What Features Should We Expect From iOS 8 in 2014?
Apple’s iOS 7 was introduced at WWDC 2013, and it has been a great success so far. However, with the world ringing in the new year and 2014 holding possibilities of new Apple product lines, we have to start looking at the company’s software as well. Apple’s iPhone 5s and 5c—as well as the new iPad lineup—shipped with iOS 7 installed, and it is obvious there is more than enough power there to run iOS 7. So much raw processing power leaves plenty for the new features we can expect to receive in iOS 8. So, what might they be? Let’s take a look.
Landscape Home Screen for iPhone
This is something I’ve wanted for quite some time, and I really thought we were going to get it in iOS 7. However, it seems that Apple has a different plan for the home screen. The iOS home screen has remained unchanged since the original iPhone, for the most part. The company did change the multitasking feature in iOS 7 and has allowed for that to work in the landscape mode, but doesn’t let the home screen do that same. I think that with the new, larger screened iPhones rumored to arrive this year, we’ll finally see Apple add a landscape orientation home screen in iOS 8.
Control Center for Third Party Applications
Right now, Control Center only has several stock apps that customers are able to access. It is possible Apple will allow users to choose what apps they want in Control Center in iOS 8. This means that the current Flashlight, Clocks, Calculator, and Camera can be user adjusted to include any other third party application. Of course, this might be limited to productivity apps to keep some amount of order with icons, design, etc.
Touch ID Improvements
Like I’ve been saying for quite some time now, Apple will likely allow Touch ID to be used on third-party applications. As of right now, Apple only allows Touch ID to be used for unlocking the iPhone 5s and authorizing App Store purchases. In iOS 8, Apple may finally open up Touch ID and incorporate it into the SDK so developers will be able to use it with their applications. Of course, the company will likely have a set of criteria in place that developers will have to follow. I can see banking applications using Touch ID to allow log-ins and money transfers, and maybe even games will use it down the road.
Lock Screen improvements
Even though the lock screen has seen major improvements, it still resembles the original lock screen from the original iPhone. The lock screen doesn’t provide much information, despite the fact that the Notification Center can be accessed from it. I would like to be able to see Weather right on the lock screen and be able to set what I want. I feel like something as important as the lock screen and something that customers have to see every time they unlock their iPhone should provide a bit more usability.
Apple’s iOS is amongst the best mobile software in the market, providing some great features. However, there are a lot of improvements that can be made to it to make it just a bit more user friendly. I don’t see any major design changes coming in iOS 8, since we’ve already seen that in 7, but we will likely see many under the hood improvements.