The next version of iOS is expected to usher in a significant overhaul to Apple’s mobile ecosystem that include new fitness-focused features, improved iCloud integration and some tweaks to Apple’s native apps.
Previous reports have provided some insight as to the types of changes we may see in iOS 8, but Mark Gurman of 9to5Mac has just shared a slew of new details.
Apple is referring to iOS 8 by the internal codename Okemo, according to Gurman. The change will largely focus on updates to existing apps rather than refreshing the software’s appearance. It could be the iOS update that brings Apple Maps up to par with Google Maps, 9to5Mac reports. The updated Apple Maps app in iOS 8 will feature clearer labelling and improved notating of bus stops and public transportation stations.
As Gurman reported in the past, the improved Apple Maps will come with support for public transportation directions and will utilise more-reliable data. It sounds as if Apple plans to address many of the primary criticisms that have plagued its transportation app since it launched with iOS 6.
Apple is also reportedly considering breaking iTunes Radio off into its own separate app as part of its iOS 8 update. iTunes Radio is currently a tab in Apple’s existing iTunes app, but separating it into its own app could help it to compete with the likes of Pandora, Spotify and other streaming services.
A less noticeable but still noteworthy addition to iOS 8 could be support for voice-over-LTE-support. Gurman writes that “carrier sources” have told him the next generation of iOS will be able to process calls over the same network in which data travels. Typically, if your phone is receiving a 4G LTE signal, it will process the call over 3G. Essentially, this means call quality may improve a bit with iOS 8.
Apple may also clean up the notification center in iOS 8. Currently, the drop-down menu divides alerts into Today, All and Missed tabs. The next-generation software could streamline this into just the Today view to make for a more simple viewing experience, according to Gurman.
The company is reportedly testing a new version of CarPlay, the feature that lets you run your iPhone through your car’s dashboard, that can connect to your vehicle wirelessly. The current technology requires you to connect via a Lightning dock connector. Speed is expected to improve across the entire operating system, but Gurman specifies that Apple could be testing a system that could enable the camera to snap faster photos.
Apple is likely to debut the next major update to its iPhone software at its annual World Wide Developers Conference in June. Although WWDC is still about two months away, we’re already getting a clear picture of what to expect from iOS 8.
Previous reports have suggested the iOS 7 successor will come with a new app called Healthbook which can track your steps, count burned calories, and monitor blood sugar among other fitness-focused features. Apple is also expected to tighten iCloud integration with its OS X desktop software by releasing Text Edit and Preview apps for the iPhone. An update to the iPhone’s messaging app could also let you automatically erase message threads. The next iteration of iOS could allow apps to interact with one another, creating a tighter overall user experience. For example, you may be able to automatically share photos to your preferred social networks without having to do so manually if this feature makes it to the final build of iOS 8.
From what we’ve heard, iOS 8 isn’t shaping up to be radical update like iOS 7, but it will bring a few new and noteworthy tweaks that could improve the experience across Apple’s native apps.