iOS 8: A photographer's worst nightmare

I've always found it odd that some people can somehow manage to have have totally different experiences with the same OS on different devices… Until now.

When Apple announced iOS 8 I was excited to see all of the new features. I've been a loyal, iPhone-toting member of the fan club since the 3G. And, with each update I have been completely satisfied. When version 8 finally dropped and I installed it on my iPhone 5 in record time, excited to dive in and experience all of the new features. At this level of maturity in the environment I've long since gotten all of my "need to haves" and these days updates are all pleasant surprises. Features that, until I see them I didn't have a need for. Apple is great about that.

Completely satisfied with the user experience on my phone I recently stayed up until 2 am (on a work night, ugh) updating my iPad (4th gen.) Now is a good point to note that my use cases for the two devices are completely different. On iPhone I email, feed my social media addiction, browse the net, typical stuff that everyone does. But my iPad, is used almost exclusively for photo weeding and processing. With the handy dandy camera connection kit I'm able to quickly dump my NEF (Nikon's version of RAW) photos onto iPad, and on the best screen in the house weed my photos. I've done this for years and thanks to the convenience, my post-processing flow has slowly migrated to iPad almost exclusively. Only in rare instances these days do I feel compelled to sit at a desktop and fire up Photoshop or Lightroom. 

As it stands however, this can't proceed as is. This is the most disruptive change to the apple mobile OS ecosystem since… Ever. Without further ado, here are my top four photographer grievances with iOS 8. I'm literally at an impasse: 

1. No more catch all "camera roll" folder in albums. Yes, we can see everything in the "photos" view, but... Why? I don't see a reason to force the move. This is a terrible move from a UX perspective. Plus, as my pal Ben Granucci points out, in photos/moments view, there is a lot of unnecessary white-space. 

iOS 8 tease...

iOS 8 tease...

2. In iOS 8 iPhoto has been retired. Amazingly enough, the app is still there, you just can't get past a warning telling you to migrate to the normal photos app. I don't mind giving up iPhoto, but only in favor for something equal to or hopefully better than that which is taken away. Sadly, the enhancements to natively edit photos in iOS 8 aren't equal to the functionality lost w/ iPhoto.

3. Unable to save lower resolution edited copies. In iPhoto I could make edits, save a copy, then revert back to the original leaving an edited version in my camera roll when I dumped the raw files to PC. Additionally, iOS 8 photo edits (crop, exposure adjustment) are lost on import to PC.


4. iOS has done something to make my iPad suddenly ridiculously slow when handling Nikon NEF raw photos. This wasn't an issue with iOS 7.

So, I'm honestly not sure what to do now. With a single OS update I've rendered my primary use case for iPad totally useless. I can't quickly weed my photos (like I have for over a year) with these serious lags and I can't edit my photos because changes are lost on import. Not only that, but edited copies don't remain on the tablet which I've often used as a quick makeshift portfolio to demonstrate my work.

I recently saw a commercial for the Microsoft Surface tablet which runs a robust version of Photoshop. Maybe that's the answer? Just the thought gives me chills. Jobs must be rolling in his grave.