Take Better iPhone Pictures with Remote Shutter & Gradients Apps

Taking great shots on your iPhone just got easier with two great freebies recently added to the App Store. Remote Shutter allows you to view/take remote shots through any WiFi or Bluetooth paired set of iOS devices, and Gradients will let you apply your own custom filters to create photographic art!

1. Remote Shutter (Free)

Remote Shutter is a technology-binding application that greatly extends the coolness of owning multiple iOS devices. It allows you to remotely control the shutter/camera of an iOS device through a wireless network. You can see the live camera view, take pictures, and also configure the countdown timer to take a delayed shot of up to 30 seconds.

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The app does include annoying ads, but you can remove them with a $1.99 in-app purchase. Once installed on both devices, the app allows you to choose between camera or control mode, and even sends remote pictures back to the control device. You also can switch camera between front/rear, control the flash, and allow the other device to also take control (of your camera).

It could be a fun way to allow a friend to remotely see what you see and vice-versa (without FaceTime), but primarily is an easy way to confirm the view on a timer shot before pulling the trigger.

2. Gradients (Free)

Once you've captured some astoundingly cool pics, you'll want to enhance them of course. Hardly anybody takes iPhone pictures without applying some kind of filter, and there are tons in the App Store for doing just that. But many are either ad-laden or only offer premium features through paid versions.

Unlike Remote Shutter, Gradients is totally ad free. Made by indie developer, Oliver Wolfson (creator of several other great free photo-tweaking apps), Gradients will let you apply seriously cool shading and color enhancements to your photos. The app displays a simple menu system overlaid on the bottom of the photo, so you can easily apply and pick pre-categorized filter sets, but for serious iPhone photogs, you can dig down into the custom controls and adjust from a number of color enhancement settings that allow you to blend colors across varied gradient planes (circular, radial, liner points or 4 quad points).

The custom settings are not exactly spelled out for the novice, so a bit of research may be in order. The app does provide a healthy set of informative help items on each option to mitigate this. App experimentation is the quickest method to puzzling out some of the advanced settings, and an image preview window in the upper left corner makes it easy to note the effects you apply.


Remote Shutter Pros:

Free and easy to use remote camera control;

Share pictures instantly between devices.


Annoying ads, that can be banished with IAP.

Gradients Pros:

Large database of pre-configured color filters;

Easy to use menus;

Free without ads.


Custom edit features not super intuitive.


Looking for a couple of new iPhone photo apps to take your shutter skills up a notch? Grab both of these freebies in the App Store. They both ran well on my iPod touch and iPhone, and I can't wait to start snapping more great pics with them. Feel free to share some of your favorites in our comment section below!


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Nate Adcock is a system and integration engineer with experience managing and administering a variety of computing environments. He has worked extensively with mobile gadgets of all shapes and sizes for many years. He is also a former military weather forecaster. Nate is a regular contributor for the iphonelife.com and smartphonemag.com blogs and helps manage both websites. Read more from Nate at natestera.tumblr.com or e-mail him at nate@iphonelife.com.