“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.