A blast from the past!
BitCam is the digital camera you would have used on your mini pocket computer back in 1996. We made it to celebrate the Iconfactory's 20th anniversary of making cool things with pixels!
The design brief for this app was simple: What would we design today given the constraints of the past?
What we ended up with shows how much technology has improved since we first started writing software for Apples products.
We stuck to a black & white interface because color graphics support back then was hit-or-miss. Some folks had it, some didnt. A mini pocket computer would certainly need a color graphics card upgrade, and that hardware would cost you hundreds of dollars!
Theres also none of the typical animation we see in todays apps. Zoom rects were used for view transitions, scrolling in credits was jerky, and chunky controls were par for the course. (And boy, were they hard to implement on todays devices that do asynchronous layout and high resolution drawing without an XOR operation!)
We did notice one thing that hasnt changed over the years: the importance of clarity and simplicity in a user interface. BitCams graphics are blockier, but have many of the same traits we strive for in todays client work. (We kinda wish buttons still had borders, too.)
Retina displays, selfies and social networks weren't around in 1996. Coming up with terminology in BitCam was a blast: we tried as hard as we could to guess the future wrong! The only reason we got FatBits right was because Bill Atkinson had already invented it. He also came up with the dithering algorithm used in the app. :thumbsup:
Another big difference is todays 64-bit processor: it can easily process the video signal at 30 frames/second. We throttled the speed to simulate the 16-bit processor in the mini pocket computer. Higher resolution settings are slower for a reason!
We even thought about the past while making the apps promotional website. If youre a web developer, take a moment to view the source at www.iconfactory.com/bc.html (even that URL is old skool!) Native apps arent the only thing thats improved remarkably since we first started out!
And then theres the price. BitCam is free to download and try out, just like the shareware we first sold at the Iconfactory. The difference now is that BitCams in-app purchase is 1/10th of what we charged in 1996. Your kind support will help keep us in business for another 20 years.
Finally, make sure to check out the credits screen: its our tribute to the folks that have helped us be a success over the years. There's also a fun, and retro, surprise!