WWDC brought us an iOS 8 jam packed with new features. While I was initially partial to only to the iMessage changes, the camera and photo updates need a closer look.
One of the major pushes at WWDC was iCloud, which saw some serious changes: adding iCloud Drive, changing sync, and updating iCloud's relationship with Photos. Right now, there is a 1,000 photo limit on iCloud sync. That's going to change.
In iOS 8, it'll be an all encompassing iCloud Photo Library. The photo library will let you either keep your photos on your device locally, or use Photo Stream to wirelessly sync them with your other iCloud-enabled iOS devices.
If you allow your device to enable the library, all of your photos and videos will auto upload to iCloud, where it'll be stored in its original format (JPG, PNG, etc.) Then you'll be able to view them on your other mobile devices and hopefully in the next OS update, on there too. You are going to have to pay for the storage you use: while the first 5 GB is free, the next 20 GB is $1 per month and 200 GB is $4 per month.
There will also be a search field, for date, time, location, or album name. There will also be a 'Favorites' feature. If you press the heart on the photo, it will be added to that library and go into all of your devices as a 'Favorite.'
As for the Camera Roll — that's sort of missing. Instead, it will be "Recently Added" photos, both taken and saved. Photos will get auto filtered into Albums (think Instagram, Screenshots, Facebook, etc.) but it's unclear if the user can create, set restrictions for, or name their own albums. So, there are a lot of changes for storing photos that users will get to play with.
Let's not forget photo editing. Apple has updated their editing features and filters, making Photo edit look a bit like iPhone edit. You can crop, straighten, remove red eye, adjust lighting, adjust contrast and use filters. If you edit a photo on any device, that edit will sync automatically with all of your Photos libraries. Luckily, that's also easily reversible on any of the devices.
Now, the actual camera. Obviously, a lot of these changes will be related to the functionality of iPhone 6, which we will likely see in the fall. Because of that, Tim Cook didn't reveal much at WWDC. Apple has enough trouble keeping leaks under wraps as it is. So here's what we do know about the iOS 8 camera:
- There will probably be time lapse videos on iPhone 6/iOS 8. It won't require any editing.
- Developers will be able to control manual focus in third-party apps, which will make the focusing process more user friendly for consumers in the long run.
- Selfies are getting way, way easier. Apple made sending them much easier with iMessage updates, and with the self-timer on the back camera, iOS 8 is all about the selfie.
- Graphic optimization should improve quick burst photography. This will especially help pre-5S devices.
- Panorama photos are coming to iPad. And likely to iPhablet too, if that ends up existing.
For camera features and a full look at the iOS 8 beta, check this out: