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iOS 8: What to expect (pictures)

Apple's next version of iOS should be announced soon, but what will it have? Here are our best guesses.

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Scott Stein
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iOS 8: What will be new?

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.

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Healthbook

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.

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More for CarPlay?

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.

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Better Maps

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.

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Stand-alone iTunes Radio app

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.

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Improved notifications

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

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Split-screen apps and multitasking

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.

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Improved controller/Apple TV gaming

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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Support for more peripherals

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 working with Mac

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.

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Better battery life management

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.

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Refined voice memo app

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

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Siri with Shazam and more

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.

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iWork and iCloud improvements

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.

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