#ios 8

Jean-Louis Gassée’s takeaway from WWDC and the unveiling of iOS 8:

This is the real iOS 2.0. For developers, after the 2008 momentous opening of the App Store that redefined the smartphone, this is the second major release.

It’s one of those things where on the surface, iOS 8 won’t look much different from iOS 7. But underneath, not only are there a massive amount of new APIs, there’s a real shift in the the core concepts that drive the OS.

Jordan Kahn:

When entering a credit card number into a form online to, for example, make a purchase, Safari already allowed users to quickly select credit cards stored in its Passwords & AutoFill settings. You can still do that, but in iOS 8 you’ll now also have the option to select “Scan Credit Card” and snap a picture of the card. Apple then uses optical character recognition of sorts to input the number into the text field in Safari. There’s also a way to scan and save cards using the camera directly from within the Passwords & AutoFill settings.

Another subtle, but potentially huge feature. Entering credit card numbers, especially on a phone’s small screen, remains a huge pain in the ass. Some services use this pretty basic OCR to make the process easier, but doing it at a system-wide level will be much more powerful.

Michael Sippey:

I’m hopeful that Apple making per-app battery usage visible to the end user in iOS 8 will be the push that developers need to start paying closer attention to how their apps consume power, and when. There’s too much folklore out there about how users can extend the life of their devices (turning off geo services, background app refreshing, push notifications, etc.), when really this should be the responsibility of the developer.

100% agree. Are smartphone batteries perfect? No. Are smartphone OSes perfect with regard to battery life? Certainly not. But poorly developed apps are often to blame for many battery woes and now we’re going to see which are the worst. And we shall shame them into doing better.

On the topic of huge iOS changes, here’s Mike Beasley:

When iOS 7 launched, developers discovered that their apps with built-in web browsers were unable to achieve the same level of JavaScript performance as the stock Safari app. This was because Apple restricted use of its improved Nitro JavaScript engine to its own app, leaving third-parties with a slower version.

As of iOS 8, however, it seems that decision has been reversed. All apps will now be able to use the same improved JavaScript engine that powers Safari. That means Google’s Chrome browser on iOS will now be just as quick as Safari, as will the pop-up browsers embedded in apps like Twitter and Facebook.

Unclear why this wasn’t always the case. But glad that it appears to now be the case. Next up: wondering if the rendering engine restriction will ever change…

Juli Clover on an apparently iOS 8 feature not mentioned in the WWDC Keynote:

One new feature sees the iPhone displaying apps on the lock screen based on location. For example, MacRumors readers have seen relevant app icons pop up while at or near brick and mortar locations like Starbucks and the Apple Store. While at a Starbucks, for example, the Starbucks app icon is displayed in the lower left corner of the iPhone’s lock screen, which allows the Starbucks app to be easily accessed. 

I agree with Will Weinraub, this seems like it has massive potential — especially because it works for app discovery as well. Ladies and gentlemen, start your iBeacons!

An insanely detailed leak of Apple’s forthcoming Healthbook software (likely a part of iOS 8) by Mark Gurman:

Each category of functionality is a card in the Healthbook. Cards are distinguished by a color, and the tabs can be arranged to fit user preferences. As can be seen in the above images, Healthbook has sections that can track data pertaining to bloodwork, heart rate, hydration, blood pressure, physical activity, nutrition, blood sugar, sleep, respiratory rate, oxygen saturation, and weight.

The big question, as Gurman notes at the end, is which devices will supply the data to Healthbook? Certainly, the iPhone itself is one (especially the models with an M7 chip). And it sure sounds like some sort of forthcoming “iWatch" would be another. But given the scope of Healthbook, it also seems likely to me that Apple will allow third-party devices to work with the software. This being Apple, you can be sure such a list will be curated, at least at first.

To that end, just remember that Tim Cook remains on Nike’s Board of Directors…