Couplett is finally coming out tomorrow, February 8th. For those that are interested, I thought I'd give a little insight into the year-long process that has brought Couplett to the App Store. A whole year, you say? Indeed. So how does such a simple concept take a year to come to fruition? Read on to find out.In January, 2011, I was having lunch with my daughter. We were having one of our favorites, Panera mac and cheese, while taking a break from some errands. I find that my favorite times with my children are when I get to spend time with them individually. My daughter had requested “the mac and cheese restaurant” and I was happy to oblige.
Being the age of cell phone cameras, I was taken by an impulse we all seem to have from time to time, “I want to capture this moment”. So there she was, across the table from me and I began the typical dance:
- Launch camera app
- lean over the table
- extend arm
- realise that I’m not sure the framing
- weigh the option of using the front facing camera despite it’s lower quality...
Wait a second.
Why am I switching cameras? This device has 2 cameras, if I could just drop the phone in between us and use both cameras, that would be so much simpler!
Thus began an App Store search and I found that there wasn’t much available (or my search skills weren’t up to the task). I filed the idea away and set a RE.minder to talk to John about it on Monday.
After relaying the idea, John started playing around with the camera system and we made some interesting discoveries, the most important of which is that, on the iPhone 4, there is no way to have both cameras active at the same time. No matter how we sliced it, the best we could hope for was two images, captured one immediately after the other. We took this prototype with us to WWDC 2011 and confirmed this with Apple. Barring a redesign of the underlying camera system (or a significant change deep within the OS), we could not have both cameras active at once.
Armed with this knowledge, it was time to dive into active development. Oh if only.
After WWDC in June, we were knee deep in the development of Uncle Slam. In addition, we now had a bright and shiny (if borderline alpha) new iOS version to content with. But as we all know, Apple is never exactly forthcoming with projected release dates. Could Couplett be iOS5 only? Should we shift Uncle Slam's focus to iOS 5? Decisions, decisions.