‘TransparentCameraBar’ adds “more” real estate to the stock Camera app

By , Mar 16, 2013

TransparentCameraBar 01

TransparentCameraBar is a jailbreak tweak that allows you to make the UI featured in the stock Camera app transparent. The jailbreak tweak, free on Cydia’s BigBoss repo, is a way to trick yourself into having “more” real estate for the view finder.

I should mention that this is more like a WinterBoard theme, than a tweak that impacts the photo’s end result. If you take a photo either with, or without this tweak, the end result will be the same. It’s simply a visual tweak that zooms in the camera UI to give the appearance of a bigger viewfinder.

Take a look inside for more info…

TransparentCameraBar 02

Once TransparentCameraBar is installed, enter the Settings app, and find the preference section for the tweak. Here, you can enable or disable the tweak using a kill switch. The preferences also features a slider, which controls the camera UI’s transparency.

Setting the slider down to 0.0 makes the UI totally transparent, and it’s actually unusable in this state. Obviously, you want to use caution when setting the slider to 0.0, as you won’t be able to snap any photo’s using the software shutter. If you prefer it this way, you can still snap photos using the hardware volume keys.

The sweet spot, if you want to have as much transparency as possible without making the software functions unusable, is 0.1. That’s the setting I recommend, as it lets you use the UI shutter, video switcher, and camera roll shortcut, with minimal interference from the UI.

TransparentCameraBar gives you a bigger viewfinder. No additional resolution is added to the photo, but the final photos will reflect the changes seen in the viewfinder. In actuality this means that the final photos will not differ at all from a photo taken without this tweak. It’s just the viewfinder that gives you more real estate, nothing more.

Zooming in and out
Notice how everything is simply zoomed in with TransparentCameraBar enabled

Some are saying the tweak is worthless, but if you want your viewfinder to be larger, this is nice tweak for you. No, it won’t result in larger photos, or the ability to unveil a hidden part of the picture. Like I stated, it’s purely a UI tweak, nothing on the actual photo end is impacted.

The tweak works best with 4 inch devices like the iPhone 5, and iPod touch 5th generation, and it’s for iOS 6 only. If you decide to take TransparentCameraBar for a ride, then be sure to send me some feedback in the comments section below.

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  • AlukaRulz

    Finally Full Screen Camera tweak i was wait for that a long time…

    • Jeff

      You got it.

      • AlukaRulz

        Thanks jeff i like you

  • Isa Altintas

    I still have black bars on both sides when I view a photo in landscape. I thought it was the tweaks purpose to fill the entire 4 inch screen?

    • Jeff

      I’m not exactly sure what you’re asking…

      EDIT: Let me clarify things.

      When you take a photo without the tweak, the image that’s cut off in the viewfinder, is cut off in the actual photo.

      When the tweak is installed, the image that’s normally cut off by the viewfinder, but can now be seen by means of this tweak, is visible in the final photo. The actual photo isn’t effected. Taking it with or without the tweak does’t impact the end result.

      You’re not actually “gaining any resolution”. I suppose that’s what people mean by pointless. It’s ultimately up to you if you deem this pointless. It’s a visual tweak for the camera app, nothing more. It’s like installing a WInterBoard theme.

      Hope that clears things up!

      • Jacob61916

        Isa is saying the photo is not being optimized for the full 4-inch screen. I’m guessing the tweak only makes the UI transparent and doesn’t effect the photo optimization. I wonder if there is a tweak that optimizes the photo to the full screen.

      • Isa Altintas

        Exactly thanks for explaining Jacob.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dietermarkus Markus Hudobnik

    When I take a photo it is still the size of 960-by-640… I want iPhone 5 full screen pictures (1136-by-640). :( Without that this is relatively a pointless tweak.

    Edit: It is not pointless, sorry about that. I was just hoping for 16:9 photos. :(

    • Jeff

      See response below.

    • http://www.facebook.com/umut.topuz.7 Umut Topuz

      you may use “Full Screen Camera” app (the pinky one) from the AppStore… also it saves the photos you’ve taken with 16:9 ratio.

      • http://twitter.com/ax3ko74 ax3ko74

        I didn’t know there’s apps to take the full screen shot, thanks!

      • http://www.facebook.com/dietermarkus Markus Hudobnik

        I’d rather have it in the stock iOS camera app though.

    • SimonReidy

      There’s a lot of apps out there that let you take photos in 16×9 resolution. KitCam is my favourite of the lot and it has 4×3, 3×2, 1×1 and 16×9 options.The software will always be cropping from a 4×3 8 megapixel image to begin with,.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/jaredstrugala/ geetarspaz

    This really is pointless though because your photos are not taken in widescreen format. You’re only tricking yourself into thinking your taking a widescreen photo or “seeing more” or whatever the purpose of this is. That’s why the bar is there to begin with, and goes away during video for 16:9

    • Isa Altintas

      So how do we take pictures in widescreen format then? I’m really into iphone photography, but I don’t know how to make my pictures show in fullscreen res

      • http://www.flickr.com/photos/jaredstrugala/ geetarspaz

        You can’t. I believe you can take less quality 16:9 photos when recording a video, but traditionally pictures will always be a 3:2, or 5:4, or anything along those lines. The only reason it doesn’t seem “full screen” is because our iPhone 5 4″ screen is 16:9(close enough to be) and the old iPhone screens are 4:3(just a guess) and the photos fit perfectly to the screen. Now, there are those black bars because our 4″ screens are widescreen, and the photo format hasn’t changed.

      • http://twitter.com/TheAntman217 Anthony Antunez

        Yup, the photos taken while recording video are slightly zoomed in and less quality then just taking the picture so even if they are full 16:9 they are showing less than what the regular pictures show.

      • SimonReidy

        The 16×9 viewfinder does’t have anything to do with the resolution of the photo. You can easily take true 16×9 photos with many Appstore apps (try KitCam for a good choice of aspect ratios) but it will of course just chop the original 4×3 image to a letterboxed resolution.

        Given the sensor shape is 4×3 there is no way to take native 16×9 photos, however an 8mp 4×3 sensor gives you a fair bit of resolution to play with (36264×2448) so you can still get a nice high res 16×9 shot (3624×1836).

    • Jeff

      Yes, it’s zooming the photo basically.

  • http://www.facebook.com/liamsagooch Liam Googolplex Merlyn

    This would have been better if it only hid the bar and not the buttons as well. And also, a live preview in the settings panel wouldn’t go amiss. Perhaps in future updates.

  • http://www.facebook.com/umut.topuz.7 Umut Topuz

    it’ll be cool to set transparency level for the bubbles on the top with that

  • triggerfiend

    More real estate!! loving it so far.

  • Kurt

    Unfortunately it’s gimmicky. It’s nice that the image is slightly larger but to add to the tweaks that will cause lag, I would have to pass on this. Things like swipeselect, zephyr are useful tweaks we all should have installed

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.jonsen Joe Jonsen

    can someone make a tweak to allow full rez iphone5 pictures please?

    • http://www.facebook.com/vincent.zhao.31 Vincent Zhao

      Default Camera without the transparent controls already is the highest resolution possible for the iPhone’s camera. In order to take photos in “full rez” with a 16:9 widescreen ration would be impossible without replacing the actual sensor and lens of the iPhone with a special one specifically designed for 16:9. Not only would that be more expensive, but you would still be wasting the sensor’s potential as round lenses are both cheaper, and have more pixels than a 16:9 designed lens.

  • SimonReidy

    I think quite a few people here are confusing aspect ratios, screen resolution, camera resolution and video camera resolution. Here’s a quick clarification.

    Pretty much all still cameras have a 4×3 aspect ratio, including the iPhone 5 which is 8 megapixels (3624×2448). You can however easily get a 16×9 still picture from it, at a nice high 3624×1836 resolution, by using one of the many App Store apps that adjust the final photo’s aspect ratio and resolution (or by just cropping the picture to 16×9 yourself with any photo editor).

    The iPhone 5 screen however is 16×9 (1136×640 resolution) which is the reason Apple enlarged the camera controls, so that the viewfinder remains in a 4×3 shape (the viewfinder will always adjust to show you exactly what the final photo will look like).

    Video resolution is native 16×9 on the iPhone, as it uses its 4×3 8mp sensor to crop a 16×9 video at 1920×1080 resolution. That’s the reason when you switch to shooting video on an iPhone 5, that you see the entire screen (as you’re now shooting in 16×9).

    As Jeff has explained this tweak simply zooms and crops the top and bottom of the image to give you a full-screen view, but its only an approximation of what you are getting with the final photo, which will still be 4×3. Its not only useless, but it is clearly creating a lot of confusion. IMHO for good photography, the viewfinder should always be the same aspect ratio as the final photo. This tweak breaks that rule for no good reason.

  • Sean

    My camera app keeps freezing or loading very slow. I found that more people have the same problem but haven’t found any real solutions. Has anyone else been more successful?

  • http://twitter.com/PoomSmart PoomSmart

    Hello, this is PoomSmart.

    First, Thanks Jeff for writing the blog.

    I have explanations for this tweak and want to tell everybody here.

    1. I just submitted the new version (1.1-3), waiting BigBoss for the submission, with the following updates:

    - Compatible with InstantCamera

    - ****Now You can choose to “Hide” the Bottom Bar. (Not transparent) (Like Video mode in Tall iDevices) (Applied in iPhone 5 & iPod touch 5G)

    - Opacity min value has been changed to 0.017 (Hard to see) to prevent users aren’t able to use the bar after set.

    2. My code contains these functions:

    - Transparent the bar.

    - Hide the bar.

    - Fill camera preview Screen (or Full Screen the view and nothing in changing Photo resolution) to fix black space issue after the one or both in the first 2 functions are executed.

    3. If you hope the 16:9 photos, you might be wrong,

    For example, iPod touch 5G can take Photo at resolution 2592×1936 which is 4:3 ratio.

    If you change to 16:9, you have to crop the photo so its resolution will be *decreased* and that’s quite not good.

    4. People may faced the issue with Camera if “PhotoInfo” (version that causes Camera app to crash) is installed, I recieved many emails of this issue, to clarify, waiting for “PhotoInfo” update that will fix crashing issue. TransparentCameraBar doesn’t cause this problem.

  • alesia

    OK, i SWEAR up until yesterday my iphone 5 was taking pictures and displaying as full screen. I feel like im going crazy because from what i read this was never possible???