This June Apple is expected to unveil the latest version of their mobile operating system – iOS 8 – at their annual WorldWide Developer Conference (WWDC) for public release in Autumn.
With Apples’ history of resetting consumer expectations of what technology can do and after the dramatic changes of iOS 7 – including a redesign of the user interface – expectations are high. Here we will look at some of the rumours about what Apple has in store.
The market for health and fitness related technology has rocketed in the past couple of years with companies such as Fitbit and Nike dominating the market alongside hordes of health and fitness apps.
Much of this focus will be in the form on an app called “Healthbook” and data sets are the keyword, tying in to the next item on our list.
Apples entrant to the wearable technology market is drawing closer, and it’s likely to feature integration with its health and fitness offerings in Healthbook, in the hope of competing with solutions such as Fitbit’s flex and Nike’s Fuelband.
This means that the iWatch is expected to pack sensors for things such as blood pressure and hydration levels, alongside others.
The iWatch will run on a modified version of iOS with iOS app support and likely iPhone/iPad integration.
No new version of Apple’s mobile operating system would seem complete without an update to Siri, and updates to this are widely anticipated. Much of the expectation lies in helping app developers to build Siri support themselves, most previous integrations to date having been made with Apple’s involvement.
There are also rumours of contextual launching, where apps open in the right circumstances without you needing to ask, which could include things like music playing automatically if you start jogging.
The original launch of Apple’s map product was a large disappointment, but reports from insider sources and the acquisition of 5 companies related to mapping and location data in 2013 suggest that there is more to come.
Expected features of the new map product include an updated user interface, integration with public transport information such as trains and buses and improved direction-giving capabilities.
Game Center Removal
There are reports that Apple has been considering the removal of their Game Center app for social gaming. If they do go ahead with a removal, the functionalities of the app will need to be adopted/built individually by affected app developers.
TextEdit & Preview
There has been an image circulating showing a reported iOS 8 screen with icons for Apple’s TextEdit and Preview.
If these are added they will likely focus on reading the files from the desktop versions, although the validity of the screenshots are easily questionable with the icons used being from the desktop version and not very neatly integrated into the iOS interface.
Other reported possibilities for iOS 8 include moving iTunes Radio to its own dedicated app and extended features for mobile payments.
We’ll keep you updated.