Android Applications

ObscuraCam – Share photos and videos while protecting the privacy

The Guardian Project is well-known, they’re fighting for some security and they provide several options to do that. Today I like to write about the ObscuraCam, the app is really old but recently got after a long time a bigger update.

Picture: The Guardian Project

Sadly no camera app today private any privacy option, I mean you can decide if you save the picture as png, jpg with or without exif information (png always comes without but takes more space because it’s not compressed). But overall there is no such app like ObscuraCam, also not in so-called ‘privacy focused’ ROM’s, what a shame! Well, but here comes The Guardian Project and fills the gap!

About the App

The App can be downloaded via F-Droid, Google Play Store or GitHub. The source code is there and the app has several fans, there constantly reporting bugs and hopefully there getting fixed soon or later.

The first start and the overall usage of the app is slow, the interface looks a bit like Android 5. There is not Material Design there and you will notice that the app was coded long time ago, there some coding flaws and design flaws within the app but that’s already known – the app was coded for functionality not to get tons of animations and other gimmicks – this is (for me) totally fine and I only want to make some pictures.

The detection is okay but not perfect, the app still has some trouble detecting off-center faces, faces tilted, and partial faces. But no one is perfect! It does it’s job and you can edit the pictures afterwards if there are still needs to change something.

Sadly the app removes metadata and replaced them with its own, that’s not what I expected. The picture quality is only okay if you do shots with the main camera, selfies are possible but the quality (with the little camera) will be drastically reduced.

The last update fixed tons of issue and the app works better than before, but I still think it needs more work to recommend this for a daily usage especially because the response time is especially on older devices very slow, the image processing could be improved here.

At this time, the app is only available for Android and there are currently no plans to support iOS. Personally I think it could get my recommendation if the known issue gets fixed and when the app would be avaible for iOS too but at this time, I suggest you edit the photos manual afterwards, there exist plenty of apps which doing this quickly on the go, even Photoshop for Android exists since years.

The Guardian Project always has some good ideas but they seems unable to team-up with the right people which really understand something from coding, marketing and project management, so that there always behind others. They need better partners and more support – that’s for sure.

Closing words

The app concept itself is good, the app needs several fixes and improvements. The Guardian Project could really need more developers to push their apps a little bit more and they really deserve some love.

ObscuraCam has potential yes but at this point I can’t recommend it for a daily usage, it’s okay to obscure one or two pictures but that’s it. The processing simply takes too long and in the meantime you might want to take another picture/selfie.

I’m really looking forward and I will keep an eye on this project. Anyway, the app is free, go try it out and report your findings.