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  • Apple Reportedly Acquires SnappyLabs, Developer behind Burst-Photo App SnappyCam


    Apple reportedly acquires app developer SnappyLabs, the one-man company that created SnappyCam, a popular app that allows users to take full-resolution pictures at 20 to 30 frames per second. News of the reported purchase of SnappyLabs was relayed by TechCrunch, which cited sources close to the matter as saying Apple recently bought the one-man operation amid bids from “most of the usual players.” Apple has yet to confirm the acquisition and terms of the deal were not revealed.

    SnappyLabs was founded by John Papandriopoulos, an electrical engineer who studied at the University of Melbourne. Papandriopoulos is still the only member of the SnappyLabs team, meaning he will likely be working with Apple on future camera-related projects as a result of the acquisition. The company’s lone app, SnappyCam, allowed users to take multiple shots in quick succession with a negligible hit to image quality. The app, now pulled from the iOS App Store, boasted shooting speeds of 20 to 30 frames per second, which is much faster than Apple’s own solution.

    Papandriopoulos previously explained the science behind SnappyCam in a blog post, which was taken down along with SnappyLabs’ website recently:

    First we studied the fast discrete cosine transform (DCT) algorithms...We then extended some of that research to create a new algorithm that's a good fit for the ARM NEON SIMD co-processor instruction set architecture. The final implementation comprises nearly 10,000 lines of hand-tuned assembly code, and over 20,000 lines of low-level C code. (In comparison, the SnappyCam app comprises almost 50,000 lines of Objective C code.)

    JPEG compression comprises two parts: the DCT (above), and a lossless Huffman compression stage that forms a compact JPEG file. Having developed a blazing fast DCT implementation, Huffman then became a bottleneck. We innovated on that portion with tight hand-tuned assembly code that leverages special features of the ARM processor instruction set to make it as fast as possible.
    Apple could potentially make a big update to its Camera app the better take advantage of the latest iPhone hardware once armed with the burst-photo technology and Papandriopoulos’ expertise. In addition, the company may be able to extend burst shooting modes to legacy models that currently lack such functionality, which appears to be limited to the imaging sensor module used in the iPhone 5S.

    Source: TechCrunch
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple Reportedly Acquires SnappyLabs, Developer behind Burst-Photo App SnappyCam started by Akshay Masand View original post
    Comments 3 Comments
    1. rocky5's Avatar
      rocky5 -
      Shock! Apple taking down another Dev so it doesn't compete with there own implementation.

      Guess this saying comes to mind. If you can't beat them, buy them ;-)

      Pity would have purchased it if I new it was on the AppStore, but recently (long time) it's just been crud on there :-(
    1. buggsy2's Avatar
      buggsy2 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Akshay Masand View Post
      Apple could potentially make a big update to its Camera app
      Or potentially remove a useful but embarrassing app.
    1. yearoftherat's Avatar
      yearoftherat -
      Quote Originally Posted by buggsy2 View Post
      Or potentially remove a useful but embarrassing app.
      Embarrassing b/c a third party app/ developer came out with an app that had features that the 5S should have but didn't.
      If that was the case then, Apple might as well take down all the other camera apps out there. There are ones that are far superior than the stock one.