iOS 8 is still a few months away, but we’ve got plenty of information about Apple’s next-generation mobile operating system, in the past couple of weeks. Here’s a roundup of everything we know about iOS 8 so far.
As one would expect, iOS 8 will feature the same design as iOS 7, and would instead focus on adding new apps and features.
One of the most popular Apple rumor in the past few months has been that Apple is working on a health and fitness, wearable device. Healthbook is a new iOS 8 app that will monitor your most important health statistics like steps taken, calories burned, weight lost and track vital signs like blood pressure, heart rate and other blood-related parameters like glucose levels. All this data would likely be obtained by the sensors on the iWatch.
The app will feature an interface similar to the Passbook app. Here’s a mockup:
A leaked screenshot of iOS 8 gave a look at the Healthbook app icon, which reveals that it’ll track your blood pressure, heart rate and calories burned.
Improved Maps with Transit directions, augmented Reality
With iOS 6, Apple took a bold step to build its own mapping service, replacing Google Maps. The launch wasn’t great, as the data coverage was limited, and a number of features like transit, street view weren’t available. iOS 8 will improve the Maps app with improved points-of-interest data, public transit directions in select cities, augmented reality and indoor mapping.
Preview, TextEdit apps to make iCloud more useful
TextEdit and Preview, two very frequently used applications on the Mac, have supported iCloud syncing since quite some time. According to rumors, Apple will finally build iOS versions of these two apps to make the synced documents through these two apps accessible on iPhone and iPad. For more on these two apps, read this post.
Standalone iTunes Radio app
iTunes Radio is Apple’s new free, ad-supported music streaming service, that lives inside of the Music app on iOS 7 devices. Apple plans to make iTunes Radio a standalone app in iOS 8 for better visibility, and increased engagement.
No Game Center app
iOS 8 (and OS X) will not include the Game Center app, and the functionality would instead just live within the games that support Game Center.
Improved Notification Center
The iOS 7 Notification Center includes three tabs, Today, All and Missed. With iOS 8, Apple is reportedly thinking of including just two tabs, Today and Notifications.
The iOS 8 Notification Center would also include more information from your online accounts powered by Apple’s acquisition of Cue.
Apple is considering adding inter-app communication abilities in iOS 8, a feature that has long been requested by the iOS developer community to better facilitate sharing of information between apps. With inter-app communications, you could edit a photo in one app, and post it to another, without the need to hop between the two apps.
A new Tips app?
Leaked screenshots of iOS 8 reveal that Apple is working on a new Tips app, with a light bulb icon. The Tips app could possibly give users tips to better use their iPhone and iPad, but it’s exact purpose isn’t known yet.
CarPlay over WiFi
CarPlay is Apple’s way of bringing the iPhone experience to your car dashboard. It was introduced with iOS 7.1 with an impressive lineup of partner car manufacturers, but currently it works only with a Lightning cable. With iOS 8, Apple plans to make CarPlay wireless, by making it work over WiFi as well.
There have been a number of concepts too, highlighting what the community expects from Apple with iOS 8. Here are a few of them:
- Split-screen multitasking for better productivity on the iPad:
- Interactive notifications, that include an action button on the banner. For example, with messages there would be a “Reply” button:
- Mission Control, An all-in-one Control Center, App Switcher:
Apple typically announces a major new version of iOS at its WWDC conference in June every year. iOS 8 is also expected to be announced around a similar time, with a beta going out to developers on the day of the announcement followed by a final release a few months later.
Are you excited about the features we’ve heard about so far? What’s on your iOS 8 wish list? Let us know in the comments.
Image Credit: William Viennet