January 6, 2014
Apple has confirmed its acquisition of SnappyLabs, the one-man development company behind the popular burst photo app SnappyCam. The acquisition was first reported by TechCrunch's Josh Constine, who got wind of it after learning of the removal of SnappyCam from the App Store and the decided inactivity of its official website and social media presence. In a statement to Re/code (formerly AllThingsD), Apple confirmed the deal but declined to comment beyond its boilerplate remark on its acquisitions: “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.” Presumably, Apple plans to integrate the core technology behind SnappyCam to significantly enhance its Camera app built into iOS. SnappyCam was created by John Papandriopoulos, an electrical engineering PhD from the University of Melbourne. Released in August 2012, it was updated in July last year with an innovative shooting technology developed by Papandriopoulos. This technology, which is detailed in a now deleted yet archived blog post by Papandriopoulos, essentially reinvented how JPG images are compressed. As a result, it enabled the iPhone to shoot full-resolution photos at up to 30 frames per second — three times faster than the shooting rate of the iPhone 5s' native burst mode.