Apple Approves Camera App that Uses Volume Button

| Product News

Apple has allowed a new camera app on the App Store called Quick Snap - Camera Plus that allows users to use the volume button to snap a photo, the same feature that got a similarly-banned app called Camera+ to be banned from the App Store just four months ago.

The ability to modify iPhone’s hardware buttons is the very first thing the developer, Yu Jin, advertises in his app’s description, saying, “Turn iPhone Volume Button into a Shutter Button? ‘Quick Snap’ is the app for THAT!”

He adds, “Why choose the soft or full screen shutter when you can use VOLUME BUTTON as the hard shutter button on your iPhone? You are now one step close to the real digital camera experience! Isn’t that awesome?”

Quick Snap Screenshots

Two screenshots for the app on the App Store

This is the kind of feature that many iPhone photographers want, as touching the screen can sometimes jiggle the camera. The problem, however, is that Apple’s developer rules specifically forbid ever using the hardware controls in “non-standard” ways. This is part of Apple’s legendary control over its devices, as it seeks a uniform experience for users (for better or worse).

Wired magazine pointed out that this was referenced in the rejection letter Apple sent to Tap Tap Tap when the company included the same feature in its app, Camera+.

“Your application cannot be added to the App Store because it uses iPhone volume buttons in a non-standard way, potentially resulting in user confusion,” Apple said in its August rejection letter. “Changing the behavior of iPhone external hardware buttons is a violation of the iPhone Developer Program License Agreement.”

Camera+ was eventually allowed back into the App Store without that feature.

It’s unclear if this marks a change in Apple’s policies, or if Quick Snap merely slipped through the approval process. As it is, the app is still available as of this writing for US$1.99. If you want it, you might want to consider getting it sooner, rather than later.

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Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

South Park style business model:

1. Make app that gets rejected.
2. Wait 4 months.
3. ?????
4. Someone else profits doing the same thing.

Dean Lewis

Do the apps that were rejected change the action of the button completely? It appears this one changes the function of the button only after holding the button on the screen for 5 seconds. Making a temporary change to the volume button’s control through a user interaction in the first place could be different enough from the letter of the rule for apple to allow it? Just speculating, as I don’t know how the other apps functioned.


It’s screwy, but good for Apple for finally doing that. Now, if they’ll just liberate the WikiLeaks app…


Of course, as I learned on my Newton many years ago, using hardware buttons for functions not intended by the designers tends to wear them out faster.



It appears this app is already gone from the app store. search for “Quick Snap - Camera Plus” yields nothing.

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