Camera updates in iPhone OS 3.0

Monday, June 29 2009 @ 01:40 PM EDT

Contributed by: Admin

Apple has made some nice updates to the Camera app in iPhone OS 3.0. Specifically, they've fixed two things that I really wanted them to fix.

First of all, the nice updates that everyone will notice:

It creates a thumbnail of the most recently taken picture in the lower left corner. You can click this to view the last pic you took. Since this is a common need, it's nice that they added a shortcut to this, rather than having you go back to your camera roll and clicking on the last picture. Also, if you're looking at pics, when you rotate the phone, the whole UI rotates, not just the image. Nice. Also, the camera icon in the top right corner is now a 'done' button, meaning, "I'm done looking at pictures--time to get back to the camera." I think the picture of a camera had clearer meaning than the word "done" but I like the improved visibility (bright blue instead of grey).

Now for my picky stuff:

I had an original iPhone. The camera app used to launch very quickly. Then, after the a software update (1.2, I think) it started launching very, very slowly--it went from taking a second or two to launch to taking TEN seconds to launch. When standing around watching something interesting happening, ten seconds is a LONG time. I kept hoping that they'd fix this but it stayed slow, both through several software updates and my move to the 3G. But now, they have finally have finally fixed this: the app once again launches in a second or two on my original 3G with OS 3.0.

They also fixed something else that I was hoping for but not expecting. It used to be that if you were walking and tried to change from portrait mode to landscape, you'd have to stop walking for a couple seconds before the accelerometer would detect that the orientation had changed. It now works flawlessly--not only can you switch modes while walking, the camera adjusts just as quickly as it does when you're standing still. Outstanding. THIS is the kind of fit-and-polish improvement that ALL apps (and operating systems) deserve.

Most programs have plenty of features but there is still TONS of room left for improvements like this. I'm so happy to see SOMEONE taking the time to improve apps like this, instead of releasing them and forgetting about them forever. If all of softwaredom took the year off from adding features and just focused on small usability enhancements like this, the world would be a much better place.