Version 8.2 of Apple's iOS mobile operating system could launch as soon as Monday with new and improved health features in tow. That's the same day the company is expected to unveil more details on its Apple Watch.
The maker of the iPhone and iPad mobile gadgets was close to releasing iOS 8.2 to the public earlier, blog Boy Genius Report said on Thursday, but instead decided to push out one final build to employees and testers. The change log for that build reveals several new features and enhancements in the health department as well as a host of bug fixes, according to BGR.
The Apple Watch faces an increasingly competitive market already crowded with devices from other players. To entice a wide range of buyers, Apple designed its first wearable as both a smartwatch and a health and fitness monitor. So the health features baked into iOS 8 need to be solid if Apple hopes to capture the fitness crowd.
Based on the change log, the new and improved health features in iOS 8.2:
- add the ability to select the unit of measurement for body temperature, weight, height, distance and blood glucose,
- improve stability when dealing with large amounts of data,
- include the ability to add and visualize workout sessions from third-party apps,
- address an issue that may have prevented users from adding a photo in Medical ID,
- fix units for vitamins and minerals,
- fix an issue where health data wouldn't refresh after changes in data source order,
- fix an issue where some graphics showed no data values, and
- add a privacy setting that enables turning off tracking of steps, distance and flights climbed.
But iOS 8.2 is also designed as a bug squasher.
Life hasn't exactly been easy for Apple's iOS 8 since it launched last September. The initial version carried a few bugs that were supposed to be resolved a week later in iOS 8.0.1. But that edition came with even more bugs, prompting Apple to quickly pull it and launch 8.0.2. Since then Apple has rolled out versions 8.1, 8.1.2 and 8.1.3, all with some enhancements and bug fixes.
The bugs and multiple releases may account for the sluggish adoption of iOS 8, which has trailed that of its predecessor but is finally up to 75 percent of all devices that visited the App Store as of last Monday.
According to BGR, the bug fixes:
- address an issue in Maps that prevented navigating to some favorite locations,
- address an issue where the last word in a quick reply message wasn't autocorrected,
- fix an issue where duplicate iTunes purchased content could prevent iCloud restore from completing,
- resolve an issue where some music or playlists didn't sync from iTunes to the Music app,
- fix an issue where deleted audiobooks sometimes remained on the device,
- resolve an issue that could prevent call audio from routing to car speakers while using Siri Eyes Free,
- fix a Bluetooth calling issue where no audio is heard until the call is answered,
- fix a timezone issue where Calendar events appear in GMT,
- address an issue that caused certain events in a custom reoccurring meeting to drop from Exchange calendar,
- fix a certificate error that prevented configuring an Exchange account behind a third-party gateway,
- fix an issue that could cause an organizer's Exchange meeting notes to be overwritten, and
- resolve an issue that prevented some Calendar events from automatically showing as "busy" after accepting an invite.
The update also promises greater stability for Mail, Music, the Flyover feature in Maps, VoiceOver reliability, and Connectivity with Made for iPhone Hearing Aids.
A spokeswoman for Apple declined CNET's request for comment. But you can learn more about the Apple Watch and see if iOS 8.2 really will launch Monday by tuning in to CNET's live blog and show starting at 9 a.m. PT Monday.
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