2Few Interface Improvements
Although some interface improvements made their way into iOS 7.1, it’s unlikely that Apple will spend too much time upgrading its operating system’s look and feel in iOS 8. Apple last year launched the facelift iOS needed, and is now rumored to be working on mostly under-the-hood improvements to the platform.
3It’s All About Health
As Samsung showed at Mobile World Congress in February with new apps and a fitness tracker, the mobile space is seeing a grand opportunity in health. Several reports have suggested that Apple is seeing a possibility in that market, as well, and might be working on an app to help improve user health. The company might also be working on something that will detect heart attacks. Health appears to be at the center of Apple’s plans for iOS 8.
4More M7 Coprocessor Integration
Following that, it’s entirely possible that the M7 Coprocessor in the iPhone 5S could be integrated more effectively with other apps. Apple could integrate the M7 in the health-related app (or apps) it has planned, and will reportedly use it in other interesting ways, including through the use of biosensors. It should be very interesting to see what comes of the M7.
Let’s make this clear up front: There’s no telling right now whether Apple will actually launch an iWatch this year. But considering the number of rumors surrounding the device, it certainly seems likely. And if and when the iWatch is announced, you can expect it to be fully integrated with iOS 8. How? We’ll just have to wait and see, but all signs point to it being designed to work with the operating system.
6Improved Maps Applications
Maps appear to be a major focus for Apple in iOS 8. In fact, a recent Wall Street Journal report claims Apple is hard at work on improving Maps’ accuracy and reliability when navigating. The app will also feature improved icons and more points of interest, the report claims. Chances are that at least one of these improvements will turn out to be true.
7Breaking iTunes Radio Out
A more recent announcement, it appears now that Apple is considering breaking iTunes Radio out of iTunes and turning it into a standalone app. The company is seeing enough of an uptick in usage that it deems iTunes Radio capable enough to sit outside the auspices of iTunes. The move might also be business-related, since the more readily available iTunes Radio is, the greater Apple’s chances are of getting users to make purchases after streaming tracks.
8The Time Is Right for Multiuser Support
With Android now supporting multiple users, it seems only logical that Apple would follow in Google’s footsteps and offer multiple user support in iOS 8. For iPhone owners who typically don’t share their devices, that might not matter much. However, in homes with one iPad, having multiple user support is a highly sought-after feature. Hopefully, Apple realizes that.
9More TouchID Functionality
When Apple announced the TouchID fingerprint sensor in the iPhone 5S, the company said it was designed with security in mind. But after users actually got their hands on the device, they found that its functionality and usability left much to be desired. Let’s hope Apple finds a way to bring more functionality to iOS 8 by leveraging its fingerprint technology. The possibilities appear to be endless.
10Finally, a Mobile Payment System From Apple
Since the mobile-payment craze kicked off a couple of years ago, there’s been talk of Apple planning its own service. So far, however, the company has balked. Now there’s talk again of Apple launching a mobile-payment service that uses the security gained from TouchID and the credit card information on file with iTunes. It seems like a nice marriage, but will it happen? Here’s hoping.
11Apple Will Develop a Smarter Siri
Siri has been getting upgrades each time Apple launches iOS updates, so it’s perhaps no stretch to assume that the personal virtual assistant will get another bump in functionality with iOS 8. Reports claim that Siri will be “smarter” and more capable of handling user questions and requests. Siri has certainly gotten better over the years, but it’s still a ways from being the true personal virtual assistant Apple wants it to be.