Columns Opinions — 30 October 2014
Opinions: Apple releases iOS 8 for its devices

On Sept. 17, Apple released its latest mobile operating system, iOS 8. This update brought slight user interface changes, along with more than 100 new features.

To begin with, the camera and photo apps have several new changes. The camera now has timer, time lapse and advanced camera options. In the photo app, the camera roll was removed in favor of a new album called “Recently Added.” This is an annoying change because it moves all the other photos to “Moments” section that was added to iOS last year. A safety net was added as well; when people delete photos, they go into a “Recently Deleted” album. This album stores the photos they have deleted for 30 days, and within those days, they can recover them. Along with that, extensions were added, meaning a person can access photo editing apps inside of the photo app. This is a really neat feature that has been in Android for a few years, but I do not see very much use for it yet. As developers have more time, maybe the usefulness will follow.

Messages added many new features, as well. A person can send photos quickly by sliding on the camera icon, and like Snapchat, they are deleted after two minutes — yet another useless feature that Apple is pushing on its consumers. They also allow a user to leave a group chat, or just silence the chat, a great feature that will be used by many people. Texting with voice messages is now available, and just like the photos, they are deleted after two minutes. Messages also added another location sharing feature, where at the push of a button a person can share their location. The messages app added a load of useless features.

Typing a message, though, just got a lot easier and simple. A new default keyboard is now here, called QuickType. This keyboard gives user predictive words at the top of the keyboard, that is based on what the person has typed before, yet it knows the difference from the people the user is communicating with. That means it will not give them the same words to use when they are talking to your girlfriend, boss, or to your boys. iOS 8 now allows the ability to install third-party keyboard; it just does not work very smoothly. Interactive notifications allows a user to answer notifications without leaving his or her lock screen or app. These three features are some of the best in the operating system, and I believe they can only get better with advancements.

In summary, though, this update to iOS is a horrible attempt to catch up to Google’s Android operating system. With this, Apple restructured the entire software development process, which really does not work well yet, although it does have potential. Apple still has some work to do on the software and a lot of bugs to get rid of. In general, this release of iOS was not even close to ready for public release, and with the small features that were added, it did not really need to be called iOS 8; iOS 7.2 would have been a better update. With time, we may see the true potential in this software and the future of iOS devices.

Article by Matthew Coolman, Social Media/Technology Manager

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