Apple has reportedly bought the small firm that makes a popular photography app. This is the latest sign the high-end gadget maker is ramping up efforts to innovate through acquisitions.

SnappyLabs is the company that makes an app called SnappyCam. The company was bought for an undisclosed sum, as was first reported by TechCrunch. Apple, as usual have declined to give any real information regarding the buyout.

Snappycam

The SnappyCam app costs $1 and it allows Smartphone users to adapt the way the built-in camera takes photos and at what speed the photos are taken. The app has gained fame for a feature that allows the smartphone’s camera to keep taking photos in rapid succession as long as the on-screen shutter-button is depressed.

Apple’s purchase of SnappyCam is the most recent evidence of its moving away from being resistant to buyouts when co-founder Steve Jobs was at the helm.  The company faces tougher competition and increasing criticism for its apparent lack of in-house innovation. Despite years of expectation, Apple Smartwatches and TV products have yet to appear. In the meantime, Samsung and smaller tech players like Pebble have beat Apple to the game with Smartwatches.

Shares of Apple are down more than 22% from their all-time high set in September 2012. Apple’s stock Friday fell $12.15, 2.2%, to close at $540.98.  Last year, Apple bought 11 different companies. These ranged from social media Analytics Company TopsyLabs in December to Hopstop.com, a travel information site, in July. The last year Jobs served as CEO, Apple only acquired 2 firms. Interestingly Apple only bought one company in 2009, a music service called Lala.com that was a rising threat against iTunes, which Apple later binned.  Apple’s latest deal does underscore how the quality and usability of cameras in smartphones are increasingly important to users and are becoming selling points for most handheld devices and the industry is still playing catch-up with Nokia in this area.

[Image via icommephoto]

SOURCE: http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2014/01/05/apple-lack-innovation-ma/4331049/