Apple acquires rapid-fire camera app developer SnappyLabs

“Apple has acquired the one-man photo technology startup SnappyLabs, maker of SnappyCam,” Josh Constine reports for TechCrunch. “Update 1/5/2014 9:15am PST: Apple has confirmed my report that it’s acquired SnappyLabs. In a statement to Re/code, Apple said ‘Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.'”

“The startup was founded and run solely by John Papandriopoulos, an electrical engineering PhD from the University Of Melbourne who invented a way to make the iPhone’s camera take full-resolution photos at 20 to 30 frames per second — significantly faster than Apple’s native iPhone camera,” Constine reports. “Based on Papandriopoulos’ scientific breakthroughs in photography technology, it’s not hard to see why Apple would want to bring him in to help improve their cameras.”

“Papandriopoulos built his burst-mode photo technology into SnappyCam, which he sold in the Apple App Store for $1,” Constine reports. “Back in July, Papandriopoulos told me he had a eureka moment in ‘discrete cosine transform JPG science’ and had essentially reinvented the JPG image format.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. Reading the background info, this guy is a star and could help Apple with optimization at all levels of the company. If he understands JPEG compression, he could potentially be useful with other difficult topics, like reducing overhead for onboard AI, etc.

  2. Now this seems actually useful. I love how Apple innovates and creates new things, but ever since that fateful day in Autumn of 2011, it seemed like Apple would have a Second Dark Age. But then, things like this prove to me that Apple still has it, and that 2014 will be another great year for them.

  3. This is fantastic news both for John and Apple, live this story, and going to check Snappy Snaps now on the App Store, have to say I never heard this app before

  4. Good on him, I hope he and Apple have a fruitful relationship that benefits all Apple users.

    But! I wonder what the Australian hating “Road Warrior” will have to say about an Aussie working at Apple.
    – WR has never explained his/her overzealous hate for all things Australian – besides some foolish nonsense about the Battle (riot/melee) of Brisbane.

    The Australia and the United States of America Alliance has a honourable friendship that marked its 60th anniversary in September 2011.

    1. Another lad thinking outside the box, more than clever, an elf dancing in the Apple orchard now. Mathematics rules.

      Road Warrior has actually been very forthcoming. Sad that you missed some of it. Hint: it’s about the people.

      1. Diddums! to the latter part.

        In USyd student days I had a flatmate who was being supported through his Electrical Engineering degree by Hewlett-Packard. They chose well as his aggregate academic score was the highest ever in Engineering.

        Yes, it’s a field full of fiendishly difficult Maths (ac circuit analysis, anyone?) and we know JP’s across that.

      2. Thanks hannahjs I guess some people don’t get that the messenger is not the message.
        By the way, when are you planning your holiday? There is a heat wave on there right now.

        1. I think I must forego a holiday until at least next summer solstice, as I have picked up an exciting consulting opportunity. I promise though to inform you of my experiences, as you have been so helpful and kind. As my new client is a New Zealander, have you any advice to charm her?

          1. I do hope you read this.

            The best time to go to the down under island is northern hemisphere’s winter, because it’s summer over there. Mind you, if you are going to visit during the summer, that means it’s winter over there, so stay as far North as possible. It gets very hot this time of year.

            To charm your New Zealander’s client, learn a bit about the history and culture of the island, the traditional aboriginal people (bit of a fascinating story with them, because the land is still theirs from what I understand.

            Don’t make sheep jokes. Don’t make fun of the way she says certain words, the word “six” is somewhat notorious because it sounds like sex.

            I find you charming so I’d just say be yourself. Awwww consulting, such a wonderful area to be in I say as I give you a wink.

    2. Hey skylark, thanks for your post.

      First of all I am not an an Anustralian hater. The hate stems from them. If I was a hater of Anustralians believe me I would have pounded some of them to death, with my bare hands after plucking out their eyes and ripping off their testicles and shoving them down their throats, but I never did that. One the contrary I’m pointing out that their culture is a xenophobic, racist hating one.

      It’s kind of like the UN saying that the Anustralian’s treatment of their aboriginal people is the worst on the planet, save for the Chinese. Does that mean that the UN hates Anustralia? I think not.

      Now you might find that the battle of Brisbane is nonsense but believe me they don’t. I made several posts down below (the abandonware article) regarding part of the explanation.

      Apple’s growing list of Macintosh abandonware

      I hope this clarifies it a bit.

      Now about this working for Apple thing that you brought up. I’ve stated it several times but I’ll state it again. I have had no issue with first generation migrants down under. I’ve had no issue with visible minorities, nor the aboriginal people there, nor have I had any issues with those who have traveled off the island as John Papandriopoulos has. He’s a global citizen in my opinion.

      The other thing you may note is the name of the engineer hired at Apple. John Papandriopoulos is I strongly suspect a Greek name as there are a lot of Greeks in the Melbourne area (locally referred in a most derogatory manner as WOGs, (Waps, Yugoslavs and Greeks rolled into one). Now if you ever go to downtown Melbourne, try this little exercise. Sit on the corner and count 100 people walking by and check out how many are wearing black.

      Last time I did a count of 400. One was not wearing any black at all, and that was someone dressed up as a clown carrying balloons.

      I do hope this clarifies your questions.

      1. > nor have I had any issues with those who have traveled off the island as John Papandriopoulos has <

        I think you're confused: Australians have among the highest rates of passport ownership and usage in the world, Americans among the lowest. Which isn't to denigrate the American cousins but to show that our 'problem', if it's a real one, would be a comparatively small one.

        1. Hello enzos. I do not believe I am confused. I have said that I’ve never had any issues with those from down under who have traveled off the island. Why you bring this point up is beyond me as I was not comparing their passport ownership or travel rates per capita with any other country.

          I do know that a lot of them travel to Bali for vacation, New Zealand and England and I certainly encourage that. In fact it’s nice to know that they have a high rate of travel it will open up their eyes and contribute to the overall globalization process.

          Now you say that the problem is a comparatively small one and to a degree I’d have to agree with you. My estimate of social outings without incidents (such as assaults, abuse, sexual assault, refusal of service) was about 70-75% over the years I endured there so one could see it as a comparatively small one. Since I’ve returned here my social outings without incidents has been 100%. Percentage wise it may be a small difference but personally it’s a big one. It feels wonderful to know that now I can go out and talk to people without worrying about being attacked.

          I hope this clears up the confusion.

  5. Dr JP has been published in peer reviewed journals. This is from a 2006 paper from his grad-student days and I think you can imagine why Apple might like to have him on their research team.
    >We address the problem of achieving outage probability constraints on the uplink of a code-division multiple-access (CDMA) system employing power control and linear multiuser detection, where we aim to minimize the total expended power. We propose a generalized framework for solving such problems under modest assumptions on the underlying channel fading distribution.

  6. This is what I love about Tim Cook: rather than try to develop everything in house, he realizes that it’s easier and better in the long-term to acquire start-ups that have already done the tough legwork.

    1. This is not part of Tim Cook’s new strategy, if that even exists (I think Tim is sticking with Steve’s strategy, but that is just my opinion). Apple has been doing this for a very long time. Way before Cook took the helm at Apple.

        1. And Tim Cook is shrewd enough to have observed what works, and what works is to attract the best people and give them the keys to the highway. That fits precisely into Apple’s panoramic strategy.

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