Shuttr, A Bluetooth Remote For Your iPhone Camera [Review]



Shuttr by Muku
Category: Photography
Works With:Anything with Bluetooth
Price: $29

Possibly the most ridiculous omission from the iPhone’s camera app is a self-timer. If you want to take a selfie, or a group shot with you in it, or even a shake-free photo in low-light, then you’ll have to download a third-party camera app with a countdown timer built in.

Why is such a simple feature missing? Who knows? My cyclical side says that Apple is avoiding the inevitable lawsuits that would pour in when phones started getting snatched mid-photo whilst propped on the tops of inner-city walls.

Whatever the reason, Shuttr is here to fix the problem.

What It Is

The Shuttr is an ultra-simple Bluetooth remote. Shaped like a tinier version of the old white plastic Apple remote, it has one button on the front, plus a couple of switches along the edges. Once paired with an iPhone, iPad, or even an Android phone, the Shuttr will transmit a volume-up signal when you press the main button.

In most apps, pressing the volume-up button triggers the shutter. It works in the native camera app, and it works with most third-party camera apps too (not Instagram, though).

Finally, there’s a hole in the top-left corner for threading this onto a keyring.

The Good

The Shuttr is about as simple as simple could be. Switch it on and its green LED flashes spastically until it connects to your iPhone (automatic once the initial pairing is completed). This would be annoying in a speaker or other Bluetooth device, but for something that you switch on, pair, use and then switch off it’s good to know exactly what’s going on.

Even the inside is well put together.
Even the inside is well put together.

The main button has a positive click, and thanks to its concave shape it’s easy to hide the remote in your hand and still trigger it. And this also highlights Bluetooth’s advantage over infrared remotes used for some SLRs—it doesn’t require line-of-site. You can even hide the iPhone in a corner and use the remote to start and stop video.

Range is regular Bluetooth range, and the battery is a standard button cell, replaceable by cracking the case open and unscrewing the restraining bar. This thing is pretty sturdy.

Also good is the switch layout: The slider used to choose between Android and iOS is flush with the edge of the unit, and the on/off slider on the other side is raised. That is, one is set-and-forget, the other is for everyday use.

The Bad

I have found that sometimes, the first one or two presses don’t register. After that, though, the trigger is rock solid. You can squeeze away and the iPhone will snap away quickly and happily.

The best way to avoid missing a shot is to make sure the iPhone isn’t muted—that way you’ll hear the fake shutter sound when a shot is taken. On the other hand, it’s kind of fun to leave it silent when snapping group shots as the other people in the picture will have no idea that the shot has actually been taken. This—I have discovered—drives them crazy.

The Verdict

The switch is out-of-the-way and yet still easy-to-use.

If you shoot a lot of self portraits, or group shots with you in them, or just want to remote-trigger your iPhone or Android camera, then the $29 asking price is probably well worth it. The unit is also small and light enough that you could keep it with you at all times and not even notice. (I lost it in my bag yesterday before my third in-depth search unearthed it.)

But if you only have very occasional use for such a thing, consider an app with a self-timer. It’ll be a lot cheaper, and you can never, ever lose it (unless you lose the iPhone, I guess).

Product Name: Shuttr The Good: Tough, light, reliable, works with anything.The Bad: I guess you could lose it.

The Verdict Recommended. Or just use the volume switch on your earbuds.

Buy from: Muku