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iOS 8 may see some flexibility added to Control Center. Some speculate that it will act as a launcher, enabling easy access to apps. It’s more likely that iOS 8 will offer APIs and interfaces to expose an app’s features to Control Center. For example, if you are using a different music app, Control Center could offer different custom controls. You can already use Control Center to operate other music and video players. The problem is that the controls are fixed.
iOS 8 could allow third-party apps to place specific UI elements on Control Center. This would be especially useful with home automation apps. Imagine if you could turn off the lights or lock your doors with Control Center. There’s no solid evidence this will happen. Given Apple’s desire to control the user experience, they may prove reluctant to allow third-party UI elements on Control Center.
No New Look
Fantasy Apple designers have already come up with mock-ups for iOS 8. I wouldn’t expect to see many UI changes in Apple’s new mobile operating system. iOS 7 was a radical change. iOS 8 will look much the same, with a few changes. iOS 7.1 does have some new UI changes, such as round buttons for powering down the device and operating the phone app. iOS 8 will surely have some UI changes, but the look will not be radically different from iOS 7.
Many tech reporters have written off the iPhone 4 and iPad 2 as being ineligible for the iOS 8 update. This is unlikely. Apple still sells the iPhone 4 and iPad 2. They don’t have a history of short-changing users on iOS updates, especially when they are still selling the devices.
iOS is a flexible operating system. It provides advanced features for high performance hardware, while older devices get a simplified version. For example, iOS 7 works well on an iPhone 4, however, it does not support features like animated wallpaper, the parallax effect and Siri. iOS 8 will not be radically different from iOS 7. I expect Apple’s new mobile operating system to support the iPhone 4 and iPad 2. After all, they’re still selling these devices.
iOS 8 will most likely be released in the fall of 2014. I expect it to be released mid-September. Apple will unveil the new operating system at their World Wide Developer Conference in June. If you can’t make it to the WWDC, you can watch the keynote podcast on your Apple TV, iOS device or computer.