The touchscreen camera interface gets an upgrade with Halide, a new iOS app

halide launches in app store redwoods
Halide
Features like 3D touch and gesture control have changed how smartphones operate, but despite the changes, native camera controls have remained largely static. That’s what Halide, a new premium iOS photography app launched on May 30, hopes to change by bringing gesture controls and advanced settings to the iPhone.

While the App Store includes dozens of photography apps with manual controls, Halide aims to enhance the experience with a user interface that feels more reminiscent of physical camera controls, developers Ben Sandofsky, former Twitter tech lead, and Sebastiaan de With, an ex-Apple designer and photographer, said. The project came after Sandofsky and de With saw that while the quality of smartphone cameras continued to improve, the interface remained largely unchanged.

“Nothing matched the pleasure of using a well-built camera,” said De With. “Halide aims to fix that.”

The app’s gesture-based interface uses customizable gesture controls, allowing users to use gestures instead of only single taps to control aspects like exposure and focus. When reviewing photos, images can quickly be deleted or flagged as a favorite with a swipe.

While the developers say Halide is designed around a gesture-based interface, the app includes a long list of advanced features as well. The app switches between an intelligent auto mode and manual controls in a tap. Manual focus is included, too, with a focus-peaking feature that highlights whatever is in focus in red, simplifying the task of focusing manually with an iPhone.

The app captures RAW or JPEG files, while users can check the shot with a histogram, grid overlay and built-in level. The app focuses on still photos, with no video or Live Photo options.

Sandofsky, who previously worked with Periscope’s video stack, and de With, a part-time travel photographer, say that Halide’s control system becomes like “muscle memory” with easy access without hunting through menus for all the features.

During launch week, Halide is available as a $3 download from the App Store, moving up to $5 on June 6. The app is compatible with iOS 10 and later. The histogram, focus peaking and RAW shooting features require an iPhone 6S or later.

Product Review

What do you do with 187 megapixels? The Lumix S1R is glorious overkill

The Lumix S1R is one of the most capable cameras ever made, from its robust build to extensive feature set. But its key feature, a 187MP high resolution mode, is something few customers will have use for.
Mobile

24 must-have apps for rooted Android phones and tablets

Rooting your Android device opens up a world of possibilities, along with a few apps. Here are 24 of our favorites, so you can make the most of your rooted device and unleash the true power of Android.
Photography

Looking to keep prying eyes at bay? Here's how to hide photos on your iPhone

People take tons of photos using their smartphones, but not all are meant to be shared or seen. Luckily, hiding photos on your iOS device is easy, whether you want to use built-in utilities or apps with added security.
Deals

Here are 20 portable tech gadgets you’ll want to use every day

If you're looking for portable tech to keep you charged up while on the go (or for some great small gift ideas), we've rounded up 20 must-have gadgets. You'll find everything from a mini gaming controller to a folding Bluetooth keyboard.
Photography

Loupedeck Plus can now edit video, audio with Final Cut Pro

The list of Loupedeck Plus-compatible software is growing. The photo-editing console now works with Final Cut Pro and Adobe Audition for video and audio editing. The controls can be configured to be used on either platform.
Photography

Photography News: Taking a smartphone photo probably saved this guy’s life

A man was snapping a photo in Australia when the smartphone stopped an arrow shot at his face. In this week's photography news, see Canon's plans for a stabilized mirrorless, Hasselblad's newest accessories, Samyang's latest lens, and more.
Computing

Nvidia’s A.I. Playground lets you edit photos, experience deep learning research

Nvidia is making it easier to access information on deep learning research. It has launched an online space with three demos for image editing, styling, as well as photorealistic image synthesis. 
Deals

The best budget-friendly GoPro alternatives that won’t leave you broke

Cold weather is here, and a good action camera is the perfect way to record all your adventures. You don't need to shell out the big bucks for a GoPro: Check out these great GoPro alternatives, including some 4K cameras, that won’t leave…
Photography

Paper designs digitize in real time using an Illustrator-connected paper tablet

Love graphic design, but prefer the feel of real paper? The new Moleskine Paper Tablet - Creative Cloud Connected syncs with Adobe Illustrator in real time, turning paper sketches into digital drawings.
Photography

Insta-checkout? New Instagram service lets you shop without leaving the platform

Shopping on Instagram no longer means leaving the platform to checkout in a web browser. Instagram checkout launched in beta today with a handful of retailers, allowing users to checkout without leaving the app.
Computing

Make the most of your toner with our five favorite color laser printers

Color laser printers have improved dramatically over the years, and today's models offer both blazing print speeds and great image quality. Here are our favorite color laser printers, from massive all-in-ones to smaller budget options.
Photography

Sony’s latest sensor is stacked, backlit, and equipped with a global shutter

Say this five times fast: Backlit, stacked, global shutter sensor. Sony managed to cram all three technologies into one sensor. The result is a high-speed sensor with a higher resolution without sacrificing low-light quality.
Mobile

You can now use the innovative Red Hydrogen One on Google Fi

The Red Hydrogen One was first announced in 2017 and has been delayed a few times since then. Now, the Red Hydrogen One is finally available, featuring a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage.
Cars

Protect yourself and your ride with our favorite dash cams

Dashboard cameras can assist drivers in car accident claims, settle speeding ticket disputes, and even catch glimpses of incoming meteors, among other things. Here, we've compiled a list of the most noteworthy offerings available.