Use Your iPhone Headset As Shutter Release in iOS 5

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jun 13, 2011.

  1. MacRumors, Jun 13, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 13, 2011

    macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    A few of the hundreds of "new" features in iOS 5 were "appropriated" from other developers. One, the ability to trip the iPhone camera shutter by pressing the Volume Up button instead of pressing a soft-button on-screen, came from a hidden feature that iOS developer tap tap tap included in a version of Camera+, an iPhone camera replacement app.

    As an added bonus, if you press the Volume Up button on the Apple Earphones with Remote and Mic that comes with every iPhone that will trip the shutter as well.

    It's a pretty clever trick, and for those who use the iPhone to take pictures -- of which there are many (see below) -- it might come in handy. Combine the iPhone and headphone remote with a simple tripod/stand like the Glif, and you've got a cheap-and-functional camera rig.


    Hat tip to Cult of Mac, and Charles for the video.

    Article Link: Use Your iPhone Headset As Shutter Release in iOS 5
  2. macrumors 6502


    May 29, 2009
    Boston, MA
  3. macrumors 68020

    Oct 12, 2006
  4. macrumors newbie

    Oct 19, 2008
    A little known existing feature of iOS4 is that the remote button starts/stops video recording...
  5. macrumors 601


    Oct 20, 2008
    Brilliant indeed, hadn't thought of this at all. There goes a section of the accessories market ;)
  6. macrumors 603


    Feb 3, 2010
    United Kingdom
    I can imagine this being very useful.

    Quickly pull out your iP4 while listening to music, double tap the home button and quick launch the camera and you're away!
  7. macrumors 68020


    Jun 4, 2009
    And I was always annoyed that it didn't work for photos. Now I don't have to be!
  8. macrumors 6502

    Apr 28, 2011
    Berkeley, CA
    So why did Apple ban the functionality in the first place?
  9. macrumors 601

    Compile 'em all

    Apr 6, 2005
    They didn't ban anything. They simply felt that an "app" that "some might have and some might not" shouldn't define hardware behavior. And well, a new feature should be released in an all new feature release.
  10. macrumors 65816


    Jan 21, 2004
    Awesome, I can now use my headphones as plunger.
  11. macrumors regular

    Oct 9, 2007
    What's with the attitude from MacRumors all of a sudden regarding iOS 5 features? Both this and the Wi-Fi sync article had very unprofessional tones, and the accusations that Apple plagiarized from developers seems particularly unjustified in both these cases.

    Phones have been using volume buttons as shutter releases for a decade. It was never really that novel; tap tap tap was just the only developer ballsy enough to sneak it into an app, and they were punished for it.

    With iOS devices, the rationale has always been that an app gets full and exclusive control of what's happening on the screen, and any touch events, while hardware buttons are the sole domain of the operating system. Any app that tried to use a hardware button for a non-standard purpose was rejected on principle -- Apple didn't want to allow for the consequential possibility of user confusion, etc. Home button is for home, Volume buttons control volume, period, no exceptions.

    Generally, it seemed like a sound policy, but taking photos is one of the few exceptions where a physical button would be really handy, and the volume buttons are in just the right spot to do it.

    In July or August of 2010, tap tap tap proudly talked about adding that feature, and submitted a new version of Camera+ which included it (among other things). It was rejected by reviewers, based on the above policy.

    So, tap tap tap said "ok" and resubmitted a version with that 'removed'. But what they'd really done is disabled the feature and added a hidden cheat code that would turn it feature. Knowledge of this went viral. Apple was not pleased at being tricked, and the banhammer came down: Camera+ was pulled from the app store, and tap tap tap went almost entirely silent for 4 months -- no blog posts, no updates to other apps, nothing. One might speculate Apple put them in the time out corner to think about what they did.

    Then, in December, tap tap tap suddenly came back to life and released a brand new 2.0 version of Camera+, with lots of new features (and no presence or mention of the ill-fated volume-button-shutter feature, or discussion of the long absence).

    Now, as to why Apple seems to have had a change of heart on this issue, there's a couple things to note:

    -As mentioned in the keynote, over the past year since the iPhone 4's release, it's become abundantly clear how much serious photography is being done using iPhones. And tapping the on-screen button to take the photo is extremely awkward/clumsy in a wide variety of scenarios. Apple finally realized this point. (Or rather, the people inside Apple who were probably arguing for something like this all along were finally able to garner enough support or evidence to justify the change.)

    -The boundaries of that split between "apps own the screen" and "iOS owns the buttons" are visibly eroding from the other side, especially in light of other iOS 5 features: Notification Center is adding a system-wide gesture, and frequent little notes on the top of the screen, and the 4-5 finger multitasking gestures are finally becoming an official preference option on the iPad. This is on top of the growing rainbow of multitasking items that add another line to the status bar (and steal taps to the area), such as phone calls, voice recording, VoIP calls, and Wi-Fi tethering.

    Clearly, Apple is less beholden to that principle now than it was a year ago. I've not yet heard if they intend to allow 3rd party camera apps to also use the volume as a shutter button, but I don't see why they wouldn't. *Not* allowing it would *reduce* platform consistency.
  12. macrumors regular

    Mar 1, 2008
    I wonder if this means that other apps (like Camera+) will be able to access this and use the volume button and remote as the shutter within their app? I would think and hope so.
  13. macrumors 68040


    Sep 29, 2009
    The definition of "appropriation":

    Theft Act 1968, UK


    (1)Any assumption by a person of the rights of an owner amounts to an appropriation, and this includes, where he has come by the property (innocently or not) without stealing it, any later assumption of a right to it by keeping or dealing with it as owner.

    (2)Where property or a right or interest in property is or purports to be transferred for value to a person acting in good faith, no later assumption by him of rights which he believed himself to be acquiring shall, by reason of any defect in the transferor’s title, amount to theft of the property.

    It is nearly amount to outright theft if arn thinks that Apple is acting "dishonestly". I think that it's quite a strong accusation, and indeed, may be too much. ;)
  14. macrumors 6502a

    Feb 27, 2011
    I wonder whether Apple overlooked this or this was intentional.
  15. macrumors 68020


    Aug 27, 2004
    I sensed the same attitude during MacRumor's WWDC Live Feed; at times it bordered on immature.
  16. macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2008
    i wonder if that means if i have a bluetooth headset that has volume up and down control, i can take pictures remotely? :D
  17. macrumors newbie

    Jun 15, 2011
    Or you can just jailbreak... SnapTap enables volume-button-as-shutter-button for any camera app. :)

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