Hey Apple, I Just Fixed Your Camera App

How I discovered my inner Steve Jobs while trying to take a picture of my newborn daughter.


It was a warm, spring day in 2013. I was holding my newborn daughter while she napped in my arms. Seeing how adorable she looked, I grabbed my iPhone to take a picture of her.

Unfortunately, my iPhone failed me.

I couldn’t find the button on the screen to take the picture. And my hands were angled at a position that I couldn’t reach the plus sign on the volume either.

Then it hit me. Steve Jobs hated buttons.

Why does there need to be a button to take a picture. Why couldn’t I just tap the screen?

In fact, why are there 6 different buttons on the camera app if Jobs hated buttons so much?! This epiphany led me down the path of building the simplest camera app — oSnap.

Here are three main problems I see with the default iPhone camera app.

1) There’s No Need for a Button

In a Wall Street Journal article, Nick Wingfield writes:

While many technology companies load their products up with buttons, Mr. Jobs treats them as blemishes that add complexity to electronics products and hinder their clean aesthetics.

Jobs has always said products should be an extension of the person. That’s why we all love Apple products — for it’s simplicity.

We love the way we interact with Apple products because it’s functions are natural to us. Have you ever seen your toddler try to swipe or tap your big screen TV?

With oSnap, I wanted to build the simplest camera app with no bloated features; an app that simplifies the picture taking process and lets you get in and out of the app.

There are plenty of apps with filters and social features, so I decided not to compete with them. Instead, I hope to build my own Blue Ocean with this app.

2) Last Photo Taken is Too Small

We take pictures to capture the moment.

We take pictures to remember the times.

We take pictures to share with the world.

So why then must we struggle to see if the last photo we took is worth saving or worth sharing?

With oSnap, the last three photos of your camera roll are thumbnails that allow you to see if the last photo you took is worth sharing.

Tap on one of the photos and be taken to the share screen.

Last three photos of your camera roll are at the top.

3) Key Functions Are Too Far Apart

How do you typically take a selfie?

You launch the camera app.

Then you reach for the button at the very top of the screen to flip the camera.

Next you bring your thumb all the way down to the bottom of the screen to take a picture.

Why are the two buttons so far apart?

To me that’s like having a form with the first name field at the very top of the screen and the last name field at the very bottom of the screen.

Key functions should be close in vicinity.

Why are the flash and camera swap buttons so far from the picture taking button?

That’s why I made oSnap completely gestured based:

  • Shake to flip the camera
  • Swipe to adjust the flash
  • Tap and hold to focus
  • Swipe down from the very top to access your picture gallery

With just one hand and your thumb you can access all the core functionalities of a camera app.

I believe I built the simplest and easy-to-use camera app that allows you to easily capture your moments and share them on your favorite social network.

And I’d love to know if you agree or disagree.

oSnap will launch at a discount price of $0.99 and be available to download Wednesday, May 7th.

If you’d like a pre-release version to test my claims, email me steve@mobileappchat.com.