Typically when people go looking for new features in an iOS update, they look at changes to the operating system. In iOS 8, some of the biggest changes occur in the more frequently used stock apps. At the top of that list is the Messages app. In iOS 8, Apple has made it easier to send a quick photo or record and send a short video. All with a single touch.
There is no debating that Apple creates great software. On occasion, they borrow good ideas, putting their own Apple spin on them. That’s exactly what’s happened with Messages in iOS 8. The ideas originated in third-party apps WhatsApp and Snapchat. By folding these features into a stock app like Messages, it increases the value of the software that ships with each new iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. Not everyone will seek out apps that expand features, but they will use the heck out of the apps that occupy the home screen of every new iPhone. It’s Apple showing that good ideas are good ideas, even if they don’t emanate from Cupertino.
How to send quick photos using Messages on iOS 8
In older versions of iOS, sharing a photo switch you to the camera app or your photo library. If you didn’t like the photo, you could always choose the retake option. Those options remain in iOS 8. Tapping once on the camera icon brings up your options. The process is pretty seamless. But they’ve made it incredibly easy to send photos faster and here’s how:
1. Tap and hold the camera icon.
2. A semi-circle will appear on the left and your camera will be active. The camera becomes built-in to the Messages apps.
3. Tap on the camera icon at the top of the semi-circle to snap and send your photo. This is an important distinction between the old method and new method. If you take an accidental selfie, it gets sent, right away. There is no re-take option here. Before tapping on the camera icon, you can tap at the top right to switch from the front-facing camera to the rear-facing camera.
Important: Earlier I promised ‘one-touch’ to send a photo. If you tap, hold and drag to the camera icon, you can send a photo in one gesture. Tap, hold and swipe up. Boom! Instant selfie send!
How to send quick videos using Messages app on iOS 8
Like photos, sending videos can also be done “the old fashioned way.” What’s the fun in that? Here’s how to use the video camera to quickly capture and send videos.
1. Tap and hold the camera icon.
2. A semi-circle will appear on the left and your camera will be active.
3. Tap on the red icon to the right to start recording. Release and it you’ll see both a play button and arrow. The play option allows you to preview your video before sending. Tap on the up arrow and it gets sent. Before tapping on the camera icon, you can tap at the top right to switch from the front-facing camera to the rear-facing camera. Yes, it’s that easy and it’s that fast.
Tip: These videos are self-destructing. Once you send a video, there is a link within the messages thread to ‘keep’ and it does just that.
What Apple has done is bring the best and brightest ideas in messaging to the Messages app. There are certain cases where it still makes sense to use the old method of sending photos. For one, you might be trying to capture a shot a certain way. Having the ability to retake is advantageous. When speed and convenience are the primary factors, the new single-touch method is by far the quickest way to send photos and videos.