UPDATE: Camera+ update featuring "VolumeSnap" rejected, feature request filed

Developer tap tap tap submitted an update for their app Camera+ which included a new feature called VolumeSnap. VolumeSnap allowed users to use the volume controls to take a photo, a feature that many iPhone users have asked for. Apple, however, does not approve of using the iPhone's hardware in this manner. Here's what they had to say to tap tap tap:

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. Changing the behavior of iPhone external hardware buttons is a violation of the iPhone Developer Program License Agreement. Applications must adhere to the iPhone Human Interface Guidelines as outlined in the iPhone Developer Program License Agreement section 3.3.7

The iPhone Human Interface Guidelines states:

Users use the device’s volume buttons to adjust the volume of all sounds their devices can play, including songs, application sounds, and device sounds. Users can always use the volume buttons to quiet any sound, regardless of the position of the Ring/Silent switch.
Using the volume buttons to adjust an application’s currently playing audio also adjusts the overall system volume, with the exception of the ringer volume. (Using the volume buttons when no audio is currently playing adjusts the ringer volume.)

Although tap tap tap is disappointed that their app got reject, they are appreciative of the fact that Apple was very informative regarding the reason behind the rejection.

Flashlight apps that use the iPhone 4's LED flash were originally in violation of Apple's policy, but it got changed after a developer encouraged Apple to review it. So tap tap tap is encouraging developers and users alike to submit a feature request to Apple to get this policy changed.

So there you go, if the ability to use the volume buttons to snap a photo is something you desire, make your voice heard!

UPDATE: One of our readers, Flo, let us know that there is way to enable VolumeSnap on the current version of Camera+. Just visit camplus://enablevolumesnap in mobile Safari. Doing so will launch Camera+ and VolumeSnap just works. There is a possibility that doing this will disable the volume control to your iPhone, but closing Camera+ from the multitasking dock quickly fixes it. To disable VolumeSnap, visit camplus://disablevolumesnap in mobile Safari.

I've tried it and it works flawlessly. In fact, I didn't even lose volume control. If you try it out, let us know how it works for you!

[tap tap tap via @justin_horn]

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Leanna Lofte

Former app and photography editor at iMore, Leanna has since moved on to other endeavors. Mother, wife, mathamagician, even though she no longer writes for iMore you can still follow her on Twitter @llofte.

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Reader comments

UPDATE: Camera+ update featuring "VolumeSnap" rejected, feature request filed


Wow do they think most people with iPhone's are stupid and can't figure out how to work it? Silly Apple apps are for geeks!

tap tap tap is doing this the right way. The only question I have is why do devs submit apps to the apps store that they know (like this one) are going to get rejected? At least these guys don't seem surprised by it.

Jailbreak, jailbreak, jailbreak, jailbreak, jailbreak, jailbreak, jailbreak, jailbreak, jailbreak, jailbreak, jailbreak, jailbreak, jailbreak, jailbreak, jailbreak!!
Apple should offer Cydia and Rock in the Appstore!
Translation of Apple's rejection message:
We are sorry, but we have to reject your software because we believe that our users are idiots and technologically retarded. We are sure that using a volume button to take pictures would mean that iphone owners would have to have an IQ of over 50. After all, the "i" in "iphone" stands for "idiot".
We also want to control the world and decide what software is appropriate for our customers. We are coming out with an App that actually allows Apple to control iphone user's minds. We believe that we should control our customers minds as they are not capable of doing so in a way that would please his Majesty, Mr. Jobs.

What tap3 ought to do is make camera+ play a little music when you run it... then the volume buttons mute the music... oh and the camera shutter fires whenever the music is muted.

At least the developer is acting mature about it. Usually developers end up crying hysterically about this type of thing. To be fair, this isn't a grey area - Apple was always likely to reject it. I agree with Apple on this though. I could see an argument for the +/- being used for zoom though.

I'm not so sure I want volume click control over the camera. I'd actually rather have the ability to stap a picture by pressing the microphone button. You can use that currently to start/stop video recording.

How can you agree with Apple, and what was not "mature" about other developers wanting freedom?
Does Bill Gates tell you what software you can or cannot install on your Windows computer or Windows Mobile phone?
Does Nokia, Google, Motorola, RIM, Samsung, and every other manufacturer tell you what you may or may not install?
Apple is more like some of the countries that have recently been blocking Blackberry service because it is encrypted and they want to be able to spy on everyone.
Now that Jailbreaking is officially legal, I wouldn't be surprised if some big corporation started sponsoring Jailbreaking and Cydia, etc.

Nope, the camera already has an on-screen control. No button assigned. Welcome to the re-opening of the story.

I wish Tap3 would just make Camera+ usable. Don't get me wrong, I love the app, but the load times on opening are unbearable. Get rid of the stupid SLR opening and just get me to the camera already!

@Parking Jerk:
Wrong. Redundant garbage. Apple should be trashing thousands of other apps while they're at it.

I see no reason this feature shouldn't be approved if the feature were set to OFF by default when you first load the app, and the user has the option in a menu to toggle this feature on/off. Why should Apple care if YOU the user want to use the volume rockers to snap a pic instead of change your music volume?
There's a JB app called snaptap which has this exact same feature, although the developer charges practically the same amount as camera+ for it (for what must have been half an hour of work). Jeez.

Hey, if u r like me and think having the volume button be a snapshot button, quit complaining and file a feature request! Mabye apple will listen!

@George... you are wrong my friend... an easy root application was ripped from the Android Market just recently.. so much for that whole open development... So therefore, no you can't just do whatever you want to your phone.

I would really love to use the home button to snap or record video of course when that app it's open and ready to use that would really be great.

I love the Microsoft reference! Who wants a Microsoft platform? Not me. That is why I bought apple. I agree that apple should protect the simplicity of the phone! There's no..."this button does this in this app but when that app is on this button does that, and you can't get this button to do that in that app" kinda crap. @Apple-"keep doin what your doing and how your doing it! Your way of doing things has created a simple, elegant and usable device!"

Chobbs, Microsoft sucks, but at least they don't dictate to you what software you may or may not install. Windows mobile allows you to do whatever you want too.
You are right, aboutrotecting the simplicity, but they should make an advanced mode for those of us that want it. You can always restore if you mess something up.

Apple should allow the option. or even add the option to their camera app.
For now, there is a jailbreak tweak (fastsnap) that will add the volume button 'snap'
I quite like it.

Maybe developers should read and understand their contract / obligations better?
Me I think using the on screen touch method would be a lot more stable then pressing a clicky botton. Professionals even use remotes to avoid using a clicky shutter botton.
I prefer a consistant UI over dealing with exceptions after exceptions but hey, thats just me.

My letter to Apple using the support link in the article. Please feel free to copy, paste, edit and resend! They need to know that this feature is essential!
To whom it may concern:
I have read articles stating that Apple has rejected Tap Tap Tap's app, Camera+ update. This update allowed the iPhone volume buttons to trigger the shutter for the camera app. I understand the reason for the rejection but am urging Apple to reconsider this the function of the volume buttons to be used to control the shutter on the Camera+ app and other camera apps.
I am an avid fan of photography on the iPhone and this functionality would add a much-needed feature of camera apps. It would allow the user to take photos much easier and more steadily, increasing the value of the iPhone as a day-to-day digital camera.
I understand that the volume buttons maintain a static function throughout the operating system, but other mobile devices often designate volume buttons as a shutter release. I have never come across a complaint of those devices that state "button confusion" as problem. I think that a larger portion of users would rather have the capability than gripe about potential "confusion" that it may cause. I believe it to be slightly insulting to assume customers cannot differentiate a dual function of a button.
I strongly urge Apple to reconsider their stance on this restriction to allow users to take full advantage of the iPhone's ability as stellar camera.
Thank you!

Haha I think it's funny to watch some people get worked up over this and claim that apple is trying to control us and trying to say were idiots. Yea for some people using the volume buttons as a shutter wi be easyier. I can see the use. I would even agree that it should be optional. But for some people to say that their trying to control our and call us idiots? Just because they want it done a certain way? It's not that big of a deal guys.

As someone who has to support software running on Android devices that vary enough in functionality that we have to say, "consult your manufacturer's documentation for how to do Thing X", I understand the reasoning behind this kind of consistency.

Apple likes consistency and it's stated in the develop guidelines so this should not be an issue. They control their products not the users of it. If you want what is perceived as more freedom then by all means go to another platform that's your choice. But if your definition of confused equates to idiot then you should go back to school and stay there.
As far as Android is concerned it's a good platform but it's also on multiple carriers so it should sell more. Also Buy-1-Get free does not equate to 2 sales or real demand for a product vs consumers just looking for a good sale as most won't spend more than $59.99 on a phone. So far the iPhone is the only smartphone with real demand vs perceived demand as people are willing to pay full price or contact price for it. Most of us who read this forum or that of any other platform are nor the norm. People need to get off their fanboy meritless arguments that help no one.

@Nickel586 +1 for getting rid of the opening "Camera" display--that alone keeps me from using Camera+ as often as I might!

My two cents which I just sent to Apple:
I am requesting that you reconsider the volume snap feature on tap tap tap's camera+ application. This feature should be standard even on the native camera application. I believe your justification for rejecting this feature is short sighted and even indicates you believe your customers are not intelligent enough to use this feature. The fact you think customers will get confused because they expect the volume button to perform only volume functions is laughable especially when this is a customer controlled feature. So again I would like you to reconsider this feature sooner rather than later. Thank you.

I tested this and it works great. Does not lose volume functionality when you close the app or even kill it.
Great tweak thanks! Love it!

I think this was a stupid move by TapTapTap. The volume buttons should be volume only. If I'm taking pics and listening to music I don't want any kind of guesses about what the volume does.

Ok, so by simply visiting a website with Safari on the iPhone, I can change the functionality of the hardware volume buttons? Is this not yet another example of a security flaw in iOS4? I'm quite shocked by this, following on so closely after the web-based jailbreaking...
One of the key features of iPhone has always been the consistency of GUI and hardware, coupled with the security of Apple locking down the iOS. I don't trust open source, and I don't want an Android phone.

@Alex, you're not visiting a website. Look a little closer at the URL. It all happens on your iPhone.

@Eric, are the volume buttons really customer controlled? Through the developer agreement made that clear? @BoxOfSnoo had a good point about listening to music while taking a few snaps.