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HolidayBuyer's Guide

iOS 8: What will be new?

Healthbook

More for CarPlay?

Better Maps

Stand-alone iTunes Radio app

Improved notifications

Split-screen apps and multitasking

Improved controller/Apple TV gaming

Support for more peripherals

AirDrop working with Mac

Better battery life management

Refined voice memo app

Siri with Shazam and more

iWork and iCloud improvements

Apple's iOS 7 was a complete graphic overhaul and introduced a lot of new apps. iOS 8 may not be as dramatic, but there are plenty of areas for improvement.

Caption by / Photo by CNET

The most-rumored new feature of iOS 8, Healthbook could be a hub for collecting medical and fitness data in one place, like Passbook aimed to do for tickets and gift cards. Maybe it’s the first step towards an Apple wearable, or maybe it’s a way to connect better with lots of fragmented health gadgets and apps.

Caption by / Photo by 9to5Mac

CarPlay was just launched this winter, and offers access to a fair number of iOS features directly from a compatible car’s dashboard display. It might be too soon for further CarPlay changes, but there might be a bigger influx of apps.

Caption by / Photo by CNET

Apple’s own Maps app has had some growing pains, to say the least. There could be some big changes in iOS 8, including the return of public transit information.

Caption by / Photo by CNET

Apple’s free streaming iTunes Radio is nestled in the Music app, but may get its own stand-alone debut along with added features and a new design. Maybe there's an outside chance of music subscriptions, too.

Caption by / Photo by CNET

Notifications were redesigned in iOS 7, but it’s still hard to figure out the difference between "all" and "missed."

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iOS 7 on the iPad isn’t much different than iOS 7 on the iPhone. But adding a way to multitask better and have side-by-side apps, like can already be done on Samsung and Microsoft tablets, would be much appreciated.

Caption by / Photo by 9to5Mac

Last year, iOS 7 allowed third-party game controllers for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. That initiative still feels like a half-step. Perhaps iOS 8 will allow smoother connection to an Apple TV for gaming, too.

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You can connect a keyboard to an iPad, but not a mouse or trackpad. Could additional peripherals make iOS 8 even more friendly to transformative accessories?

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AirDrop allows surprisingly effective sharing of files across nearby iOS devices, but it still doesn’t work with AirDrop on Macs. That needs to change.

Caption by / Photo by CNET

Could iOS 8 help battery life on iOS devices? Mavericks on Mac was lean and mean, and improved performance. Let’s cross our fingers for the same thing on iOS.

Caption by / Photo by Apple

Some rumors have suggested Voice Memo could get another overhaul. If it results in an app with killer interview transcriptions, count us in.

Caption by / Photo by CNET

Siri gets a little smarter every year. At least a few significant additions are almost guaranteed, but including Shazam for music recognition could be the start of new added services.

Caption by / Photo by CNET

Recent iWork cloud updates have focused on collaboration and storage size. And iCloud could and should see further improvements on iOS 8, not just for office work, but for other apps.

Maybe a larger-screened iPhone 6 could help, too.

Caption by / Photo by CNET
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