iphone camera icon1Apple added a number of new features to the camera in iOS 5, as more and more users drop their point-and-shoot digital cameras in favor of the increasingly powerful cameras built-in to smartphones.

For users looking to take pictures quickly, when the phone is locked, simply press the home button twice -- then press the camera icon that appears to be taken directly to the camera. This works even when the phone is locked with a passcode.

Apple's engineers also added a feature that caused Camera+, a popular camera app, to be banned from the App Store for four months. Users of Apple's standard camera application can press the volume-up button to take a snapshot, rather than pressing the shutter button on the touchscreen. This makes the iPhone more like a standard camera, with the shutter release on the top.


Finally, as a corollary to the volume up shutter release, users can also plug in headphones with headphone controls -- like the headphones that are included with the iPhone -- and use the volume up on the headphones as a remote trigger for the camera.

Top Rated Comments

lunarworks Avatar
140 months ago


Just warn your girlfriends when they go to the bathroom if there is an iPhone propped up on the counter with the headphones going somewhere else. There might be a creeper in the other room taking remote pics of them.

As opposed to an iPhone propped up without headphones recording 1080p video?
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jared52 Avatar
140 months ago
I wish they could make this work with a bluetooth headset as well. THAT would be useful.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JayLenochiniMac Avatar
140 months ago

Finally, as a corollary to the volume up shutter release, users can also plug in headphones with headphone controls -- like the headphones that are included with the iPhone -- and use the volume up on the headphones.

So that's how they got so close to the squirrel.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
wordoflife Avatar
140 months ago
Is there going to be another article on how we can delete individual calls from the call history too?
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
atari1356 Avatar
140 months ago
I just tried with Instagram, it does not take use of the volume button.

I guess it's fair enough that Apple wants to have this feature exclusively at first. This way they can tweak the API until they are really sure that it works and then release it.

Nevertheless I don't this is a particularly complicated API to make public. I understand that some more complicated API like dictionary or Siri may take a while to mature before releasing it. I don't think that's the case in here.

The feature isn't exclusive to Apple's Camera app. It's part of the API now. If the developer uses the standard UIImagePickerController, the volume button takes a photo.

Some apps like "ShakeItPhoto" now also have volume button support under iOS 5, but I'd guess it just got the feature "automatically" since it's using an unmodified UIImagePickerController.

I'm not sure how Instagram was built, but it may not be using the standard UIImagePickerController.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
NightFox Avatar
140 months ago
So, is the volume button API public now? It's not fair to 3rd party camera apps if it isn't public.
But it's no different that any other feature; Apple gets access to all APIs and can bypass them if it wants, devs only get to use the public ones.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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