Today in APIs: Apple's iOS Camera APIs Make Manual Controls Available for First Time

Greg Bates
Jun. 05 2014, 05:00PM EDT

Apple's iOS Camera APIs make the iPhone a manual camera—for third party developers. Fleksy to be early out of the gate on iOS 8, but could use more APIs. Plus: Australian startup says it owns the "HealthKit" name, and Contract Logix a API integration.

Apple's iOS Camera APIs Make Manual Controls Available for First Time

Apple's camera controls have been extremely limited, restricting options primarily to controlling flash, HDR, and ISO Boosting. Now, with iOS 8, it promises to open up many more controls to third party apps.
 

Gannon Burgett reports in PetaPixel, however, that this doesn't give the control directly to the user, and can only be accessed through a third party app:

Camera apps built on iOS 8 will now have the ability to have complete control over the camera’s capabilities, effectively giving you ISO, Aperture, and shutter-speed control, just to list off the basics. It’s worth noting to anyone not extremely well-versed in development or iOS, these features are not baked into the standard Camera.app of iOS 8. Instead, these will be available to third party developers to add to their applications that they sell in the app store.

There's a second set of capabilities Apple has made available through its new APIs: the ability to augment Apple's Camera Roll with filters and other tools that can be used without having to open the third party app, and instead use it within the library. This saves a step of opening apps and creating new copies of photos.

Flesky to Launch on iOS 8, but Apple Withholds Some API Capabilities

Fleksy, which supplies alternative keyboards to Android and iPhone, will now be available across the iOS system once 8 is released. Fleksy has long been available on the iOS; now it can be chosen as the default keyboard.
 

However, Apple could have gone farther, as Darrell Etherington reports in Techcrunch. We still can't get access to what seem like obvious capabilities through Fleksy:

There are still some challenges to building a system keyboard for iOS, as Apple doesn’t provide access to things like dictation, automatic capitalization and autocorrect suggestions via API, so these have to be built by keyboard makers themselves if they want them to be included. Fleksy has been working on these and other features since its inception, however, so they should be ahead of the game when it comes time to launch.

Nonetheless, the iOS 8 integration is a leap forward. Where once Fleksy had to approach each app developer to integrate its keyboard, now the user can simply assign it across their entire set of devices.

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Greg Bates A writer for Programmableweb since 2012, Greg is a freelance writer and a maniacal editor of dissertations and term papers. - Follow me on Google+

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