Not only is the iPhone 6 only months away from a likely release date, and possibly weeks away from being announced, but there has been some interesting breaking news in the last couple of days about the iOS 8 operating system. It seems certain that the iPhone 6 will be bundled with a brand new iOS 8 operating system, so now is a good time to look at the latest rumors about iOS 8, as well as assessing what we know about the iPhone 6 at this point in time.
iOS 8 release date
The first thing to note about iOS 8 is that we could be hearing about it in very due course. Apple is expected to reveal the existence of this new operating system during its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2014, which is taking place from 2-6 June in San Francisco. This is unlikely to be a radical departure from previous iterations of iOS in design terms, but there are numerous new features rumored to be part of the new Apple operating system.
Perhaps the most significant new function which is rumored to be part of the new iOS 8 operating system is Healthbook. Apple fans will have heard murmurings about this application previously, but Digital Trends is expecting it to be bundled with iOS 8 and all compatible devices. Healthbook seems to fit into a new Apple strategy which is to be focused on health and fitness.
Although Apple has been tight lipped on the existence of this application, screenshots of Healthbook appeared on Chinese microblogging site Weibo, which was later picked up on by 9to5Mac. Although the precise feature set of Healthbook is not known yet, 9to5Mac states that one can expect the app to monitor blood oxygen saturation, blood sugar levels, hydration, and respiratory rate. Sleep tracking could also be part of Healthbook.
iOS 8 and iWatch integration
This is another product about which Apple hasn’t exactly opened up; the company has yet to confirm the existence of the iWatch. But an Apple smartwatch could be described as quite possibly the worst kept secret in the world. Media and Apple blogs have been talking about this at length for quite some time, and it seems likely that with a possibly iWatch release later in the year that iOS 8 will feature strong integration with this forthcoming device. Some blogs have speculated that the iWatch itself might appear at WWDC, but this seems wide of the mark based on past precedent.
iOS 8 split-screen
A final rumor about iOS 8 is that it will offer split-screen functionality. The International Business Times has suggested that this will be part of iOS 8 when it is released, and this could be a particular boon for future iPad releases.
iPhone 6 size
Moving on to the iPhone 6 itself, and there is still no definitive line on what size we can expect the iPhone 6 to be, although the existence of a model with a 4.7-inch display appears to be a constant among all sources. The existence of a larger iPhone 6 continues to be a persistent murmur, but the release of a phablet-sized iPhone 6 seems less certain than it was a few months ago.
Dummy iPhones are already appearing on Ebay, apparently based on leaked documents and dimensions, but such devices are notoriously inaccurate.
iPhone 6 solar panelling
In terms of deciphering the future direction of the iPhone 6, patent applications are one of the best ways to gather a few secrets from Apple. And Apple has been making rather a lot of patent applications recently. The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published 49 newly granted patents for Apple, and among them was one for integrated solar technology. This suggests that Apple will include solar panelling within the iPhone is some capacity.
iPhone 6 touch sensitive capabilities
Additionally, Apple has also recently made patent applications with regard to touch sensitive sensors, which suggests that Apple may include capacitive touch sensor panels within the forthcoming iPhone 6. This suggests actually a fairly radical change in the design of the iPhone 6, as this will surely see the iconic ‘Home’ button disappear from iPhones for good. It is also suggested that this move could lead to the iPhone being thicker and heavier than expected, but the proof of this will be in the pudding.
Because Apple hasn’t even confirmed the existence of the iPhone 6 yet – indeed, it is still very much promoting the iPhone 5S – the expected specifications of the device oscillate on a seemingly weekly basis. But at the time of writing, it appears that Apple will utilize the next generation 64-bit A8 processor in the iPhone 6 handset, that there will be up to 128 GB internal storage, and that Siri will be improved and a TouchID fingerprint sensor included. A Sony and Apple collaboration could see the iPhone 6 camera weigh in at 13-megapixels as well.