Lauren Goode

Recent Posts by Lauren Goode

SmugMug’s Camera Awesome App Sees Two Million Downloads in First Week

Camera Awesome, the new photography app from Mountain View-based SmugMug, is getting an awesome response, according to the company’s CEO and “Chief Geek,” Don MacAskill.

In its first four days on the App Store, Camera Awesome was downloaded more than one million times; it hit two million in less than a week.

More than 10 million photos have been taken with the app already. Currently, it’s ranked the No. 1 photography app in 55 countries. In the U.S., it’s currently ranked No. 2 on the free apps list in iTunes, behind Draw Something, which my colleague Peter Kafka wrote about last week (and which I’ve since become addicted to — I blame him).

For comparison’s sake: That’s faster than the initial download rate of mobile photo-sharing app Instagram, which crossed the two-million-download mark in two months, and comparable to the two-million-in-two-days feat of Angry Birds on Android.

“We’ve struck a chord with photographers around the world, from soccer dads to mom-tographers and high-end professionals, and we’re only getting started,” MacAskill said.

The popularity of mobile photo apps comes as smartphones capable of taking decent photos — and sharing them quickly — munch at the market for digital cameras. Late last year, a report from the NPD Group said that the percentage of photos taken with a smartphone grew 10 percent year over year to 27 percent in 2011, while its Retail Tracking Service found that the point-and-shoot camera market had dipped 17 percent year over year in terms of units shipped, and 18 percent in terms of revenue.

Camera Awesome became available in the App Store last Tuesday. Despite the app’s somewhat intimidating 297 presets, filters, textures and frames, my colleague Katie Boehret wrote in her review of the app that “it is by far one of the most full-powered camera apps I’ve used, marking an exciting advance for smartphone cameras.”

As Katie reports, Camera Awesome is free, but it is only available for iOS devices; an Android app is in the works.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik