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Start recording video faster with your iOS device

Swift is a $0.99 universal app that does one thing and one thing only: starts recording video fast.

Matt Elliott/CNET

Quick, grab your phone, we should be recording this!

If you have a toddler who is learning to talk or walk or reach other video-worthy milestones, you've either heard or uttered these words frequently and recently. Same goes for owners of hilariously curious cats, I'd imagine.

Even if you have your phone in hand, you can still miss a shot, as you mistakenly take a still shot with your iPhone's camera app, then scramble to move the slider over and start recording video. Well, no more! The recently released Swift app by CodeGoo lets you start capturing video faster. Granted, it saves only a few seconds compared with using the iPhone's native camera app, but sometimes only a few seconds is the difference between getting the shot and missing it.

Swift is a universal app; it works with the iPhone 3GS or 4, the iPad 2, and the fourth generation iPod Touch. The app is so simple to operate that it hardly requires a how-to article. Really, the only things you need to know is that it exists, costs only $0.99, and starts recording as soon as it opens.

When you first launch Swift, it starts recording and displays on-screen instructions, pointing to the timer in the upper-right corner and the start button, either of which you can use to stop the recording. That's all you need to know to use the app. Videos are saved to your Camera Roll, and in Settings, you can adjust the video resolution (high, medium, low) and iPhone 4 and iPad 2 users can select to use the front- or rear-facing camera. And when recording a video, you can tap on an area of the screen to set the exposure, and then drag a small, green icon to adjust the exposure level.

I can has Internet fame? Matt Elliott/CNET

To see how much time the Swift app saves, I ran a few time trials. Starting with each app on the home screen, I timed how long it took for video to start recording. With the native camera app already set to record video, it took roughly five seconds to start recording video. With it set to record still pictures, it took 11 to 12 seconds to launch the app, move the slider, and start recording video. With Swift, it took 2 to 3 seconds for the app to launch and start recording video.

Shaving 2 or 3 seconds off the start time doesn't seem like much, but I find that the majority of the time my iPhone's camera app is set to snap a still image, since I take more photos than videos with my iPhone. So, for me, Swift probably saves 9 or 10 seconds of start time, since I usually need to move the slider over before filming. Never mind the times I accidentally take a still image, then accidentally close out of the app, reopen it, move the slider to video, and then start recording--if the moment hadn't already passed.

So, give Swift a try, and give your LOLcat the Internet fame he or she so richly deserves.