New settings in iOS 8: Auto-delete texts, camera privacy controls, 'Hey Siri' voice activation

Posted:
in iPhone edited September 2014
Apple's upcoming iOS 8 update will give users better control over their mobile devices, with new customizable settings that address longstanding issues with old text messages, privacy concerns related to camera access, and the convenience of voice-activated Siri controls.



Store Messages

One new setting that some users will find particularly useful is an option to control how long text messages and picture messages are stored on a device. For heavy texters, a backlog of messages can balloon over time and take up a considerable amount of space not only on an iPhone, but also in the form of iCloud backups.

Apple has addressed this in the first iOS 8 beta by including a "Store Messages" option that can be found in the Messages section of the Settings app. Here, users can choose whether messages are saved forever, for 30 days, or for one year.

As of iOS 8 beta 1, the default setting on "Store Messages" is forever.

Camera privacy controls

Upon booting iOS 8 and launching the native Camera application for the first time, developers testing the software will be met with a new prompt asking if they want to allow the Camera app to access the cameras on their iPhone or iPad.

Strangely, the forward and rear facing cameras on the iPhone and iPad were not previously controlled through the Privacy setting in iOS. That's set to change with iOS 8, as the first beta adds a "Camera" section to the Privacy settings.




From there, users will be able to control access for third-party apps that have requested the right to tap into their device's cameras. The Camera setting remains alongside previously existing options such as Contacts, Photos, Microphone, and Motion Activity.

Diagnostics and Usage sharing controls are also included in the first beta. Users can turn off sending diagnostics from the Privacy section, and also view specific data that may have been sent to Apple.

"Hey Siri"

With iOS 8, users won't have to have their iPhone or iPad in their hands to invoke Siri. Instead, the device will listen for the voice prompt "Hey Siri" to initiate.

In order to preserve battery life, Apple requires that the device be plugged into power for "Hey Siri" to work. This stands in contrast to Google's Android search function, which responds to the word "Google" and is always on, regardless of power state.




"Hey Siri" can be enabled in iOS 8 beta 1 by opening the Settings app, choosing General, then Siri, and switching on the "Voice Activation" feature.

Voice activation for Siri works as advertised in the first iOS 8 beta. Saying "Hey Siri" at any point while the iPhone is plugged in, even while the screen is locked and dark, will automatically bring up Siri voice controls.

WWDC Attendees: feel free to share your unique experiences and comment on the vibe of this year's conference (but please don't violate your NDA) by mailing us at [email protected], and we'll include them in our coverage this week. And make sure you're always up to date on the latest Apple news by signing up for our newsletter, following us on Twitter, or by downloading the official AppleInsider app for iPhone and iPad.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 41
    chipsychipsy Posts: 287member
    The fact that 'Hey Siri' only works when plugged in, I imagine that means that the A7 doesn't have a low power DSP that is capable of supporting an 'always listening' function (like f.e. the Snapdragon 800). So it wouldn't be a stretch for the A8 to have a DSP that does support it, so that could mean the iPhone 6 might have an 'always listening' function (but will be iPhone 6 exclusive with the others keeping the plugged in alternative as it would consume too much battery power). Just thinking out loud here but does seem plausible, not?
  • Reply 2 of 41
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    Sounds like a reasonable guess, chipsy, I agree.
  • Reply 3 of 41
    lorin schultzlorin schultz Posts: 2,708member
    Why not let USERS decide how to manage the battery? I choose to let my laptop run at full-bore even when on battery because, the way I use it -- short periods of real work -- responsiveness matters more than battery life. If that situation should change I can simply adjust the settings to throttle back performance and brightness to conserve battery power. It's up to me.

    Why not offer the same choice on the iPhone? Add a switch so that in addition to ON/OFF users can select "ALWAYS ON" or "BETTER BATTERY LIFE."
  • Reply 4 of 41
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,720member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Lorin Schultz View Post



    Why not let USERS decide how to manage the battery? I choose to let my laptop run at full-bore even when on battery because, the way I use it -- short periods of real work -- responsiveness matters more than battery life. If that situation should change I can simply adjust the settings to throttle back performance and brightness to conserve battery power. It's up to me.



    Why not offer the same choice on the iPhone? Add a switch so that in addition to ON/OFF users can select "ALWAYS ON" or "BETTER BATTERY LIFE."

     

    Because...  It's in beta?  Don't make snap judgements until you know what will be in the shipping iOS 8 bits.

  • Reply 5 of 41
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,617member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Lorin Schultz View Post



    Why not let USERS decide how to manage the battery? I choose to let my laptop run at full-bore even when on battery because, the way I use it -- short periods of real work -- responsiveness matters more than battery life. If that situation should change I can simply adjust the settings to throttle back performance and brightness to conserve battery power. It's up to me.



    Why not offer the same choice on the iPhone? Add a switch so that in addition to ON/OFF users can select "ALWAYS ON" or "BETTER BATTERY LIFE."



    Most users don't care, don't want to know, or have better things to do than micromanage processes on their phone.  In the end, most people will end up going on boards such as this one and complaining that "My iPhone battery suckz".  That's why.

  • Reply 6 of 41
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 942member
    john.b wrote: »
    Because...  It's in beta?  Don't make snap judgements until you know what will be in the shipping iOS 8 bits.
    I thought they said this would work when plugged into your car?
  • Reply 7 of 41
    arlorarlor Posts: 496member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

     



    Most users don't care, don't want to know, or have better things to do than micromanage processes on their phone.  In the end, most people will end up going on boards such as this one and complaining that "My iPhone battery suckz".  That's why.


     

    He didn't suggest making always on the default; he suggested making it an option. 

  • Reply 8 of 41
    adhiradhir Posts: 50member
    Saying "hey, Siri" should be convenient to do in the car when the phone is connected to power and bluetooth.
  • Reply 9 of 41
    tommy0gunstommy0guns Posts: 116member
    Or, it needs to be plugged in to be screened for "real world" use. If you are at a restaurant and there are 4 iPhones on the table, someone yells "Hey Siri", what do you think will be the result? In the real world, you will use voice to change a song on your phone across the room or to get directions/text while driving. Both examples are usually plugged in.

    Not everything is a conspiracy or poor design. Sometimes it's intended.
  • Reply 10 of 41
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    I was just discussing a desire to have iMessages remove messages after a certain date so I didn't have to delete entire conversations off my device. I'm glad to see it's now available.

    chipsy wrote: »
    The fact that 'Hey Siri' only works when plugged in, I imagine that means that the A7 doesn't have a low power DSP that is capable of supporting an 'always listening' function (like f.e. the Snapdragon 800). So it wouldn't be a stretch for the A8 to have a DSP that does support it, so that could mean the iPhone 6 might have an 'always listening' function (but will be iPhone 6 exclusive with the others keeping the plugged in alternative as it would consume too much battery power). Just thinking out loud here but does seem plausible, not?

    I hope you're proven correct.

    arlor wrote: »
    He didn't suggest making always on the default; he suggested making it an option.

    And every option that a user wants should be implemented because that user would know how to reasonably handle it? There would be far to many options in the system for the average user to deal with. That would hurt he user experience more than a feature that doesn't exist now in iOS 7 still not existing in iOS 8.

    adhir wrote: »
    Saying "hey, Siri" should be convenient to do in the car when the phone is connected to power and bluetooth.

    I'm thinking that was their primary use case for this new feature.
  • Reply 11 of 41
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by adhir View Post



    Saying "hey, Siri" should be convenient to do in the car when the phone is connected to power and bluetooth.

     

    +1

    There isn't much use for it when holding the device in normal circumstance.

  • Reply 12 of 41
    just_mejust_me Posts: 590member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by John.B View Post

     

     

    Because...  It's in beta?  Don't make snap judgements until you know what will be in the shipping iOS 8 bits.


     

    Isnt SIRI itself still beta or iphone4 users use it now?

  • Reply 13 of 41
    evanslsevansls Posts: 12member
    I had no idea I could use "Siri" hands free now. This is going to be great while driving in the car. I hated having to hold the 'home' button to invoke Siri and always thought, why can't it work at least plugged in hands free. Demo:
  • Reply 14 of 41
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,595member
    [VIDEO]
  • Reply 15 of 41
    lorin schultzlorin schultz Posts: 2,708member
    solipsismx wrote: »
    And every option that a user wants should be implemented because that user would know how to reasonably handle it?

    I don't think it would be too daunting for even the average user if presented as I described it. That said, don't get me wrong -- I am NOT complaining. I'm thrilled to have at least SOME voice activation options! I just want more. More! MORE, DAMMIT! :)
  • Reply 16 of 41
    jlanddjlandd Posts: 873member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post



    I was just discussing a desire to have iMessages remove messages after a certain date so I didn't have to delete entire conversations off my device. I'm glad to see it's now available.

     

    It be great if deleting events in the Calendar and also people from Contacts would be made easier as well.  Right now it takes too many strokes in both IOS and OS X just to get rid of them.

  • Reply 17 of 41
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,147member
    just_me wrote: »
    Isnt SIRI itself still beta or iphone4 users use it now?

    Siri was never released for iPhone 4 and never will be.
  • Reply 18 of 41
    jupiteronejupiterone Posts: 1,564member
    solipsismx wrote: »
    I was just discussing a desire to have iMessages remove messages after a certain date so I didn't have to delete entire conversations off my device. I'm glad to see it's now available.
    I hope you're proven correct.

    I could be mistaken, but I thought those new "expiration" times were only for the video and audio recordings sent within a conversation. I didn't see where an entire conversation would expire and be deleted from Messages.
  • Reply 19 of 41
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    jupiterone wrote: »
    I could be mistaken, but I thought those new "expiration" times were only for the video and audio recordings sent within a conversation. I didn't see where an entire conversation would expire and be deleted from Messages.

    The options are Forever, 1 year, and 30 days. Plus the heading is Store Messages, not Store Message Attachments. I think you might be referring to how an attachment you've sent on your end will disappear from your side of the conversation soon after you sent it.
  • Reply 20 of 41
    sflagelsflagel Posts: 589member
    I wish I could change Siri's name. I'd prefer to say "Hey Kit" or "Hey R2". That would be cool.
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