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iOS 8: Apple updates Photos and Camera apps

33

As we've come to expect, Apple is using its annual developers' conference in San Francisco to announce new versions of its desktop and mobile operating systems. Along with a host of refinements in iOS 8 is a revamped Photos app, with improved native retouching options, better search, more complete iCloud integration and support for third party retouching apps as 'extensions'.

In iOS 7, photo retouching was effectively limited to redeye removal and a one touch 'auto-enhance' options.

One-shot, universal brightness adjustments can lead to unwanted side-effects, like blown highlights. In iOS 8, 'Lightness' and 'Color' can be adjusted in a much more granular fashion. In iOS 8, while 'Lightness' is manipulated using a simple slider, for example, the control dynamically adjusts several separate parameters behind the scenes, including shadow and highlight exposure, black-point and contrast. These individual parameters can then be fine-tuned if required. 

Support for third party apps as 'extensions' is a welcome addition, allowing iOS users to apply third-party filter effects from directly within the Photos app.

Edits made to photos on an iOS device are automatically synced with Apple's iCloud service, and are preserved when the images are accessed from another iOS or desktop device. All photos and videos which are accessed from the cloud will be made available at full resolution. We've seen similar functionality before from Google, but anyone who owns multiple Apple mobile and desktop devices will no doubt appreciate it.

As well as the changes to the Photos app on iOS, a dedicated Photos app will be available in early 2015 for Apple's Mac desktop computers that will offer the same retouching functionality.

iOS 8 will be available in the autumn, and will be compatible with all current iOS devices, and some older models including the iPhone 4S and iPad2.

Update: According to The Verge, iOS 8 will also add at least one new feature to the Camera app - separate controls for focus and exposure. In iOS 7, focus and exposure can be locked from a specific scene element, but not separately. The option to lock both independently of one another isn't new (some third-party apps already provide the option) but it's a nice refinement to the native iOS Camera app.

Comments

Total comments: 33
globethrottle

I wonder what applez calculations is, on cost of having to service phones in which the camera is more or less accidentally used in manual settings now.

0 upvotes
Menneisyys

Folks,

I have some GREAT news for you all: the Camera API in iOS8 seems to start supporting all manual settings:

- focus (on non-fixed focus devices, obviously, which means the iPad2 won't be supported, but everything else will)

- aperture (of course none of the current iDevices have variable aperture - this aint Nokia n86)

- ISO

- shutter speed (something sorely missing on Android)

I've uploaded the file, AVCaptureDevice.h, which contains all the declarations of the for app developers available methods. In order to find the brand new, above methods, search for "8_0". (Without the quotes, obviously.)

The file is at https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/81986513/062014/AVCaptureDevice.h

I'll continue providing you with more info and, before long, a FULL app (with sources) that makes it possible to use the new features. (Before you ask: yes, I've published several of such open source apps back in the iOS7 beta days, before the final release of the OS.)

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
BrunoH

"We've seen similar functionality before from Google"

Dont forget that Windows Phone also have been supporting full reolution photo and video uploading/syncing since 2010!

0 upvotes
shaocaholica

Wheres raw??? Come on Apple.

0 upvotes
jhendrix

I'd be happy if the HDR mode on my iPhone 5 actually worked.

0 upvotes
Menneisyys

What do you mean? It's semi-HDR as it doesn't physically make two (three) entirely distinct images. Most of the other smartphones do the same. Hence the low DR increase (about 1.5 stops). With proper bracketing, even 7-8 stops of DR increase would be possible.

I've explained all these in my dedicated article, along with tons of demo shots, at http://www.iphonelife.com/blog/87/exposure-compensation-and-bracketing-bible , BTW.

0 upvotes
darngooddesign

It bears mentioning that iPhoto on iOS 7 saves adjustments to the photo in the camera roll.

0 upvotes
DanielFjall

Do people still use iphones?

2 upvotes
Menneisyys

Yes, a lot of us do. For example, it has an excellent sweep pano mode lacking from the Nokia 808. And its low-light videos are better than those of the Nokia 808.

3 upvotes
EricWN

Nice try.

2 upvotes
Snodayz

Only people who appreciate quality. The rest are happy to live with plastic, malware infested, dog's breakfast OS phones.

6 upvotes
Wolfgang Fieger

I still miss the obvious water level that is existing in the iPhone and not used to level photos correctly.
Apple could even go further and offer automatic perspective correction by measuring the exact angle of view with the gauge.

2 upvotes
Menneisyys

Jailbreak and use CameraTweak. It adds, among other things, a horizon level to the stock Camera client. I've made a shot demoing this (with this very post):

https://www.flickr.com/photos/33448355@N07/14335691664/

0 upvotes
Tonio Loewald

Or you could just use one of the bazillion third party camera apps that do this.

0 upvotes
Menneisyys

WRT the just-posted article update on the Camera app ("Update: According to The Verge, iOS 8 will also add at least one new feature to the Camera app - separate controls for focus and exposure. In iOS 7, focus and exposure can be locked from a specific scene element, but not separately. The option to lock both independently of one another isn't new (some third-party apps already provide the option) but it's a nice refinement to the native iOS Camera app."):

This wasn't only available in most third-party apps (many of them I've reviewed here in the iOS subforums at Connect), but also in the absolutely essential "CameraTweak" JB app, which Connect also recommended:

http://connect.dpreview.com/post/4594903552/is-cameratweak-worth-jailbreaking

2 upvotes
Menneisyys

Folks,

as promised, here's an iPad2 iOS8 Camera app screenshot showing this very page and

- the exposure square (no focus square on the iPad2 as it's a fixed-focus device. But at least you can see (see the bulb icon next to the square) that it's indeed setting the exposure.)

- the time-lap menu option (I've set it to be the currently selected one). Currently, time-lap doesn't seem to work:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/33448355@N07/14332157084/

- delayed (configurable to 3s and 10s) single shooting in the default Photo mode, on the other hand, works just fine. A screenshot showing both the time selector and the countdown in progress (see the big "2" in the center):

https://www.flickr.com/photos/33448355@N07/14146339360/

- as opposed to what for example macRumors states (see http://www.macrumors.com/2014/06/02/ios-8-tidbits/ ; direct excerpt: "iPads will gain the ability to take Panoramic photos like the iPhone"), there's no sign of pano shooting on the iPad 2.

Will go on.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Richard Shih

OP delivers. :D

1 upvote
Menneisyys

And four new screenshots, this time from the Photos (not the Camera) app, all from the Edit mode (shot on an iPad2):

1, Filters > Normal:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/33448355@N07/14146365818/

2, Filters > Noir:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/33448355@N07/14146359219/

3, Brightness slider:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/33448355@N07/14146408200/

4, rotating the image:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/33448355@N07/14146524257/

1 upvote
ChrisSwiss

I was hoping for some pears, but all we get is apples.

0 upvotes
LensBeginner

When life gives you lemons... ;-)

1 upvote
FRANCISQUAN

I got one............ an I-Pad2 !

0 upvotes
tkbslc

I was hoping to read about SOME exposure control options. At the very least exposure comp or manual ISO, since I'm sure full manual controls will never happen.

1 upvote
Richard Shih

There are new additions to the camera API, so that will open up options for third party (and first party) developers. More to be seen when the developers dig into the new SDK.

This was a conference for third party developers, so if you were hoping for some exposure options in the default camera app, you'll probably have to wait till they announce the next iPhone.

1 upvote
Jogger

Sounds like you want a real camera.

6 upvotes
Menneisyys

"There are new additions to the camera API, so that will open up options for third party (and first party) developers. More to be seen when the developers dig into the new SDK."

I'm just upgrading one of my iPads to iOS8 beta. Will VERY soon report back on whether there's anything of interest, camera-wise.

(I've published tons of articles on programming the iOS camera API so I know it like the palm of my hand.)

0 upvotes
tkbslc

iphone 5s is definitely a real camera, Jogger. You'll find many excellent photos created by it if you even do a casual search. But of course some people can never pass up a good opportunity to bash camera phones.

2 upvotes
Menneisyys

"iphone 5s is definitely a real camera, Jogger. "

Every single phone flagship has a decent camera (OK, except for the 4-Mpixel HTC ones), with different strengths and weaknesses. I'd say the Nokia 808 produces by far the best stills (and, consequently, it's the "most camera-like" of the bunch) but it lacks some features like inbuilt panorama and is _very_ prone to camera shake.

WRT manual modes, regrettably, iPhones are the _worst_. At least so far they have been. Soon I'll post more info on iOS8's new camera features - we'll soon see whether the new version has, at last, improved the situation.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
BrunoH

You are looking for a real cameraphone - like Nokia Lumia 1020, 930/Icon, 1520.

Apple makes good phones, but are way behind in camera Tech!

0 upvotes
Menneisyys

"I was hoping to read about SOME exposure control options. At the very least exposure comp or manual ISO, since I'm sure full manual controls will never happen."

I have some good news for you too - there will be a LOT of new manual modes in the API. Check out the comment I've just posted - and stay tuned, I'll post a lot of additional info / compilable & deployable source code so that anyone with the iOS8 beta on his/her iPad can enjoy manual modes months before the official release of the final iOS8.

Comment edited 23 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Bruce Crossan

Any sign of Aperture 4?

2 upvotes
dlevitt

Remember, this was a conference for third party developers - not for Apple's internal developers. [Show off new OS features and dev tools - the only featured application was Xcode]

2 upvotes
Bruce Crossan

Thom Hogan has an interesting perspective on this

0 upvotes
steve_hoge

You're referring to this TH article?

http://www.dslrbodies.com/accessories/software-for-nikon-dslrs/software-news/icloud-photos.html

0 upvotes
Total comments: 33
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