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Steve Jobs wanted to reinvent iPhone photography, says book

The iPhone 4S boasted several improvements in its camera, but the late Steve Jobs was reportedly looking to refine cell phone photography even further, says a new book about Apple.


Just a few months before his death, Steve Jobs was envisioning a major refinement to the iPhone camera as he met with the CEO of a company expanding the boundaries of photography.

Though the iPhone 4S camera delivered improvements in megapixels, sharpness, and performance, Jobs as usual wanted to push the envelope even further, according to 9to5Mac's advance peek at a new book called "Inside Apple" by Adam Lashinsky.

Toward that end, the late Apple leader met with Ren Ng, CEO of a photography company called Lytro, in June of last year.

Looking to advance the current state of photography, Lytro has developed its own small cameras that use light-field technology to let you change the focus of a picture after you're taken it. Lytro's technology also lets in more light through a special sensor and optics and allows you to snap a picture much faster than with a conventional camera.

The company showed off its cameras at a press event in October with an eye toward selling them sometime this year.

Jobs, of course, already had his eye on the technology for what it could potentially bring to the iPhone. At the meeting, Ng showed Jobs a demo of Lytro's photography and discussed cameras and product design in general. Jobs also asked Ng to send him an e-mail describing what Lytro would work on with Apple.

Though a deal never came together, says AppleInsider, Ng was struck by Jobs himself.

"What struck me the most was how clear his communication was," Ng said in the book, according to AppleInsider. "His eyes were just so brilliant. His glasses kind of levitated off his nose. I told him we drew a lot of inspiration from the iPad. He really smiled. It was clear it resonated."

Even though Jobs and Ng never got beyond the discussion phase, it would be interesting to see if some of these advanced camera technologies find themselves in a future iPhone or iPad.

"Inside Apple" will be released tomorrow.