Apple’s iPhone 8 could very well compensate users who were disappointed with the iPhone 7’s improved performance. Apple launched the iPhone 7 this year, the most underwhelming device from the company ever as it made only minimal design improvements to it. The debut was not as exciting as some had hoped for, although it has not caused any harm to the device’s popularity. However, the battery life is surely a letdown, says TrustedReviews.

Apple iPhone 8

There is still hope that Apple will look into the battery issues and in the next device, the iPhone 8, bring a design overhaul and several new features that all its fans have been waiting for.

AI to boost iPhone 8 battery?

Based on what CEO Tim Cook said recently, we can expect to see some novel AI-based features along with a new design in the iPhone 8. Cook was recently on a trip to Japan, where he visited the Nikkei office and spoke to them about his plan to open a new research and development facility in Yokohama.

Cook also hinted at possible future innovations, saying that the new facility would work on developing “deep engineering” for its AI systems, adding that AI “is horizontal in nature, running across all products.” Among all this, the most important comment was that the U.S. firm wants “the AI to increase your battery life.”

The comment hinted some form of AI-assisted battery saving features in future iPhones, notes TrustedReviews. Nothing much is known about it at the moment, but people hope that Apple will figure out how it can implement the feature as soon as possible so that it may make up for the iPhone 7’s poor battery performance. Cook provided just one more bit of information on the matter, which is that the company is also aiming at making AI to help people recall where they parked their car.

Google is making big developments in AI too, and the most notable are the ones it is making through its DeepMind division, which produced an artificial intelligence system that defeated a Go world champion this year. Microsoft is also restructuring to create a new AI division, suggesting that the journey towards making an efficient AI system will be tough for Apple.

However, it will definitely be interesting to see what Apple has to offer out of its research in the near future apart from an iPhone (hopefully the iPhone 8) that offers decent battery life.

Investing in mobile payments

Cook also revealed to Nikkei his plans of making big investments into mobile payments in Japan and other Asian markets. Cook said that the iPhone 7 will gain the ability to work with Japan’s FeliCa contactless payment system this month and will be the first handset from the company with this capability.

When asked what made him decide that Apple Pay will use the FeliCa standard, Cook said, “Japan is important to us. FeliCa was born in Japan. So by extension, FeliCa is important.”

Cook noted that Apple aims to promote a cashless society with the help of the iPhone, the Apple Watch and Apple Pay.

“We would like to be a catalyst for taking cash out of the system,” he said. “We don’t think the consumer particularly likes cash.”

Apple has been witnessing a decline in sales in China. Many analysts believe weak sales in China have forced the U.S. firm to shift back toward Japan, where the iPhone commands a large market share. Cook said the company has many of its suppliers and partners in Japan, and the developer community there is also vibrant. Nintendo, one of Apple’s Japan-based partners, is determined to bring a Super Mario game to the iPhone.

Cook said, “We have been working on FeliCa for a while and really hoped that Nintendo will come to iOS first so it just came together.”

During his visit to Japan, he visited Nintendo’s office as well.

Apple also plans to offer health care services to the elderly, for which it has teamed up with IBM and Japan Post Holdings. Such services will be centered on the iPad.