iOS 8 to launch at WWDC, but what can we expect?

9873781113_8278d0766aApple’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference is all set for June 2-6, 2014 at the Moscone West Center in San Francisco, CA. Like Google, Apple has opted for a lottery-type process in order to select attendees, instead of doing things on a first-come-first-served basis to give others a chance to attend the conference. Pre-registration for the lottery ended yesterday, and those selected to attend should have been informed by now.

Developers are quite excited about this year’s WWDC as 9to5 Mac reports that Apple is expected to announce iOS 8 as well as the new Mac OS X. The website has also got a lot of inside information about what to expect in Apple’s new software, but is there anything new in that’ll get us excited?

iOS 8 – Okemo

 

Codenamed Okemo, iOS 8 is expected to sport the same look and user experience as iOS 7. That’s because the last update was a pretty radical change anyhow, although the good news is that Apple’s said to be introducing a number of new apps, will be highlighting others it thinks are useful, and doing away with some of the less popular ones.

New iOS apps

 

Healthbook:

We’ve heard plenty of rumors about Apple’s efforts in the fitness tracking sector, and it’s believed to be building a new app dubbed “Healthbook”. The app will greatly utilize the powerful M7 chip introduced with the iPhone 5s, and it features tabs such as Activity and Weight so users can better monitor their daily activity, heart rate, blood pressure, nutrition, blood sugar, sleep, respiratory rate, oxygen saturation, weight, BMI, and fat percentage.

Another tab, the Emergency Card, will hold all of a person’s medical information such as a person’s name, photograph, birthdate, blood type, organ donor status, emergency contact information, weight, a list of medication prescriptions, and food and drug allergies.

healthbook-bookScreenshot courtesy of 9to5 Mac

Voice-over-LTE:

Carriers claim that Apple is working on Voice-over-LTE, a feature that would allow for better call quality. At present, even when iPhone’s use an LTE connection, calls are made over a 3G network. Apple aims to change this by making calls connect to LTE instead of 3G. Network carriers need to support this effort but if they fail to comply, this feature may not be included in iOS 8.

TextEdit and Preview:

In OS X Mountain Lion, Apple added iCloud synchronization for Preview and TextEdit, but has yet to introduce the same apps for iOS devices. Still, Preview and TextEdit should finally make an appearance in iOS 8, so users can preview and edit files stored in iCloud using their iOS device. Think of it as something like Microsoft’s Office app for iOS.

Revamped/highlighted apps

Maps:

Apple MapsApple took a hell of a bashing from users when it opted to stop using Google Maps and build its own Maps app from scratch. iOS devotees may recall the app was buggy as hell, gave a lot of wrong information, and was generally unreliable on numerous occasions.

In iOS 7, the Maps app’s interface was improved and the service got better. Now, with iOS 8, Apple is said to be introducing new features such as public transit directions to allow people to easily navigate their way to their destination using buses, trains, and subways, and will also include improved navigating to nearby airports. The revamped Maps app will also come with upgraded data, tweaked cartography, and clearer labeling.

iTunes Radio:

Apple introduced iTunes Radio in iOS 7 last year, but only as a feature in its Music app. For iOS 8, Apple plans to turn iTunes Radio into a stand-alone app so users can find it more easily.

Music streaming services such as Pandora and Spotify are quite popular, which may have resulted in the declining interest in music from iTunes. But Apple wants to dominate the music streaming arena, and to do so it’s making iTunes Radio more visible to users, plus, the app will come pre-installed on iOS 8, meaning it is readily available to consumers.

iTunes Radio will deliver the same experience as iOS’ Music app – including features such as the ability to browse their history, purchase streamed tracks, locate Featured Stations, create stations based on songs, artists, and albums, and manage stations.

Messages:

Few people are aware that Message threads actually eat up your phone’s memory. But of those who do, many wish there was a way to automatically delete these threads after a certain period has passed, so they won’t have to deal with this memory drain. Currently, the only way to do so is to manually delete messages on your iPhone, but Apple is said to be introducing a way to do so automatically with iOS 8.  This is an optional feature, which means if you don’t want your messages deleted, they won’t be, unless you set iOS to do so.

Notifications:

ios7-notificationsThe Notification Center will be simplified on iOS 8. Currently, it features a “Today”, “All” Notifications, and a “Missed” Notifications view. In the future, it will only feature a “Today” and “Notifications” view, combining all the missed notifications in one simple view.

Voice Memo:

The simplicity of iOS 7 may have done Voice Memo more harm than good, as users complained about the difficulty in navigating and its editing options weren’t clear. iOS 8 will come with a revamped Voice Memo that should be easier for people to use, whilst still maintaining its simple interface.

Bu-bye

 

The Game Center app will be removed as people aren’t really using it.  9to5 Mac says that the won’t completely disappear, but its functionality will only be available in games that are integrated with it.

Hasta mañana

 

Apple is also said to be working on a few more tweaks for iOS 8, but it’s not certain if these features will definitely be included in the next version of iOS.

CarPlay:

Apple recently introduced CarPlay, a platform that allows for seamless integration of iOS devices into connected cars. Currently, CarPlay for iOS 7 connects to compatible vehicles using a Lightning cable, but Apple is working on a tweak that would allow it to connect over WiFi.

Mercedes-Apple-CarPlay-3

App intercommunication:

Apple is also said to working on making apps available on the AppStore to better communicate with one another. Dubbed as the “XPC” service in the developer realm, this allows apps to share data, such as photo editing apps that allows for edited photos to be directly share in social apps such as Instagram or Facebook.

OS X 10.10 – Codenamed Syrah

 

If OS X 10.9 Mavericks focused on power-user features and under-the-hood enhancements that improved hardware performance, battery life, and graphics processing, then 10.10 is said to be focusing on aesthetics.

Apple Senior VP of Design Jony Ive, the person who gave us the flat and cartoonish look of iOS 7, is leading the design overhaul of OS X and will feature the flat elements and white textures seen on iOS 7.

OS X 10.10 may see support for Siri and AirDrop, but there’s still a chance that the release of these features might be pushed back. It’s expected that Apple will unveil new Macs at WWDC, but for iOS devices, we’ll probably have to wait until September to see those.

About Mellisa Tolentino

Mellisa is a staff writer for SiliconAngle, covering social and mobile news. She is fascinated by technology and loves imparting what she learns through her journey as a writer. Got a news story or tip? Send it to mellisa@siliconangle.com