Apple acquires rapid image camera company SnappyLabs

Apple is apparently trying to improve the features of its iPhone camera by acquiring a company that has, until this week, offered a way for owners of the smartphone to take full resolution photos at 20 to 30 frames per second via a 99 cent app.

TechCrunch first reported, via unnamed sources, that Apple had bought SnappyLabs which had released the popular iOS app, SnappyCam. SnappyLabs was in fact a one man development team, John Papandriopoulos, who was born in Australia but currently works in San Fransisco. Re/Code has since received a statement from Apple confirming the acquisition but, as usual, the company did not go into any details, including how much they paid for SnappyLabs.

As a consequence of Apple's buyout, the SnappyCam app is no longer available from the iTunes Store. In addition, the content of the SnappyLabs website has been taken down.

While Apple has released TV ads in the past that claimed the iPhone is the most used smartphone camera in the world, other smartphone companies have released commercials of their own that slam the iPhone's photo features. Microsoft and Nokia have taken shots at both the iPhone and Samsung's Galaxy family for their image quality when compared to those made by the 41 megapixel Lumia 1020.

Source: TechCrunch | Image via SnappyLabs

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I haven't had time to check out this product specifically...

The majority of these software based products are using the burst modes of the hardware and then resampling the images back to a higher resolution. If this product ALSO specializes in resampling a photo to create a Zoom effect, it would seem they are doing the same.

So if you take a Nokia that can burst ten (10), 5mp images per second, and then in software resample them back to 8mp or 20mp, it is a bit of a con.

..
And we have the ground breaking development to change the way we make photos (on iOS) to be announced September 2014.

Apple continues to just buy their 'innovations' instead of create them. Throw money at anyone creating something halfway interesting and sell it off as your own..

paulheu said,
..
And we have the ground breaking development to change the way we make photos (on iOS) to be announced September 2014.

Apple continues to just buy their 'innovations' instead of create them. Throw money at anyone creating something halfway interesting and sell it off as your own..

In general, it isn't bad to buy out a technology your company was working on or improving upon, rather than reinvent it and put the company/product out of production because you have a bigger name. I have watched Microsoft make a lot of smaller companies rich because they had competing products even when Microsoft R&D had already created their own variations, sometimes years before.

However, it becomes a gray line, when a company does this to REMOVE the product from active consumers and ONLY then reoffer it along with new hardware, like Apple did with Siri and possibly might with this product.

If Apple gives this features to current iOS users, they good for the users. However, if they bill it as a magical new feature that is only on iOS, they slide back into the gray area of deception.


Yeah but they do a pretty goo job buying tech and integrating. That's something. I wouldn't have a problem with MS going on a buying spree for a few pieces of tech. The problem comes in integrating. **** look at Skype. It's great they are a profit center but MS doesn't get features first and it still isn't integrated enough to really replace MS Messenger completely. I also think Skype is a pretty solid example for MS integrating outside tech.

paulheu said,
..
And we have the ground breaking development to change the way we make photos (on iOS) to be announced September 2014.

Apple continues to just buy their 'innovations' instead of create them. Throw money at anyone creating something halfway interesting and sell it off as your own..

Yeah, almost as bad as Microsoft buying the entire Nokia devices division just to get back in the smartphone race…yet they are amazingly innovative!

Buying other people's work and implementing it in your own OS/services is something big companies do and it is difficult. It's not as if you stack the app upon the OS and things are settled. Look at Skype…haha.

Maybe you should think about what you want to say next time, it sure makes you look less stupid.

Problem is Apple removes the app from existence so people can no longer use it and then require hardware upgrades to be able to use the feature again.

So does this mean the app will be pulled from the store and Apple will release this as some new revolutionary feature in a future version of ios?

Edit: Helped if I read article. Guess I was right!

Edited by Xilo, Jan 5 2014, 5:34pm :

Xilo said,
So does this mean the app will be pulled from the store and Apple will release this as some new revolutionary feature in a future version of ios?

upon reading the article, its says "the SnappyCam app is no longer available from the iTunes Store."

and how is it revolutionary?

Xilo said,
Cause that's how Apple and Apple zealots believe of everything they do.

odd, all that i see who seem to say it is the "cool" kids from the android crowd... as seen by what you just demonstrated above.


rippleman said,

odd, all that i see who seem to say it is the "cool" kids from the android crowd... as seen by what you just demonstrated above.

You wouldn't be claiming that Apple doesn't think what they do is revolutionary, would you?

adrynalyne said,


You wouldn't be claiming that Apple doesn't think what they do is revolutionary, would you?

you wouldn't be claiming that the Honda thinks that their CRV can really be anything you want it to be, would you?

hint: its marketing, not to be taken literal.

rippleman said,

you wouldn't be claiming that the Honda thinks that their CRV can really be anything you want it to be, would you?

hint: its marketing, not to be taken literal.


I'm aware. Apple zealots are not. So what Xilo said is not far from the mark.

Apple will market it as revolutionary, and the zealots will believe it. It has nothing to do with the android crowd.

adrynalyne said,


I'm aware. Apple zealots are not. So what Xilo said is not far from the mark.

Apple will market it as revolutionary, and the zealots will believe it. It has nothing to do with the android crowd.

i know dozens and dozens of iPhone users and the same number in Android. It is very much the opposite way in my circles (and even here on neowin) where the Andriod zealots are the ones who up in a cloud and the iPhones users are "meh, its just a phone."

rippleman said,

i know dozens and dozens of iPhone users and the same number in Android. It is very much the opposite way in my circles (and even here on neowin) where the Andriod zealots are the ones who up in a cloud and the iPhones users are "meh, its just a phone."

Clearly that is anecdotal evidence, because I also know Android and iPhone users, and the Apple users think the iPhone (and iPad) are God's gift to the world. My Android friends are like meh, its a phone.

Inconclusive at best.

rippleman said,

upon reading the article, its says "the SnappyCam app is no longer available from the iTunes Store."

and how is it revolutionary?


Because it's shooting faster than any professional DSLR at $2000+ on the market. Limited by iPhone optics, sure, but that doesn't change the speed and technical achievement.

Xilo said,
Cause that's how Apple and Apple zealots believe of everything they do.

Maaannnn, why are we picking on just the Apple fans when fans of every other thing do the same thing? There are people out there who believe the marketing hype and think that the Swiffer sweep and trap is leading a revolution on cleaning floors because the company uses such zingers as, "This innovative combination cleans up big and small messes in a single swipe."

benthebear said,

Maaannnn, why are we picking on just the Apple fans when fans of every other thing do the same thing? There are people out there who believe the marketing hype and think that the Swiffer sweep and trap is leading a revolution on cleaning floors because the company uses such zingers as, "This innovative combination cleans up big and small messes in a single swipe."

because they are the cool kids

rippleman said,

upon reading the article, its says "the SnappyCam app is no longer available from the iTunes Store."

and how is it revolutionary?

I agree it isn't, but that doesn't change how the public and Apple customers will see it.

So, basically the same way Siri was?

I meet people all the time that think Apple invented Siri, and many that tout a voice assistant as an Apple invention.

Mobius Enigma said,

I agree it isn't, but that doesn't change how the public and Apple customers will see it.
So, basically the same way Siri was?
I meet people all the time that think Apple invented Siri, and many that tout a voice assistant as an Apple invention.

yea, it'll be like siri, where the people that bought the app won't be able to use it anymore until they upgrade their phone...

Xilo said,
So does this mean the app will be pulled from the store and Apple will release this as some new revolutionary feature in a future version of ios?

Edit: Helped if I read article. Guess I was right!

I don't know how many fall for Apples marketing talk, but if I like a feature ill like it regardless of how they market it.

Just because they say it's new and revolutionary doesn't mean that, if I like that feature, I agree it's new and revolutionary.

It used to bother me how people could be racist or sexist, but then I look at the people who sit around internet forums judging people by the type of phone they have, and suddenly it starts to make a bit more sense.

One might end up creating a word for this senseless hatred of a person by the type of phone that they use, but I think the word "stupidity" fits just fine.

Sorry for being off-topic, may the circle jerk continue.

dead.cell said,
It used to bother me how people could be racist or sexist, but then I look at the people who sit around internet forums judging people by the type of phone they have, and suddenly it starts to make a bit more sense.

One might end up creating a word for this senseless hatred of a person by the type of phone that they use, but I think the word "stupidity" fits just fine.

Sorry for being off-topic, may the circle jerk continue.

Yeah! Down with phone-ism!

doesn't sound like too complicated of an app, funny they just didn't have some of their coders just whip one up and throw it in the next patch.

It's more than it may seem. SnappyLabs figured out an algorithm to have the iPhone actually shoot full-resolution burst photos much faster than Apple's built-in burst feature in iOS 7 as well as competing apps due to reengineering the JPEG compression algorithm itself. 60 photos/sec is much faster than any pro DSLR will give you. The Nikon D800 at $2800 does four photos per sec. Granted, at higher quality and 36 Megapixels rather than 8 MP, but still...

Gaffney said,
Well you aren't losing anything, but you aren't gaining anything either it's just cropping.

You actually lose all the pixels cropped out, that's why calling a digital zooming lossless doesn't make much sense.