Apple Makes Changes to Photography With iOS 8 Playing Catch With Android

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Apple products: love them or not, there’s no denying that they’ve made a tremendous impact on photography today. If you don’t own an iPhone, chances are you most likely own a Mac. If you own neither then you’re in more of a minority than you’d think. Considering how important the company’s become to the photography world in general, the news that came out of Apple’s WWDC keynote today is set to make another mark in how many of us deal with our work. As I’m writing this post, Craig Federighi of Apple is wrapping up the announcement of the new iOS 8. Both the mobile operating software, along with the new update to Mac OSX, were both just recently introduced at the keynote, and the changes they’re bringing to how we work with photos on our Apple devices are far overdue.

Let’s start with the iPhone, which is at the moment the most popular camera in the world. With the upcoming iOS 8, the official Camera app gets its own editing utilities, along with automatic picture straightening. With the tools popping up at the top of the photo, the lighting and color dials are placed at the bottom, controlled by sliding the bars from one side to the other. With the official Camera app getting its own in-app editing service, the news can potentially prove troubling for some third-party photography apps out there; if Apple has one thing right, it’s the quality the company puts in its user interface. Everything just works, and you can compare the results of panoramas taken from an iPhone with those taken from any other smartphone at all to see the difference.

One other major development to come out of iOS 8 is that every photo taken with your device will automatically be available on all your devices. This is huge for people that keep their information in an Apple ecosystem. When I used to own an iPhone, one of the biggest complaints I had with it was the fact that I would have to constantly back it up in order to make sure my photos were on other devices. With digital photos essentially being the default medium in how we store our photos now, this development is great for people that want to preserve them. There’s a good amount of older people that use iOS devices that may not be too used to backing up their work as much as they should be, and they won’t have to worry as much about that when using this feature. With how popular its devices are, it’s nice to see Apple integrate the simplicity so well in the lives of its customers; they’ve been doing it since the introduction of the iPhone back in 2007, and they’re still proving that it’s something important to them.

Speaking of simplicity and easiness to use, that basically means you’ll never have to see iPhoto again. Along with the fact that it’s no longer the default for synchronizing photos to your Mac, Federighi goes on to talk about Apple’s plans for next year: with what they’re working on for iCloud, they’re preparing to make a releaser that’ll ultimately replace iPhoto itself. Considering how both iOS 8 and the new OSX are starting to phase out the crippled software, it might be safe to say that Apple’s realized it caused us nothing but pain. So don’t hold back those tears. Let them out, because it’s all over; iPhoto can’t hurt us anymore.

The other big announcement that apple will finally provide both manual controls and total access to third party apps. This means that you will be able to control ISO, aperture and shutter speed from within the camera app, but maybe more importantly, it means that you can now replace the camera and gallery apps altogether with your favorite without forfeiting any of the features. On notable such change is that you will now be able to delete photos from other apps, not just from apples photo library.

Apple’s not the most technologically advanced company out there for photographers – and they’re definitely not the standard for professional photography work, but they’ve been responsible for bringing millions of people into the world of photography by simply helping them start off with it. Photography isn’t just a lively industry today; it’s at its most creative point ever, and many of the creative ones out there probably wouldn’t have gotten there had they not started off snapping shots from their smartphone.

[via The Verge]

  • kevinflorian

    They’ve been behind Windows Phone as far as photo features are concerned, OS-side.

    • Maaz Khan

      Not exactly. It’s the other way around. Windows Phone has the better hardware, thanks to Nokia’s PureView and Carl Zeiss technology. Their actual camera sensors are a lot more powerful than the iPhone’s.

      But software-wise, Apple’s got it beat. Part of how the pictures come out depends on the actual hardware, but the other part depends on how the software optimizes the pictures itself. It’s why Apple’s 8 megapixel camera nearly ties with the Lumia 1020′s 41 megapixel camera in terms of quality.

      I’ve got a Sony Xperia Z1 Compact right now. It has a 21 Megapixel camera. Apple gets their camera made by Sony, using the same Exmor technology. But for a 21 megapixel camera phone, the software my phone uses always washes out more of the picture than what should be usual. I tend to find myself noticing differences in the official Sony camera app and other third party apps, which somehow end up making the picture better.

      Take that and compare it to the iPhone’s, which with almost the same aperture, and less megapixels, manages to get in quality in low-light and detail that’s almost tied with the Xperia.

      Bottom line is that the hardware is where Apple may lack compared to other phones, but they tune what they do have on it to near perfection. There’s almost no crash and no lag when it comes to iOS cameras, on top. That’s something I give Windows phone credit for, as well. The UI is incredibly stable on both Windows and iOS. But with what Apple does when it comes to camera software, I think a lot of other companies could try following their example there and make a lot better use of the hardware they already have.

      Disclaimer: I’m not really an Apple fanboy. I’ve had iPhones, Windows Phones, and Android devices so often that I really love what each of them have brought forward.

  • Mark

    I’m completely confused…what’s anything in this article have to do with Android as the title suggests? Nothing? Oh…ok….then why’s it in the title?

    • Peter Bower

      Because a number of the features that Apple are implementing throughout their phones, but also with Photos, admittedly, is playing catch-up with features already available on Android phones. So, that’s why it’s in the title, I imagine. :)

    • Kelvin

      because android already does everything apple is introducing here.

  • scatterbrained

    “If you don’t own an iPhone, chances are you most likely own a Mac. If
    you own neither then you’re in more of a minority than you’d think”

    Surveys would indicate otherwise, but it’s been my experience that, like politics, apple people tend to congregate together. . . . . . . . . ;)

    • BuckCash

      Android accounted for 39.7 percent of device shipments — hybrids, PCs, phones, and tablets — during 2013, according to Gartner. Apple’s iOS and OS X: 10.4 percent. Forecast for this year puts Android at 47.2 percent and the fruit-logo platforms at 11.5 percent. And the balance? Windows devices.

      So how is it that not owning Apple products puts one in the minority?

      It’s like Apple Fanbois live in an alternate universe or something.

    • gt50

      Twenty years in IT tells me that the author suffers from an apple fanboi affliction.

      If he were to say that among some groups of “creatives” or affluent tweens you are the minority, I could possibly let it slide.

      With regard to the iphone being the most popular camera, I can believe that. Apple sales one device at a time. I believe the 5c flopped. Samsung has several galaxy S variants and the note that compete directly with the iphone. Due to having more choice in android, the iphone gets “better” numbers in this regard.

  • Will Chao

    damn this is like a built in lightroom/aperture

    • Kelvin

      or like any other of the tens of photo editing apps available. but usually you work in RAW in lightroom. so its really more just like, built in instagram filters probably.

      • Will Chao

        I haven’t came across any apps that let you tweak highlights/shadows etc or perhaps I just haven’t found one (except for lightroom mobile)

        • Kelvin

          perhaps then. I don’t really use them so you might know better… but in JPEG u can’t really get much out of tweaking those things.

  • justd80010

    I’ve been able to tweak WB, saturation, exposure, contract and gamma in Fantasia Painter on Windows Phone for at least two years now. Also, any picture I take on my phone is available almost immediately on any device I can access OneDrive from, doesn’t have to be a Windows device. pretty sure Google Drive provides the same access.
    iPhones do take great smartphone pics, but so do Samsung Galaxies, Sony Xperias and every PureView powered Windows Phone on the market.

    This piece does feel like fanboism.

  • justd80010

    I’ve been able to tweak WB, saturation, exposure, contrast and gamma in Fantasia Painter on Windows Phone for at least two years now, it even allows me to reduce noise (the developer calls it Beauty Reveal). Also, any picture I take on my phone is available almost immediately on any device I can access OneDrive from, doesn’t have to be a Windows device. pretty sure Google Drive provides the same access.

    iPhones do take great smartphone pics, but so do Samsung Galaxies, Sony Xperias and every PureView powered Windows Phone on the market.
    This piece does feel like fanboism.