One Trick iOS Can Learn from Snapchat

When Snapchat initially launched my first thought was, “That sounds dumb. Why would I want to send a message to someone–other than sexting–and have that message be gone forever once it’s viewed. I have since come to appreciate Snapchat for certain things, and now I feel like iOS really should offer a similar ephemeral or temporary photo mode for the camera in iOS.

Apple is expected to host an event in the next few weeks to officially unveil the iPhone 7. Soon after, the latest incarnation of iOS—iOS 10—will be made available. I have been using the public Beta of iOS 10 and I have been very impressed so far. However, there is on feature iOS really needs that is not included in iOS 10: temporary photos.

Apple has added a variety of nifty modes and features to the camera function in iOS over the years. On my iPhone 6S Plus I can choose time-lapse, slo-mo, video, photo, square, or pano. I can also select from an array of filters, or choose to take a standard photo or a Live photo. What I can’t choose, though, is to take a photo that automatically expires or deletes itself, a’ la Snapchat—and that is a feature that all mobile device cameras should have in my opinion.

Why? Simple. Many—if not most—of the photos I take have a very limited or utilitarian purpose. If I take a video of my daughter’s dance recital, or a picture of my son diving off a 3-meter platform, I want those to be preserved. I want them stored on the device and synced to the cloud so I make sure I have them for posterity. However, if I take a photo of the mayonnaise aisle at the grocery store to text to my wife to ask which brand I should get, that photo doesn’t need to exist beyond that text message.

When it comes to sharing silly things—like a clever bumper sticker on a car, or texting a photo of mayonnaise to my wife, I don’t want or need those photos stored on my device or in the cloud. I don’t ever need to see them again.

What I envision is a mode for the camera in iOS called “Temporary”. I should be able to define the default expiration timeframe—like 30 seconds, or 5 minutes, or whatever. Maybe it could be chosen at the time the picture is taken, like tapping the time delay icon at the top to have the photo shoot after 3 seconds or 10 seconds. Because the temporary photos would be almost exclusively for text messaging it could also possibly default to a lower resolution. I don’t really need a high-resolution photo of mayonnaise to get the point across. On the other hand, if it just magically deletes itself then it really doesn’t matter how much space it takes up I suppose.

Read the full story on Forbes: The One Feature I Really Wish Apple Included In iOS 10.

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