Kill the ‘record’ button: Why we made FastCap

Our first iOS app and perspective on skeuomorphism, the homescreen, etc.

FastCap is a product of scratching our own itch. Living in NYC and working in the Flatiron district, we see some pretty insane shit every day. We’re lazy and jaded, so given their fleeting nature, it always seemed like too much effort to capture the little absurdities of life.

Pull out your phone.
Pull up the iOS camera.
Switch to video.
Aim and record.

The standard iOS camera is amazing, but Apple’s strategy is clearly optimized around methodical still photography. When you’re looking for a fast way to capture video in the moment, the stock iOS features unfortunately fall short. That’s why we built FastCap.

Recording faster with FastCap

Pull out your phone.
Open app — recording begins.

Launching FastCap leverages your muscle memory. On startup FastCap begins recording instantly. It’s fast and easy, so we actually use it.


We talk a lot about creating new interfaces at Thirty Labs. We want to leave skeuomorphic concepts behind as much as possible and create new interfaces for our current/future reality. The camera really is the feature that changed the smartphone market forever, but it hasn’t evolved as far from the camcorder as we’d like. Framing up a shot and pressing ‘record’ feels pretty antiquated when we’re recording with a device that isn’t as constrained by battery life and tape length like the camcorder was in 1987.

I love the idea of capturing everything from the moment I decide I want to record video, then trimming down to the action. FastCap has built-in “trim” editing so videos can be cut down before being saved to the camera roll.

Our tongue-in-cheek play for your Homescreen

While FastCap is a simple utility, it really only works if it hangs out on your homescreen for quick launch. This is such a part of the app that we teach people what the Homescreen is and tell them to move us there right in the onboarding. When building apps, we shoot for concepts that we consider homescreen-worthy. FastCap is required on the homepage by design.

About Thirty Labs

Our team at Thirty Labs brings a unique blend of expertise from the technology and media spaces, from early startups to multi-billion dollar corporations on a global scale. Teams of two-to-three rapidly test concepts against the identified problem, leveraging the Thirty Labs team, resources, platform and assets. Sign up for early access to our betas.

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