Skip to main content

Manual for iPhone is a new camera app for experts only

Manual for iPhone is a new camera app for experts only

Share this story

If you buy something from a Verge link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

The iPhone's camera is a wonder, capable of taking sharp shots in light and even near darkness. But, until iOS 8, Apple wouldn't let third-party apps take advantage of the camera's raw power. Manual is one of the first apps we've tested that does so, and is on sale now for $1.99 in the App Store.


"This is the app I've wanted to use for years," says creator William Wilkinson. "I hated trying to trick camera apps into taking the photo I want." So, Manual lets you fiddle with almost all the settings you'd hope to fiddle with — focus, white balance (sunny, cloudy, indoors, or custom temperatures, like on your DSLR), ISO, shutter speed, and exposure bracketing. There's even a simple histogram in the bottom-middle of the app.

Manual isn't really for beginners, however. The app's controls are tiny and difficult to handle — the price you pay for on-screen controls that don't obscure your shot — and taking a good shot is actually hard if you don't know exactly what you're doing. But, for $1.99, pros should love screwing around with Manual. "I made this app for this photography nerd," says Wilkinson. "These controls are more than a buried menu in some big name camera app."