Forget all that talk about the Instagram of video: YouTube wants to be the next default iPhone camera app. The Google-owned video service just released a really simple and basic video recording app for iOS that automatically uploads each and every clip to its site, with options to share it on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. The app has a number of useful options baked-in, and a sneakily convincing name: On your iOS home screen, it’s simply going to show up as “Capture.”
YouTube Capture comes with a few key features that make it superior to the default iOS camera app: It offers image stabilization and color correction, and users can trim clips and even add a YouTube-approved soundtrack. And here’s the killer: YouTube capture won’t let you record a clip until you hold your camera horizontally, so you won’t accidentally record everything sideways.
Clips can be shared publicly, marked as unlisted or kept private, and the app will upload videos automatically as soon as you stop shooting. Uploads will continue even after you “close” the app, so you’ll be able to do something else while your clips upload in the background.
That’s all pretty neat, especially if you compare it to the somewhat complicated workflow of sharing videos through Apple’s native camera app, which oftentimes involves switching back and forth between photo and video mode.
But the name of the app itself is probably just as noteworthy, because it’s a bold step to (pardon the choice of words) capture screen estate, mind share and ultimately users from Apple. Google has in recent weeks spent a lot of energy on trying to replace standard iOS apps like Maps, Safari and the now-phased-out YouTube app with its own versions. Capture is just another step in that process.