Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is widely anticipated to unveil the iOS 8 software for mobile devices at its Worldwide Developers Conference on June 2. Ahead of its official launch, the rumor mill has already given us plenty of information on what to expect from the next incarnation if the iOS. Reports indicate that the iOS 8 will have similar design as its predecessor, but it will focus heavily on health & fitness, along with improvements to Siri and Maps. Let’s take a look at what we can expect from the iOS 8 update.
The iOS 8 will focus on health and fitness tracking. It will have a new Healthbook app. The app will collect fitness-related data from the sensors included in the upcoming iWatch and the M7 motion processor introduced with the iPhone 5S. In March, a screenshot of Healthbook app was spotted on Chinese microblogging platform Weibo, and was later confirmed by 9to5mac. Healthbook will be capable of tracking your weight, movement, nutrition, blood sugar, respiration, sleep quality, heart rate, hydration, sleep quality, blood pressure, etc.
Split-screen multitasking for iPad
Earlier this month, we reported that the iOS 8 will finally bring split-screen multitasking for the iPad. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s Surface tablets already offer this feature, and iPad users have been demanding it for the past several months. Users will be able to use two apps simultaneously. But the split-screen feature will work only in the landscape mode. Initially, the feature may not be available for the iPad Mini and the iPhones. Split-screen multitasking is important for busy executives who need to perform multiple tasks simultaneously.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is reportedly working on new TextEdit and Preview apps for the iOS 8. These apps will use iCloud for document retrieval and storage. However, the new apps are likely to be just document viewers rather than allowing editing of text and image files. The tech giant will also unveil tools that will help developers easily create iCloud-based applications.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been working hard to improve its Maps app. The new Maps in the iOS 8 is likely to offer public transit directions. After the initial debacle, Apple added fixed location errors and missing data features to the app last year. However, it’s still not on par with Google Maps. The Cupertino-based company has purchased many mapping service companies including HopStop, Embark and Locationary to improve its Maps app.
Expect improved Siri with iOS 8
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is reportedly planning to expand Siri’s ability to third-party apps because the digital voice assistant could be a key input method for the iWatch. The tech giant recently acquired Novauris, which provides a technology that is capable of detecting entire phrases, not just words. It will help Siri better understand what the iPhone and iPad users are asking.
Other apps and services expected with the iOS 8
The iOS 8 may bring a simplified Notification Center, which is likely to have a single unified view rather than the “All” and “Missing” categorization. Messages are likely to have an auto-delete feature, which will allow users to remove older messages after a specified period to free up storage space. As expected, CarPlay will also see some improvement such as WiFi support. Moreover, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) could make iTunes Radio a standalone app with iOS 8. It currently exists in the Music application. Making iTunes Radio a standalone app will give it more visibility.