Camera+ no longer in iPhone App Store

Camera+ is no longer in the iTunes App Store following a bizarre week that rejection, revelation, feature requests, and possible take down.

Here's the short version -- Camera+ pushed out an update that would let users take photos via the hardware volume buttons. Apple rejected the update because it does not currently allow that functionality. Camera+ developers TapTapTap posted about the rejection and said they'd filed a feature request with Apple to change the policy and allow volume buttons to be re-assigned. They also let slip on twitter that a little easter egg would allow the volume buttons to be re-assigned in the current version of TapTapTap. Then they deleted the tweet, but the internet had already picked it up and propagated it.

Apple has a policy on easter eggs. If they're disclosed and innocuous they're fine. If they're undisclosed and used as a way to circumvent the review process and App Store policies, they'll get you removed. Basically, if the feature wouldn't get approved out in the open, don't try to sneak it in as an easter egg.

So now either Apple has pulled Camera+ or TapTapTap has taken it down themselves to proactively remove the easter egg. We'll likely have to wait until they let us know.

And that's where I start to wonder if it's really a story, or media manipulation as marketing? They've already made a reported $500,000 in sales, and this little round of publicity -- should they get back into the App Store -- won't hurt. Except, of course, when the press starts to feel played, it will eventually backfire.

Maybe that's the real easter egg?

[9to5Mac, thanks maj0!]

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Camera+ no longer in iPhone App Store


I'm one of those people that purchased the app after the story came out about the rejection.
I tried the "easter egg", it makes it so much easier to take a photo when in an awkward position.
Apple need's to loosen up....

Apple is exerting way too much control over iOS apps. Imagine if they tried to do this for OS X apps? That would never fly. It's amazing what they can get away with on portable devices.

If it was indeed taken down by Apple, I wouldn't count on it being back. Apple banned my favorite comic book reader, Mobi, for a year because they similarly tried to circumvent the rules.

I read about the Easter Egg TipB a few days ago. It worked perfectly. I didn't realize activating the Easter Egg would make the actual app launch every time with the volume buttons serving as shutter release. That rocks! I thought I would have to type in the little web address each time I wanted to run the app with volume butttons reassigned. Not so! The app now launches everytime with shutter /volume buttons functioning. Perhaps you all knew this but I thought I'd pass it on.

Two sides to the story really. Sure, Apple should just allow it in the first place but the fact remains that they tried it and got it rejected, so then they tried to sneak it in. I'd be kinda pissed too if they completely ignored the rule that I just told them about. Like I said though, Apple should just allow the feature.

Funny how Apple always talks about making life easier for their customers. And giving their customers the best possible experience. But then they go and remove an app which adds a feature that makes "their customers life esier". Hahahaha. What a contradiction on Apples part. It's time for Apple to loosen those apron strings on their precious iDevice. Thank GOD (and devteam) for jailbreaking.

@Tony I agree except that Apple has loosen up a bit though lately in their approval process.
I would of never expected the day where rhapsody eould be allowed to update their software where now you can download any song you want onto your phone. iTunes competition anyone?
And a YouTube video downloader now in mxtube which was once in cydia.
So you have to give Apple credit every once in a while if you're going to call apple out for stuff like this. apple has def softened up on their appovals.

Do you really think they would willingly plan this to get a wave of quick downloads in one day's time, at the expense of potential months of not being in the store? That would be a pretty dumb move IMO - it's not like this is the only feature Camera+ has going for it.
I think this is more likely an example of why Twitter can be as detrimental to a company as a boon. It's way too easy for some overzealous developer/employee to let out a twitter post that shouldn't be out there. And once it's out, it's out.
Your conspiracy-theory-based snarkiness here strikes me as kind of odd.Yes there are companies that are starting to do such stunts to gain publicity, but I seriously doubt taptaptap really planned this.
I could make just as snarky of a response that says bloggers/journalists knew that by spreading the word about this hidden feature, they would turn it into a bigger story, that would allow them to have follow up stories for months to come. Bloggers don't HAVE to write about every twitter post they see - which would also prevent staged publicity stunts from being allowed to happen in the first place. However, such a statement might not be fair, as I don't believe the tone of this post is.
It sounds much more plausible that they put this hidden feature into an early build weeks/months ago, before the recent officially submitted version, to allow it to be tested by themselves and a select group of beta testers. Once the version with the actual feature got rejected, they forgot how pervasive the twitter-verse and the blogosphere can be, and it just might bite them in the butt big-time.

I do believe that Apple shouldn't be so restrictive, but devs also shouldn't be hiding features either. Put the dev in timeout.

I think people who bought it already should attach a file of the app from their apps in itunes and pull their credit card out of the account and give us the password and username so we can authorize ourselves. I wouls do that definetly if i had camera+

As a developer you agree to to apples rules and TOS, if you violate then your app gets pulled, what's so hard to understand?
If you smoke weed and get arrested do you complain and say "it should have never been banned in the first place"?
Some peoples sense of entitlement never ceases to amaze me.

@David Levine-Apple isn't the only one restricting what can be done in/on a portable device. Carriers, on essentially every phone, stack the devices with 'bloatware'. Apple is just cutting them out the "middleman" of loading things onto the device, and just doing it themselves. This seems a little different of me to say seeing as the two have little connection, but they still can be related. And OSX and iOS are two completely different products, system wise.

I can certainly see Apple's side of this, fearing that as soon as they allow tap tap tap to use the volume button as a shutter release, a game developer will want to use it to launch missiles and a mapping developer will want to use it to zoom in and out. That said - this particular function makes all the sense in the world and should have been added by Apple itself. The quality of the iPhone camera is to the point where it can replace a standalone cameras in most situations, so why aren't we allowed to hold it in a way that is most natural and stable when taking pictures? Like most "zero tolerance" policies, the original intent was good, but you look silly enforcing it when a genuinely sensible exception pops up. Apple really needs to step back and rethink their dedicated button policy when it comes to Camera+, and look into implementing similar specific exception functionality into iOS itself. Everyone taking a picture with an iPhone will love them for it.

@fastlane. Now way... I never noticed it. And since you're being a smart ass let me drop some knowledge for you. It's now a button. It's an area on the iPhone's screen that emulates a shutter button.
Using the volume buttons to take a picture would really add to the usefulness of the app. If you want to listen to music while you take a picture and you want to lower the volume, simply turn the VolumeSnap feature to OFF. I'm guessing you are part of the group of people that made Apple think we're all idiots.

You haven't read a dictionary in a awhile? It's a button. :roll:

"Using the volume buttons to take a picture would really add to the usefulness of the app."

Not even slightly.

"If you want to listen to music while you take a picture and you want to lower the volume, simply turn the VolumeSnap feature to OFF."

Hey, you could work for Microsoft. :lol:

OMG those bastards at Tap Tap Tap actually had the guts to made my Camera+ app even easier to use? For heavens sake, what if someone actually wanted to change the volume on their handset while they were talking on the phone and taking a picture at the same time? For shame Tap Tap Tap. Apple will destroy scum like you that want to give their customers ease of use!

I understand apples view on this, but I am really happy with my volume snap function on my phone now!