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iOS 8 is on the horizon, and with its impending release, rumors are accumulating rapidly. Let’s take a look at new features that will most likely be available in iOS 8.
Health and Fitness
There are well-substantiated rumors that Apple is taking health and fitness seriously. Many of these surround the iWatch, but Apple products function in an ecosystem. Health and fitness features are likely to appear on all Apple products — even Apple TV. iOS 8 is no exception, and will feature built-in apps to manage health care and fitness.
Healthbook is the supposed code name of Apple’s new health and fitness product. At this point, it’s not clear if this will be an app, a suite of apps, or something more like iTunes, which has a presence across multiple platforms. Rumored features include the ability to monitor blood pressure, heart rate and hydration. Additionally, the technology may collect fitness data such as the number of steps taken and calories burned. Medication reminders are another rumored feature.
Obviously, your iPhone won’t be able to monitor your pulse and blood pressure. These rumors point to some impressive functionality that may be available in the iWatch. The iPhone’s M7 motion co-processor can detect motion and provide accurate pedometer data. Some health and fitness features will likely require an iWatch, coaxing users to buy the new device.
These rumors are substantiated by some solid evidence. Apple has been meeting with the Food and Drug Administration. They have also hired high level employees from the medical industry. Also, when Apple introduced the M7 motion coprocessor, they mentioned that it would enable new capabilities for health and fitness apps. Of course, they may expect other developers to make these apps. Apple has a track record of developing underwhelming stock apps. That said, when Apple takes something seriously, they do it well. Apps such as GarageBand and iMovie are peerless in quality and innovation.
Multiple accounts were never a priority with iOS devices, as they tend to be used by one person. It’s not about capabilities, but priorities. Apple TV makes it easy to use multiple accounts. For a device that’s used by multiple people, it makes sense. Mac OS X has supported for multiple accounts for several years.
Tech writers are speculating that iOS 8 will bring multiple accounts to the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. It could be that Apple has found the time to implement this low priority feature. Some families do share an iPad. Apple already requires authentication for every iTunes and App Store purchase, making it safe to share your device. In-app purchases can be disabled and restrictions can be placed on certain content. Nonetheless, the ability to run an iOS device in guest mode or login with different accounts could be useful. I still don’t see it as a top priority, given the other safeguards that already exist. (continue…)