iOS8: What we know so far…

iOS8: What we know so far…
Editor at TechForge Media. Often sighted at global tech conferences with a coffee in one hand and laptop in the other. If it's geeky, I'm probably into it.

It’s that time of year again when rumours start circulating about what Apple has in-store for the next major upgrade of iOS, and when people start deciding (ahead of release) whether it’s going to be a success or the complete and sudden fall of the house of Apple…

iOS7 added little in terms of user-facing functionality – instead focusing efforts on a complete ‘flat’ redesign and removing the skeuomorphic design of Forstall’s time at Cupertino.

Without being given any details whatsoever it’s easy to assume, then, the design won’t be radically changed – only touched up here and there at the most. 9to5Mac has released screenshots showing the current ‘Home Screen’ of iOS8 – backed up by several sources.

Look familiar?

As expected, if you can point out the difference between your iOS7 home screen and this one it would be much appreciated. What we can clearly see is a few extra apps in; Healthbook, Preview, TextEdit, and Tips.

Fitness is thought to play a big role in iOS8, and the addition of the M7 co-processor in the iPhone specifically for tracking activity is a big supporter of this theory. ‘Healthbook’ looks set to be the place where all this data will be correlated.

Contained in your personal book of health should be; Hydration level (pink strip), Calories burned (orange strip), and Heart rate (green strip). Although no indication of, the fact Apple CEO Tim Cook sits on Nike’s board of Directors – who has their own competitor – smells of collaboration.

What’s interesting about this is how Apple plans to monitor such variables. The iPhone can only detect movement through its accelerometer – but how can it track blood pressure, hydration levels, and glucose levels? The obvious assumption is we’ll see that iWatch this year.

Are you one of the many of us who have to pop (medically-prescribed!) pills every day? Well sources say Healthbook will allow you to enter details of when to take and will remind you. What Apple is creating here is potentially life-saving, and if not, certainly will help more of us be aware of what we’re doing to our health before those cheeseburgers catch up with us.

One of the major complaints of iOS – and a reason of mocking from Android and Windows Phone users – is an almost non-existent file system. Whilst apps are extremely productive on iOS – getting files on and off is a complete pain; especially if you’re not a Mac user.

Apple is said to be pushing ahead with iCloud as their “file system” with ‘TextEdit’ and ‘Preview’ being extensions of this. The apps, especially confusingly with TextEdit, won’t actually be able to edir files – but only view Preview and TextEdit files stored in iCloud by OS X.

Underneath the user-facing features, developers are set to be treated to a new API with the ability to “share” information between apps. This has long been a feature available to applications on Android and iOS, and greatly increases the productivity of a platform.

What would you think about these additions being made available in iOS8?

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