Halide is a brand new camera app for iOS from ex-Twitter for iOS tech lead Ben Sandofsky and ex-Apple designer Sebastiaan de With. While Apple’s Camera app works great for quick shots, Halide focuses on taking the best photos possible with your iPhone when you want to capture an important memory.

Halide offers quick access to camera controls with a swipe or tap from the viewfinder, and a gesture-based user interface makes it possible to manually adjust settings for each shot without going overboard with confusing controls and menus.

Halide includes all the usual pro camera features without the usual complexity that it requires.

Toggles include automatic and manual control; gesture-based ISO, shutter speed, and white balance adjustments; RAW + JPG capture; plus a 3×3 grid and super handy level tool. These settings can be adjusted on-the-fly with a swipe down and a tap or completely hidden based on what you want to see. No need to close the Camera app and dig through Settings to toggle a grid or geotagging.

Halide also focuses solely on shooting photography. No video modes or filters or square cameras, just front- and back-facing camera shooting. Another nice touch: Halide toggles between 1x and 2x optical zoom on iPhone 7 Plus and doesn’t bother with digital zoom in between 1x and 2x or beyond 2x.

iPhone 5 and up can run Halide on iOS 10, and iPhone 6s and up supports Halide’s live histogram and focus peaking features. The live histogram is optional and appears directly in the viewfinder’s lower left corner, and focus peaking previews the areas of your shot that are in focus in red so you aren’t surprised with a blurry shot.

You can instantly revert back to automatic shooting mode with the tap of a button, too, and each of these tools are explained in a realistic camera manual when you first launch Halide.

Halide also features tasteful use of haptic feedback throughout the app plus a built-in vertical scrolling photo viewer with metadata and swipeable actions for favoriting and deleting shots.

For casual photographers, Halide can be a beautiful camera app with automatic shooting and easy access to more advanced controls as needed. More serious photographers will appreciate Halide’s focus on natural adjustments when shooting manually without dealing with overly complex menus or gimmicky shooting modes.

Halide is one of those delightful iPhone apps that makes me wish I could change default system apps or customize Control Center for specific apps.

You can buy Halide for iPhone at a special $2.99 price from the App Store today. The regular price will increase after the initial launch week.

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About the Author

Zac Hall

Zac covers Apple news, hosts the 9to5Mac Happy Hour podcast, and created SpaceExplored.com.