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iPhone App Review: EZ Cam

iPhone App Review: EZ Cam

July 16th, 2010 by

Before everyone was talking about the antenna problem with the iPhone 4, people were all abuzz about the fact that the iPad didn’t have a camera. “Why in the world would I buy that?” people asked after it was announced, then several billion of us promptly ran out and bought one anyway. We all knew that the next iteration would have a camera staring us right in the face and we bought it regardless.

In the meantime there is a great app available now that can magically add a camera to your iPad (or iPod Touch, or other iPhone… for some reason). It’s called EZ Cam Remote Camera Sharing, and all it requires is the app itself installed on two i-devices, provided at least one of them is an iPhone.

It works like this: you install the app on two devices (preferably one does not have a camera, but hey, whatever floats your boat). You then pair the devices via either Bluetooth or internet (3G or Wifi). One becomes the camera source and the other receives the images. You can capture the image on either device: the camera source can snap the pic which then gets sent to the receiver, or the receiving device can snap the pic remotely. It’s a nifty software workaround to the problem of getting pictures onto your iPad, but is it really worth the trouble and the expense?


Infinite regression!

EZ Cam comes in two modes, a paid version and an iAd supported version. Both are feature-identical and complete, you just have to look at ads in the iAd version.

  • Send full-resolution pictures or just a quick “capture” of what’s on the receiving device’s screen.
  • Connect via Bluetooth or internet (via the “Bump” method).
  • If Bluetooth is off it will turn it on for you (just don’t forget to manually turn BT off afterwards).
  • Each picture is automatically saved when transferred, no further button-presses requires.
  • You can swap the sending and receiving devices with the touch of a button, though obviously there is only one working arrangement when an iPad is involved.

Using The App

EZ Cam honestly could not be easier to use, though pairing was a bit tricky for me with an iPhone and an iPad. I first tried “Bump”-ing, and while I did get it to work it took a few tries. I think this had more to do with the fact that it’s hard to move an iPad with sufficient force to register a “Bump”, I think bumping two iPhones would have been much easier.

Bluetooth connection was tricky as well, but I think this has to do with the fact that Bluetooth pairing of ANY device to any other device is generally rather wonky, and I also don’t think I waited quite long enough for the confirmation dialogue. I only had trouble pairing that one time via Bluetooth, every other time I tested after that it was perfect and trouble-free. I should also point out that Bluetooth image transfers, though noticeably slower than Wifi transfers, were not that slow at all (this from the 5MP iPhone 4’s camera).

You can also turn off iAds for a day if you simply click an ad and view it fullscreen, but honestly the ads just don’t get in the way that much at all. They do not show up on the transferred images if they are in full resolution, though if there is an ad on the receiving device’s viewfinder then it will show up in the “capture”.

My breakfast, taken with the iPad using the iPhone's camera.

I came across a few bugs in testing:

  • At one point the “shutter” closed, and never re-opened. I had to break the connection and start again.
  • Upon starting the connection once, the iPad lacked the “Capture” and “High-Resolution” buttons, which are the buttons you use to remote-capture the images being sent from the iPhone.
  • I found the use of the camera’s flash a bit hit-or-miss: there is no button to turn on or off flash, so I assume it is in “auto” mode, but it did not go off predictably under identical lighting situations. This may be the iPhone 4 however, not the app itself.

The only design drawback to the app that I found was that you can’t transfer images from a device’s library to the other device. If they can add this ability into a future version then I would think that would be a much better enticement to pay for the app than simply the ability to remove some rather unobtrusive banner ads.

Bottom Line

All in all EZ Cam is a great app that I will be holding onto, hoping for the chance to someday soon use it in a real-world scenario. It does one job, a very specific albeit very useful job, and does it very well.

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