Apple snaps up SnappyLabs

Apple snaps up SnappyLabs

06 JAN 2014

Apple purchased SnappyLabs, maker of SnappyCam – the iPhone camera app – for an undisclosed fee.

The acquisition was revealed by TechCrunch and confirmed soon afterwards by the Cupertino giant.

SnappyLabs is a one-man band, founded and run solely by John Papandriopoulos, an electrical engineering PhD from the University Of Melbourne.

The SnappyCam app lets users take a burst of 8-megapixel photos at up to 30 frames per second, a performance previously available only on professional DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) cameras.

Apple’s native iSight camera also has a burst mode, but that’s capable of capturing only 10 photos per second.

In a blog post published in summer 2013, quoted by the UK’s Daily Telegraph, Papandriopoulos said the company’s multi-threaded JPEG compression engine is able to compress shots in software at speeds that exceed that of the hardware encoder normally dedicated to the task.

“Full-frame continuous shooting is the holy grail of smartphone photography. It’s what makes DSLRs great, and what professional photographers rely on to get that winning shot,” wrote Papandriopoulos.

“As an app developer, the best we can do is full-sensor capture, that utilises every pixel on the camera sensor to produce photos of the highest quality and widest field of view.”

It’s unclear what Apple’s intentions are for SnappyLabs. Prior to Apple’s confirmation of the acquisition, SnappyCam was withdrawn from the App Store.

At one point in late 2013, according to The Wall Street Journal, SnappyCam was the number-one paid app in Apple’s App Store in 16 countries.


Ken Wieland

Ken has been part of the MWC Mobile World Daily editorial team for the last three years, and is now contributing regularly to Mobile World Live. He has been a telecoms journalist for over 15 years, which includes eight...More

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