An ex-Apple designer and former Twitter engineer have teamed up for a new take on iPhone photography, with today’s launch of their iOS camera app called Halide. The idea is to offer a variety of high-end tools for taking quality photographs, but packaged in a way where accessing those controls via gestures becomes like muscle memory – similar to using the dials on a camera.
While there are a number of alternative camera applications for iOS today – like Camera+ or Camera Awesome, for example – these tend to be marketed towards mainstream users who want to “shoot like a pro.” Halide, on the other hand, is designed more with the power user in mind first. That is, it will largely appeal to those who have some understanding of photography, and want to do things like quickly change the exposure or manually focus with a swipe.
The app also includes professional tools like focus peaking (which highlights the areas in focus, allowing users to manually pull focus), a detailed histogram, an adaptive level grid and support for both JPG and RAW capture.
Beyond the app’s feature set, something that differentiates the app is its gesture-based interface. But its controls also work with a tap so you don’t have to learn all the gestures immediately. This makes the overall experience more consistent, and doesn’t leave newcomers hunting around to access the app’s features.
The team sees the gesture-based interface as part of what makes Halide usable – even for less experienced photographers.
“You don’t really need to understand concepts like Exposure Compensation, EVs, or manual focus to enjoy the features in Halide,” says de With. “So we hope to see many people pick it up, not just the die-hard photographers.”