A new mobile application called Camu, launching today, is designed to serve as a lightweight replacement to the iPhone’s default camera app while also offering the ability for users to edit and share photos more easily after the fact, without having to switch between other applications. The app somewhat competes with long-time popular camera apps like Camera+ or Camera Awesome, but with a simpler, more streamlined feature set.
“Most of the camera apps in the market are filled with complicated settings,” explains Ilkka Teppo, CEO at Sumoing, the company behind the Camu app.
“At same time the messaging solutions are built text-first or for photo-chatting,” he adds. “We wanted to create a true mobile-first camera experience – challenging the assumptions that capturing, editing and sending photos and videos has to be in separate apps.”
Of course, Apple’s native iPhone Camera app also offers some of these functions in the latest version of its iOS operating system, iOS 8, expected in September. You can change camera modes, add filters, and then hop into your Photo Gallery with a tap to make a variety of edits or share the photo via iMessage, email, iCloud, AirDrop, Facebook, Twitter or Flickr.
So Sumoing is right in believing a combined feature set of snapping, editing and sharing is something users want. But because of the similarities, it will have to compete via the experience of using Camu, as well as its extra features.
These include things like a “super-focus” mode for adding depth-of-field to images, a different set of filters, the ability to add text to photos, the ability to turn photos into collages in real time (also popular among Instagram users), and a “selfie” mode that automatically shoots a photo when no more movement is visible in the frame.
After editing your photos or videos, you can then share your media and chat privately with friends on Camu, or post more publicly on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
The company, composed of a team of designers and engineers hailing from the Nokia cluster in Helsinki, Finland, already has a decent track record when it coms to mobile apps. Sumoing’s first iOS app Repix, which combines photo editing and painting, was launched in early 2013 and has now grown to over 12 million installs.
Sumoing has a small amount of seed funding and now also generates revenue via Repix, which has helped to fund Camu’s creation. Camu’s business model is not yet set in stone, however, but Teppo says they see “lots of different options” for it in the future. We’d expect those to include in-app purchases, but nothing is confirmed.
The app, now an Editor’s Choice on the App Store, is a free download here.