iOS 8 to gain (at least) five new first-party apps

iOS 8 to gain (at least) five new first-party apps

Summary: A steady stream of iOS 8 tidbits are starting to leak out ahead of developer's summer pilgrimage to San Francisco where the company traditionally shows off its next mobile OS. Here's the latest.

TOPICS: Apple, iOS, iPhone, iPad

While all eyes are on iOS 7.1, which was released to the public on March 10, 2014, Apple's been hard at work at the next whole number version of its mobile operating system – iOS 8 – which is expected to debut this June at WWDC. Since Apple hasn't officially announced anything yet the leaks fall squarely into the rumor category and should be taken with a grain of salt.

New apps 

New apps are coming in iOS 8 for Preview, Text Edit, Tips and Healthbook. An image posted to Chinese microblogging website Weibo (since removed) appears to show a first look at some of Apple's new iOS 8 apps. Healthbook is the biggest deal which is believed to integrate with Apple's forthcoming wearable health and fitness "iWatch" hardware. The Healthbook app borrows heavily from the design of Apple's Passbook app and believed to indicate support for monitoring blood pressure (red), heart rate (green) and calories burned (orange).

According to 9to5Mac the new Preview and Text Edit apps will not edit documents like their counterparts in OS X but instead will access documents stored on iCloud. Apple added iCloud synchronization for Preview and TextEdit in OS X Mountain Lion, but hasn't made the documents available to iOS. Those Preview and TextEdit apps are most likely placeholders taken from their OS X equivalents, as Apple has moved to much more flat, two-color icons, like the FaceTime and Tips icons in the screenshot. Tips is believed to be an online help system for iOS which could pull content from existing sources like

New iTunes Radio app

Apple's rumored to spin off its iTunes Radio service in iOS 8. iTunes Radio was announced alongside iOS 7 in September, 2013 and is currently available as a tab in the Apple Music app. The service has seen a significant jump in popularity surpassing Spotify to takeover third place (behind Pandora and iHeartRadio) according to a recent report from Statista.

Apple's much-maligned Maps app - Jason O'Grady

Updated Maps with Public Transit

Apple's much-maligned first-party mapping app has been getting a lot of attention by developers in Cupertino and the team has been growing with the acquisition of map companies BroadMap, Embark, and HopStop. An improved version of Maps sporting improved data and public transit directions is due to arrive in iOS 8 reports 9to5Mac.

Goodbye Game Center?

According to 9toMac Apple is considering its under-utilized Game Center app in favor of including its functionality inside of games. The move comes less than a year after Apple overhauled Game Center removing the green felt, casino theme in favor of a much more flat design in iOS 7.

Odds and ends

According to 9toMac Apple is making significant tweaks to some of it most popular app to make them more functional in iOS 8:

  • Data sharing API: Apple is said to be making it easier for app developers to more easily pass data back and forth. Photo editing apps would more easily be able to share with Facebook and Instagram.
  • CarPlay: The ability to work over Wi-Fi, in addition to Lightning cable, in vehicles that support it.
  • Messages: An option to auto-delete threads after a user defined period (i.e. one month or one year).
  • Notification Center: A simplified layout that replaces the "All," and "Missed" tabs with a unified today labeled "Notifications."
  • Voice Memos: Improved controls that are more obvious to the user.

Curiously absent are a number of features from my iOS wish list, including:

  1. Default apps
  2. Lower case keyboard
  3. Third party keyboards
  4. Landscape springboard
  5. Upside-down springboard
  6. Widgets
  7. Menubarlets
  8. Lock screen widgets (more than the fixed options available in Control Center)
  9. Multiple user accounts
  10. Better/more printing options

What do you think of the rumored changes in iOS 8? What's on your wish list? 

Topics: Apple, iOS, iPhone, iPad

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  • Wow

    Must be time to convert................................
  • No third party keyboards please

    I know Android users obsess about this, but no thanks please! Keep the keylogging somewhere else.....
    • Sure

      Because every third party keyboard is a keylogger. *sigh*

      And why would anybody prefer to have a lowercase keyboard when you can just look over to the SHIFT button to see if your next key will be upper or lowercase. ;)

      I'm taking the Wild West over the Walled Garden. (But I still recommend that Walled Garden for the technophobes.)
      • Not every third party keyboard has to be a keylogger

        After all, it only takes one.
        • You know you don't have to use one

          But allow other choice.
          Or do you need a corporation to make decisions for you?
        • Nothing is stopping Apple from building those features into their keyboard

          and give users some options or choices.

          That would remove the need for 3rd party keyboards, but Apple doesn't seem to want to budge on the keyboard for some reason.
    • I'd like one with arrow keys.

      If Apple can make one, goodie.

      If not, then bring on the third-party keyboards.
    • Eh?

      Couldn't Apple keep keyloggers out of their store? Or is there no upside to the walled garden?
      Michael Alan Goff
    • I find your penchant for conspiracy theories disturbing.

      Use your head. The only time keyloggers are EVER an issue in Android is when someone installs a 3rd party keyboard that hasn't gone through the Play Store certification. App Store's review process would neutralize this threat entirely.

      They could also actually acknowledge that other people are doing keyboards better and incorporate the missing features themselves, but Apple likes to pretend they think of everything first and are never wrong.
  • Meantime at Microsoft

    And the new version of Windows Phone most likely will introduce more background colors. This ground breaking feature will not be approved by carrier for three more years because you know some colors could overload their networks.

    Anyway, I love my Windows Phone but Microsoft's slowness is maddening. Even if Apple does not introduce anything awesome I still hate to see awesome technology being mishandled by MS.
    • Slowness?

      Windows Phone8 has had three pretty big updates from Microsoft since release and a couple from Nokia as well. The next major release is just weeks away.

      All in all WP8 is on a nice pace. Plenty of ground to make up, but the pace is good.
    • 8.1 is introducing a lot more than that

      Please tell me you were joking.
      Michael Alan Goff
  • More First Party Apps

    That I'm not going to use and can't get rid of. Great.
    • True...

      Garrett Williams
  • Flat Design

    I just hope that OS X does not get the iOS7 facelift. I detest the blandness and colour selection of the redesigned “Flat” interface. Clearly, Jony Ive is missing the brutal feedback on his designs that Steve provided…“Jony, that design is Sh#t”. How they could throw out the rich icons and app layouts that took years to finely tune is beyond me. Change just for the sake of change is not something apple ever bought into. I think he is a great hardware designer but maybe he lacks the ability to be objective about his own design.
    Having used iOS7 now since its release, I thought it would grow on me, but comparing the two designs (I still have it on my old iPhone4) I hate iOS7 more than ever. Icons aside, the app look and functionality of Calendar, Reminders, Clock/Timer, etc,is just hideous. And whoever selected white on pale lime green for icons and iMessage text boxes needs to be tar and feathered.
    We already got taste of that design in Mavericks with the crappy calendar makeover and other “Flat” design tweeks.

    So, please, please, please do not revamp OS X (Yosemite?, Tahoe?) to look like iOS7. It stinks Jony!
    • As Jony Ive Said About Great Industrial Design....

      "It's not it looks, it how it wurks (in his best British accent)". I guess Ive wanted people to take him literally at his word because Ive doesn't seem to be too concerned about how it looks.
  • cunning ploy

    iOS 7.1 was such a disappointment that they're now hoping talk of 8 will refocus peoples attention away from reality and back to the fantasy.
    • Exactly my thoughts.....

      It could've been put any better way:)
  • iTunes Radio is a big disappointment

    I paid for the commercial-free service, but I no longer use it because it's just a continuous loop of 3-4 dozen tracks, and the playlist never changes. That isn't what radio is supposed to be. That's my experience in the Jazz and Blues stations, which is about all I listen to; maybe it's different with more popular music.
    The Daleks
    • Not my experience

      I listen to iTunes Radio. In fact I was listening to it for hours on end yesterday. I listen to the Pure Pop station and there's a good selection of tunes. Sometimes the songs repeat, but that goes for any radio station out there. It's not that big a deal. The songs don't repeat that often that I really get bothered.