Cameras

Photo App of the Week: TimerCam for iOS

This free photo-timer app is light on features.

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Timers are a staple of any decent camera, where they're used for time-lapse photos, self portraits, and steady long-exposures. But most photo apps lack this basic function, so smartphone photographers turn to programs like TimerCam by Daisuke Yamashita, currently one of the 25 most popular free photo and video downloads in the iOS App Store.

What It Gets Right

It's dead-simple. The only feature that separates TimerCam from the iPhone's default camera app is a timer, with options for 5, 10, 15, and 30-second shooting delays. The flash can be set to on, off, or auto, and it can toggle between the front and rear cameras. That's all there is to it.

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What It Could Do Better

It seems like not much effort went into TimerCam, even by the loose standards of free apps. Shots go straight to your camera roll, so there's no way to share the shot without leaving the app. An ad blocks the bottom of the frame. There's no 2-second timer option, which is the most common and most useful timer setting. And if you're facing the rear camera, there's no way to gauge the countdown, or when the shot fires—it could use the LED lamp like most cameras do, but it's a total guessing game.

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TimerCam Pro ($1.99) introduces a few extra editing features, but doesn't address the free version's main weakness—the timer itself isn't all that useful, stuck in single-shot mode with long delays.

Worth A Download?

Skip TimerCam. Camera Timer! is a more versatile free timer app, with more timer options and a customizable interval timer. We can't imagine why it isn't more popular than TimerCam, but it's clearly a better program. A handful of all-in-one photo apps do have built-in timers as well, including the excellent Camera+.