With Apple’s impending reveal of iOS 8 at WWDC 2014 in June, we take a look at everything we know so far, including new features, apps and possible release dates.
UPDATE: iOS 8 has now been officially launched! Check out our full run-down of iOS 8 features and compatible devices for more info.
OLD: Apple will finally pull back the velvety curtain on iOS 8 at WWDC 2014, which hits sunny San Francisco between June 2-6. Apple’s latest version of iOS should hit iPhones and iPads this Autumn (perhaps September), and of course it’ll come packed on the new iPhone 6 when that bad boy lands later in the year.
But if you’re too impatient to wait for the official launch, here’s everything we know so far about iOS 8 and a few features we’d like to see…
Apple iOS 8: What we know so far
Thanks to a bunch of leaked screenshots (shown above) we know that iOS 8 won’t look much different to the current iOS 7, not a massive shocker as iOS 7 already enjoyed a big visual overhaul. However, the screenies do reveal Apple’s focus on new apps and services.
The likes of Preview and TextEdit don’t exactly scream excitement, and indeed are already existing Mac OS apps, although we’re intrigued to see if they offer anything new at all, compared with Photos and Notes. However, the Healthbook app seems to confirm rumours that Apple will focus majorly on health with iOS 8. We’ve heard whispers of Apple hiring medical professionals to help out with its fitness and health drive, and it’d be good to see a slick, all-encompassing Apple app that helps users to live a healthy lifestyle.
Of course, it’s possible that you’ll need an iPhone 6 and iWatch to make the most of iOS 8’s health features, with rumours that the new devices will pack all kinds of sensors to measure temperature, humidity, heart rate, blood oxygen levels and so on.
We’ve heard that various existing apps will be updated, with better integration. For instance, Maps will now perform more intelligent web searches in the background, when you tap about – giving real-time transport information, for example, or bringing up a menu for a restaurant.
There’s also rumblings about Siri integrating with third-party apps that Apple approves, including music identifier Shazam.
Random iOS 8 shenanigans
We’ve also heard strong rumours that iOS 8 will finally allow split-screen multi-tasking, so you can run two apps side-by-side. However, the feature will likely be confined to the iPad, with its larger screen.
Apple iOS 8: What we’d like to see
There are a few iOS 8 features that haven’t been leaked, but are still rumoured simply because Apple really should implement them. Old bugbears such as not being able to hide or remove crap pre-installed apps are still hacking us off, and the Notifications Centre is still a bit poo.
Apple could also learn a bit from the Samsung Galaxy S5’s fingerprint scanner, namely its ability to authorise online payments via PayPal. We’re sure Apple would have no worries implementing the same feature for its scanner, and perhaps even use it for logging into your accounts for mail etc. A bit of tasty collaboration is all it takes.
What features would you like to see appear in iOS 8? Let us know in the comments below.