iOS 8: Will Apple’s new Messages app confuse users?

“Apple is taking a calculated risk with its iOS 8 software, due in autumn. It’s tweaking the Messages app, normally used to send text messages, with pictures or videos attached if you want, so that it can also send short voice snippets,” Charles Arthur writes for The Guardian. “Not only that; it’s building in Snapchat-like or WhatsApp-like functionality, so that the snippets will auto-delete within a few seconds of the receiver listening to them, as will photos or videos taken via a newly-introduced function in the app.”

“Why is this a big risk? Because the Messages app is, like the SMS app on any smartphone, the one that on average people use most frequently (even if they don’t spend the longest time in it compared to other apps),” Arthur writes. “Tweaking how a popular app or function works is as dangerous as defusing a bomb; get it wrong and you can just be left with wreckage.”

“iMessage is a cornerstone of Apple’s mobile strategy. Introduced in 2011, it now handles more than 40bn messages a day between the half-billion or so iOS devices (iPhones and iPads, principally). And it only works on and between Apple devices, because of how its security system works – a competitive edge for Apple,” Arthur writes. “The new functions – record a quick video, take a picture, or record a quick voice message – are being added by the medium of the “long press”. Long press on the camera icon (left of the text entry space), and you go to the live camera settings. Long press on the microphone icon (on the right of the text entry space) and you can record and send a quick slice of audio. (Apparently the latter is very popular on apps in China — where ‘typing a quick note’ isn’t quick because the character set is more complex than our Roman script.) Obviously, teens who love iMessage will figure this out within minutes of updating to iOS 8. But I’m more intrigued by the less frequent or eager users, who will probably discover the new features completely by accident, and may wonder what they’ve done to make it happen.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Color us unworried.

20 Comments

  1. “Tweaking how a popular app or function works is as dangerous as defusing a bomb; get it wrong and you can just be left with wreckage.”

    Really? That’s the best metaphor you can come up with?

    1. This ‘defusing a bomb’ comment is entirely IGNORANT.

      As for the ‘wonder what they’ve done to make it happen’ syndrome, hopefully Apple will assist users in learning the changes. Or they most certainly SHOULD. Apple never has been brilliant at documentation, especially these days.

  2. Will the Guardian or the BBC ever run a story that is not heavily biased against Apple?

    I read those two “news” outlets frequently and this type of FUD is regular and recurrent. I’m not sure why they are so anti-Apple, but they are.

    1. As any UK citizen can attest: The BBC drove citizens to use Windows boxes. The Mac was barely considered over there. The whole Brit culture got put an a Windows shish kabab skewer and all the money that fell out of their pockets was sent off to Microsoft and PC makers. Nauseating. That culture based bias against the Apple world remains, although dying along with the rest of the PC market.

          1. It’s the Law actually. Because the BBC is publicly funded it’s not allowed to show any brands (except when it’s showing a sporting event etc). Are you old enough to remember “Top Cat”? Because that was the brand name of a pet-food. The BBC had to call it “Boss Cat”.

            We have a long running children’s programme called Blue Peter that regularly demonstrates a “make” using household junk, all the old washing up liquid bottles had their brand logos covered with tape.

  3. it’s building in Snapchat-like or WhatsApp-like functionality, so that the snippets will auto-delete within a few seconds of the receiver listening to them

    Is this for REAL? Or for FAKE? Snapchat proved to be bullshit with 4.6 MILLION stolen accounts and loads of stolen photos to prove it:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/snapchat-leaked/

    The leaks have become so diabolically expected that there’s a dedicated website of JUST leaked photos:

    http://snapchatleaked.com

    Crapware deluxe.

    1. Well, Snapchat. I guess, was deleting image/messages from the user phones, but not from their servers. Kind of half-baked. Apple, I believe, is intending on a system wide deletion of these files after a confirmed receipt. It’s impossible to know for sure until something gets hacked. Apple has a pretty good track record on account security.

      1. Maybe it’s just me but I’d like the option to keep some of those messages instead of having it deleted automatically. Or are they talking about deletion of the data on the server end and not the destination device? In that case would that mean you would only have the message exist in the App local storage on the device you happened to receive it on? e.g. on your iPhone and not on the iPad.

  4. Yeehhhh… I’m sure the best computer interface company on the planet haven’t given a second’s attention to interface/usability considerations.

    1. Come on dude, you gotta know that ain’t how we roll here. No run to reserve judgement. Hell we am all smarter than any publication. You must be new to this forum.
      Watch, pretty soon someone will have a political take on this, then it will be the country going to hell. Get real my friend, that is the way of MDN.

  5. There is a possibility that in the design of men’s shirts users might align the buttons with the incorrect holes, therefore buttoning the shirt incorrectly and creating confusion in the wearer.

  6. I believe that the short voice messages feature is really intended for the iWatch. You will be able to communicate via voice messages like a walkie talkie. It will work over wifi so you don’t need to have your iPhone nearby. People will love this. It is going to change how people message.

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