One of the fun features of the iPhone  is the built-in camera. Like with all smartphones and cell phones, the camera is essentially a secondary device with limited functionality. The features are usually limited to "digital" zoom and maybe some brightness adjustment. The iPhone's amazing array of apps has extended the functionality of the camera phone idea but there are still some issues that I would like to see resolved.

I realized immediately, that upon using the camera, is that it, too suffers from a lack of features. However, many of these shortcomings were addressed by other developers taking advantage of the iPhone's SDK. A myriad of 3rd party add ons address everything from cropping, to colorspace to digital zooming. The idea that the camera is accessible to iPhone app developers is great, but each separate set of functionality has to be written into its own standalone app. I would love to be able to see features from each camera app that I install usable from others.

The Camera needs a way to allow for a plug-in or filtering API to allow developers to write add-ons for the camera that can be used from whatever app that utilizes the camera device. For example, why can't I use the "zoom" function of "Free Zoom" from  the Flickr app? (Free Zoom emulates a zoom by allowing you to selectively crop on the fly). I realize that there are numerous layers involved here with regards to image capture, but it seems to be a simple interface for allowing these kinds of post-imaging manipulation could be implemented.

I figure these simple features would be a place to start:

  • Cropping/Pseudo-zooming
  • Brightness/Contrast
  • Emulated Flash
  • Color/B&W/Sepia/etc
  • Bracketing. Take 3, pick best of
  • Self-timer

For now, I have to have three camera apps clogging up a workspace on my iPhone.