for about two months, and during that time, Obscura will still be available for purchase. Think of it as Apple offering out promo codes rather than as a sale.

The promotion is only available in certain regions.

Naturally this is out of our hands. I don’t have a full list, but it should be available…


Rethought, redesigned and rebuilt. Obscura 2 is here, and it’s everything you’ve been waiting for.

Get Obscura 2 on the App Store:

Work on O2 began in earnest last summer, but the result is the culmination of 4 years of experience building a camera app, and the many more years of experience I’ve had behind a camera.

It’s a delight and a relief to finally get it out into the world and into your hands, but it’s also just the beginning. …

It’s been a while since the last big update to Obscura, but the wait is over. 5.0 is an update full of refinement and polish. It revamps the interface for filters, and makes the whole app feel tighter and more cohesive.

Why the delay?

Since the start of the year, I’ve moved to New York, started a full time job, and generally just been busy trying to get by. Obscura hasn’t received as much time and attention as I was hoping to give it over the past few months, but it’s future is still bright. Worry not.

What’s New

The main focus of 5.0 has…

What it takes to be an overnight success

I wanted to shed some light on how my camera app, Obscura, has been doing recently. I don’t write regularly but I’ve wanted to share my thought process in the hopes that it might help others facing similar challenges. I want to write the kind of articles I wish I could’ve read a year or two ago.

So I’ll start at the start. One of the strange things about software development is that it exists on a spectrum of hobby and business. It’s hard to define success when no two people share the same goals. You need to work out…

Back in June I launched my first major app into the App Store. I had been working on Obscura for close to a year and it was wonderful to finally share it with the world. I spent whatever time I could working on it, in between college work and a fledgeling photographic career. It was a passion project through and through. I couldn’t have been more proud when it launched and the response it got was overwhelmingly positive. Seeing it being used around the world to produce incredible work is just the most incredible feeling. A friend, Kilian McMahon, told…

Publishing an app is a strange thing. Although not an unfamiliar experience to many of you, the act of putting your work in front of people, thousands of people, always creates tension. Many of us naturally shy away from putting ourselves into a position to be criticised. And it only gets worse when you’re emotionally attached. And then you add money into the mix and things get really messy.

One of the best things about software development is how it blends the technical, the creative and the pragmatic business side. I wouldn’t consider myself an expert in any of these…

Ben McCarthy

Designer, photographer, occasional source of wit. Will create things for money.

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