Building a Better Mobile Camera App

Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox

Stay informed and join our daily newsletter now!
4 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Editor's Note: The TrepLabs column puts little-known but notable apps and their makers in the spotlight each week. For more information on how to become a TrepLabs app, go to, and to contribute to the discussion surrounding these apps, tweet us @TrepLabs

While many have called Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford University commencement speech inspiring, Adam Roberts might instead use the words life changing.

After viewing footage of the speech a few years later -- around the time of the Apple founder’s October 2011 death -- Roberts gave up a 15-year career at Honeywell where he designed security-camera software. He struck out on his own with his London-based startup smartphone app company Enigmatic Flare.

Building a Better Mobile Camera App
Adam Roberts gave up a 15-year career at Honeywell to launch smartphone-app company Enigmatic Flare, the maker of Camerarrific.

“You have to follow your instinct. You have to live your own life, basically,” said Roberts, who acknowledges the creative path to developing the smartphone camera app dubbed Camerarrific took as many twists and turns as his own sleeping habits.

“I’ll hit the pillow. I’ll drift off, and I’ll get an idea. And I’ll get up and prove the theory,” Roberts says. Working has “pretty much been every day, most hours.”

He started out designing an app for music sharing, but a desire to incorporate pictures caused him to start building a camera app that Roberts says will have the best image-quality around and the most filters and special effects too. The app's design also plans for social-media functions that he thinks could eventually attract a new photo- and video-sharing community.

Market opportunity: Smartphone users are so addicted to snapping photos and video and sharing them online that Roberts thinks they are hungering for a smartphone camera app that far surpasses its competitors.

“It’s hard to come across an app you can take good quality pictures with,” Roberts said.

Roberts claims that Camerarrific is one of the only camera apps around that features photos at full resolution lossless compression -- with so much color and detail that Roberts could recently pick out tiny dirt patches when he shot the grass in his lawn.

Roberts says the app has 10 times as many photo filters as its nearest competitor, Instagram, and the effects can be previewed live. There’s even the ability to do so-called “green screen” special effects with video. Starting in early 2014, users will be able to tag music to a picture, with the tag automatically linking to songs on iTunes.

The revenue model is to provide Camerarrific as a “freemium,” with money made off purchases of extra features such as additional filters. Enigmatic Flare is sticking to iPhone only at this stage, with Android coming after launch.

Challenges: There are plenty of photo-sharing smartphone camera apps out there, including established players such as Instagram, Path and SocialCam.

With giants like these, it perhaps goes without saying that Camerarrific had better be groundbreaking, even downright revolutionary, if it is to compete.

Roberts is confident that Camerarrific will make the cut: “There’s enough features for people to enjoy. ...If you make a product that good, it will sell itself.”

Camerarrific recently debuted on the App Store by November. At launch, it will share on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Path, Instagram and more. Camerarrific’s own social network is coming in the first quarter of 2014, and will be hosted in Microsoft’s Azure cloud.

Strengths: Roberts, who developed a noughts and crosses (tic-tac-toe) game for the Commodore 64 system when he was 10, is counting on his programming chops to carry him through with a smartphone camera app that is so amazing that millions of people will clamor for the free downloads.

He also hopes that the love he has put into his creation will rub off on the users. Ideally he says, the app will end up “driving innovation and people enjoying what we have created -- you can't put a price on the value of that.”

What do you think? Will Camerarrific topple existing camera apps' dominance? Let us know with a comment.

More from Entrepreneur
Our Franchise Advisors are here to help you throughout the entire process of building your franchise organization!
  1. Schedule a FREE one-on-one session with a Franchise Advisor
  2. Choose one of our programs that matches your needs, budget, and timeline
  3. Launch your new franchise organization
Discover the franchise that’s right for you by answering some quick questions about
  • Which industry you’re interested in
  • Why you want to buy a franchise
  • What your financial needs are
  • Where you’re located
  • And more
Try a risk-free trial of Entrepreneur’s BIZ PLANNING PLUS powered by LivePlan for 60 days:
  • Get step-by-step guidance for writing your plan
  • Gain inspiration from 500+ sample plans
  • Utilize business and legal templates
  • And much more

Latest on Entrepreneur