What do you get when a prominent ex-Apple designer and former Twitter engineer join forces? A kick-ass camera app called Halide.

Sara Perez, TechCrunch:

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.

The developers' website goes into detail as to why Halide was created and it essentially boils down to the fact that current mobile phone cameras are exquisite, but that just don't feel like the same quality as shooting with a DSLR.

Long story short, "It's a premium camera for your iPhone."

What's new with Halide?

Check back here for the latest updates in Halide news.

December 15, 2017 - Capture photos up to four times faster with Halide 1.6

Today, Halide announced an update focused specifically on speed. Halide 1.6, dubbed "The Speed Update" by the Halide team, is the first "under-the-hood" update since the app's redesign for iPhone X just over a month ago, and features faster photo capture, a new lock screen widget, voice over features for the visually impaired, and more.

The most major changes that 1.6 offers, as mentioned above, are meant to make it easier than ever to take, save, and view one's photographs quickly. With the updated Halide, users can now snap photos two to four times faster — the time between tapping the shutter button and revealing the photo has been cut down significantly, meaning there will be no more waiting around to see whether or not you got a shot that's to your liking. What's more, the Halide team has added a lock screen widget so you can launch the app with one tap, assuring that you won't miss any perfect photo ops. There are even brand new 3D shortcuts to launch the app in either Manual or Auto mode, so there won't be any toying around with settings necessary before you can snap your pic.

On the saving end, the Halide team has finally tackled an issue users had been encountering with moderate frequency. Prior to now, when users went to edit their Halide-captured photos in a separate app, they would show up blurry, as many apps can't read Halide's RAW image format. With this update, however, Halide will now intelligently save a processed image alongside the user's RAW shot, allowing editing apps to fall back on the non-RAW image so it can still be altered however the user desires. Plus, now all RAW images taken with Halide will be sorted into a special album in the user's photo library titled "RAW" so that they can effortlessly and painlessly be found later. And if you're concerned about compatibility with HEIC (or would just prefer to save your images in a different format), it is now possible for you to switch from "Most Efficient" to "Most Compatible" so Halide will use JPEG instead. The Halide team detailed more format options in its press release:

In situations where Halide can't shoot RAW, we offer MAX mode, which saves a HEIC or JPEG in the highest quality setting. We now also have TIFF! It's lossless, but uses three times the storage.

In addition to the speed-centric changes, Halide got a few aesthetic and accessibility changes as well. Thanks to co-creator Sebastiaan de With, the app has received a shiny new icon. The team also states that Halide is now also the first manual camera app to support VoiceOver, Apple's assistive technology for the visually impaired.

Version 1.6 will be rolling out to all Halide users starting today.

November 6, 2017 - Halide's new camera UI was designed from scratch for iPhone X

Ex-Apple designer Sebastiaan de With announced on Medium today that his and Ben Sandofsky's gorgeous iPhone camera app Halide is getting a new update, just in time for the release of the iPhone X. The app hasn't only been adapted to scale correctly on the new screen, however — it's been completely redesigned from the ground up to take full advantage of the iPhone X's strengths.

On the iPhone X, Halide 1.5's camera UI stretches from edge-to-edge, utilizing every pixel of the screen's unique shape and size. It even uses the top corners on either side of the infamous notch to display camera data like exposure values. And because of the iPhone X's extra space, nothing obstructs the viewfinder: all of Halide's controls are now within reach of your thumb below the viewfinder, getting them out of the way. This also means that you can use Halide one-handed without any trouble.

In addition to the new camera UI, Halide 1.5 captures Depth on supported iPhone models, letting users to apply Portrait Mode effects to their snapshots in the Photos app after they've captured them. New hardware-based noise reduction has also been introduced in 1.5, giving you the sharpest images possible. And like the native Camera app on newer iPhones, Halide is able to capture photos in HEIC, allowing for higher quality files that take up less space.

Now go forth and upgrade so you can start your iPhonography binge as soon as you get your hands on your new iPhone X!

How is Halide different than other 3rd party camera apps?

Using tools like tactile controls to quickly change between autofocus and manual focus, bring down the exposure with a fast swipe, and more, Halide aims to imitate older photographic cameras like a Lecia or a Pentax.

Halide also focuses on giving users super simple access to professional camera tools: with the app you can choose to shoot photos as RAW or JPEGS, adjust manual focus, and even tweak things like focus peaking and the ability to snap stunning photographs with full ISO and shutter controls.

The app is designed with other smart features like:

  • Smart auto, which intelligently optimizers both your ISO and shutter speeds for super sharp images.

  • Quick EV, which allows you to adjust exposure with a mere swipe of your finger.

  • Grid and level, which lets you be precise with your shooting with the help of a subtle overlay grid.

… And so, so much more!

Awesome! So how much does it cost?

Halide will set you back about $5, but for everything you get to do with this camera app, it should probably be priced a little bit higher.

John Grubber:

This sort of maniacal attention to the smallest of details deserves to be celebrated.

Where can I download it?

Right here!

What do you think?

Will you be downloading and using Halide, or do you think any camera app besides the default camera app is a waste of time, effort, and money?

Let us know what you think about Halide (and share any questions you might have) in the comments below!