iOS 8 Release Update: A Roundup of Upcoming First-Party Apps

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By Judith Aparri | March 21, 2014 7:50 PM EST

Apple has been putting much effort on its next mobile OS, after iOS 7.1 focusing much on the redesign.

The Cupertino firm wants the next version to be much better and faster than iOS 7. The launch date is June 2014 during the Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC). Although not officially declared by Apple, the rumor seems to be valid.

Below is a roundup of the upcoming iOS 8, courtesy of Jason D. O'Grady and posted on ZDNet:

1.   Game Center

9to5Mac reported Apple considers its underutilized Game Center app, including its functionality inside games. The move came less than a year when Apple overhauled Game Center. It removed the green casino felt and replaced with a flatter design in iOS 7.

2.   New 

What's in store with Apple iOS 8 leaked from China who allegedly got their hands on the early build of the rumored iOS 8 images, default screen and icons of its apps which were posted in the Chinese social network Weibo. New apps are for Preview, Text Edit, Tips and Healthbook.

Healthbook is the biggest deal, which many speculate to be integrated with the upcoming wearable health and fitness "iWatch." It borrows from the Passbook app design believed to indicate support of tracking blood pressure (red), calories burned (orange) and heart rate (green). Apple tech news Web site 9to5Mac said the new Preview and Text Edit apps will not edit documents as what their OS X counterparts do but will access the documents saved on iCloud.

 3.   iTunes Radio

iTunes Radio was announced in September 2013 alongside iOS 7. It poses as a tab in the Apple Music app. It has gained fame surpassing Spotify and takes over its third place spot next to Pandora and iHeartRadio, Statista's recent report said.

4.    Odds and Ends

According to 9toMac, Apple made significant tweaks to its popular apps to have them improve functions in iOS 8.

CarPlay - ability to work with Wi-Fi and lightning cable in vehicles which support it.

Data sharing API - for app developers to pass data back and forth easily. Photo editing apps will be easily shared with Instagram and Facebook.

Messages - option to delete threads automatically after a defined period like one month or 12 months.

Notification Center - simplified layout replacing tabs "All" and "Missed" with "Notifications."

Voice Memos - enhanced controls that become more obvious to the user.

5.      Updated Maps With Public Transit

First-party mapping from Cupertino has been much maligned and getting lots of attention by its developers. The team has been growing by the acquisition of map firms like BroadMap, HopStop and Embark. A much enhanced Maps app sports improved data and the Public Transit will arrive with iOS8, as reported by 9to5Mac.

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