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New camera app for iPhone gives only a snapshot of Facebook

May 24, 2012|By Michelle Maltais
  • Facebook launched its fourth iOS app Thursday, called Facebook Camera.
Facebook launched its fourth iOS app Thursday, called Facebook Camera. (Facebook )

Facebook, on the heels of buying Instagram, launched a new camera app for iPhone on Thursday to "share photos in a snap."

When you open the app, it recognizes you if you're already logged in to the Facebook app and asks you if you want to continue under that login. And it asks for your permission to stalk you and geolocate your photos.

It's very clear from the start that this app is about photos and photos only. Across the top of the home screen you get a camera at top left of a small preview of your phone's album. Just below you see a feed of your friends' photos, with the likes and comment tally overlaid.

The edges of horizontal photos extend past the white background of the feed, but you can tap and turn the image to get the full effect. For collections of photos, you see the edge of the next one extending past the white background and you just swipe your finger from right to left to scroll through the album.

The app doesn't refresh the same way you drag the screen to refresh the main Facebook app. If you try to do it that way, you'll just reveal your own camera album. The refresh button is under the camera icon. That actually drove me a little nuts. As a Facebook addict, my thumb automatically moves to swipe to refresh the screen.

The app allows you to shoot directly from it and do some minor editing including making slight adjustments to the photo's orientation. As with every single photo app coming out these days, yes, you've got filters -- over a dozen of them.

To publish, you tap to create a post and write your text description. You can add more photos, set or remove the location and select what pre-determined group you'll allow to see your upload.

When it comes to adding more photos to a post, it's not enough to just select the photo if you shoot it while in mid-post. After you've finished tweaking, you actually have to tap the grayed-out checkmark at the top right of the screen when the photo is full screen. Once it turns green, you're good to go.

After you submit it, you can see the post processing and then publishing.

Another nice little touch is the animation on the like button in this app. When you tap it, the cuff turns blue and the whole icon is highlighted by an aura.

An ancillary benefit, I suppose, is that you won't have to wade through all of the extraneous chatter, check-ins and FarmVille accomplishments on Facebook and just scroll through the snapshots. It's free in the App Store now.

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