With the recent release of iOS 7.1.1 we can finally and inevitably come to terms with the fact that Apple’s seventh iteration of its mobile platform is no longer in the limelight. All of the bug and crash fixes, UX tweaks, and other improvements to iOS 7 are now overshadowed by rumors about the upcoming iOS 8, which is expected to roll out this fall and possibly be featured earlier at WWDC 2014.
Not that iOS 8 gets as much buzz and debate as iOS 7. Most likely, it’s the same iOS 7 with a couple of apps and tweaks added, unless Apple has a few surprises up its sleeve. Meanwhile, potential changes, improvements and new features have been piling up in the rumors for some time, coming from sources related to Apple, the most important being 9to5Mac. Here we would like to summarize the rumors.
A rumor in its most unofficial form, Healthbook even has a suggested icon (similar to Passbook’s), and furthermore, it is said to be a perfect link between the smartphone and the possible iWatch. Like almost everyone with Apple, it’s supposed to be a near-perfect personal health assistant – weight, nutrition, calories, heart rate, hydration, blood work, blood sugar, fitness tracking, and much more.
Paired with the M7 motion coprocessor built into the latest Apple devices, it makes sense as the logical next step. If we ever have to see the iWatch this year, we’ll see it and iOS 8 at the same time. The health and fitness app industry is flourishing, and Healthbook owners need to keep an eye on whether it becomes a worthy default rival. On the other hand, it can provide valuable integration with a new generation of healthcare applications.
Apple’s native maps, although some time has passed, are still perceived as a failure. Since then, Apple has been talking about improving and improving its maps all the time. In 2013, Apple acquired several companies related to mapping (for example, BroadMap, Embark, HopStop), and iOS 8 could introduce us to the public transport directions / route options feature, which was one of the reasons why people returned to Google Maps after Apple’s became the default.
Another rumor is that the indoor mapping feature will also be included. Let’s not forget about CarPlay, which will definitely require Apple Maps in its prime (and which can also support WiFi instead of using cable). It is also quite possible that the updates refer to displaying information about locations and places, such as restaurants, bars, etc. This can open the way for more detailed guides based on Apple Maps, interior navigation for shopping malls and large hospitals. As for the latter, it can be useful for internal staff. If it is integrated with Healthbook, everyone can use the detailed navigation. Actually, there may be a set of several ideas.
It is rumored that this will cease to exist as a standalone application, with all the necessary functions in games. This may require some additional changes and adjustments to existing games.
iTunes Radio has seen widespread adoption since its launch in September, and its growth rate even surpassed that of Spotify. Now it’s expected to become a separate default app, a rival to other streaming services. There is also a rumor about the cooperation between Apple and Shazam that it may introduce the song recognition feature in iOS 8. This, in turn, may lead to the iTunes store where the song can be purchased.
The feature introduced in the iPhone 5S is expected to be used for mobile payments. Once you use Touch ID, it quickly gets used to and unlocks your phone, as well as approving downloads from the App Store inadvertently. Incorporating it into mobile payments is an even more interesting idea, especially giving this opportunity to third-party applications. If so, and if the purchases will also refer to non-digital products, Apple simply has to provide its best tool for online shopping, the iPad, with a fingerprint scanner. This is what we really expect from the next generation of iPads.
There is also a rather questionable “screenshot” circulating the web with icons from applications such as Healthbook, Preview, TextEdit, and Tips. However, Preview and TextEdit don’t even have the iOS 7-like design and are sketchy. It has also been ‘reported’ that Preview and Text Editing for iOS could allow viewing only documents stored in iCloud (and its integration into custom apps is also expected to be simplified). Siri is supposed to get an upgrade, though what nature it will be unclear. It will possibly allow specific interactions between Siri and apps, increasing convenience and functionality.
Here we can see that the expected changes in hardware can be even more crucial for custom development than the operating system itself. For example, the rumored iPhone’s bigger screen and the design / redesign issue that will arise as a result. As for the common “ wishes ” of iOS users, they still remain unresolved: such as changing and hiding default apps, extended customization, option of a guest account (for example, for children). If your iOS app has any of these issues, keep an eye out for rumors until things clear up. But we know it already does, doesn’t it?