The rumor mill is already churning on speculation about what changes we hope to see come to iOS 8, which will presumably release sometime this fall. Although iOS 7 is still relatively new to us only being officially launched with the release of the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5c last September, there has been plenty of room for hopefuls to talk about what they hope to see fixed and added in the next big update to come to the iPhone.
Since iOS 7 was such a huge overhaul in design to iOS, if the past has proven anything to us we can expect iOS 8 to be a copy of iOS 7 when it comes to the looks of the OS. If you look back to the first version of iOS, it pretty much remained the same all the way up until iOS 6. So if you're anything like me and you find that you're not entirely too fond of the design of iOS 7, you shouldn't expect much in that department.
That being said, there's still a lot of other elements about iOS that make it a worthwhile platform to consider. Along with having a design change, there was also a UI overhaul that came in iOS 7. When I used an iOS device, I found that the UI overhaul was probably one of the best things to happen to iOS. The addition of Control Center was probably my favorite aspect of iOS 7 overall, and while the concept of Control Center isn't something new, it was new and desperately needed in iOS. I think of it somewhat akin of Notification Center for Windows Phone. More gesture-based navigation throughout pages and menus were also a big improvement for how users interacted with iOS.
But now that we have the design and the UI part taken care of, it's time for Apple to focus on fixing and improving the other elements of the phone; for the most part, this means focusing on improvement in the stock applications and functions throughout the phone. I've been scouring the web and participating in discussions about what people think should and could be changed and implemented with the arrival of iOS 8, and here are some of the top answers I've come up with through my research:
Apple Maps seems like the biggest focus from most iOS-driven communities when it comes to what should be improved upon in iOS 8. Perhaps one of Apple's biggest blunders during its initial release, Apple Maps has still come a long way since the days of tourists getting lost in the Australian outback or led to airport runways. The initial feedback for Apple Maps was so negative at the time that they actually re-released Google Maps, which had been removed from the iTunes App Store in order to encourage iOS users to use Apple Maps instead.
However, even today the application still isn't perfect, and could really stand for a major overhaul of its own to be able to compete with the likes of Google Maps and other more featureful GPS applications. After all, Apple Maps still doesn't have any features for anybody other than if you're driving in a car or walking; the lack of support for public transit is still a missing feature that probably kills Apple Maps as an option for people living in major cities that rely on public transportation. According to an article over at ReadWrite, at least one-third of the 15 companies that Apple acquired in 2013 were solely for mapping purposes, so the outlook is good that 2014 just might be the year for Apple Maps to make a giant leap in the right direction.
Healthbook is one of those things that people seem interested in as well, but maybe not exactly for the health benefit factor. For a lot of people, the possible implementation of a designated health and fitness app might be pointing fingers towards an even bigger release for Apple - a smartwatch of its own. However, this also goes hand-in-hand with an article I wrote yesterday regarding how a lot of manufacturers seem to be focusing in on improving the health of its users - which I consider to be a good thing. Healthbook (and the possible release of a smartwatch) could end up giving S Health, LG Fitness, and Sony Core a run for its money.
Hiding/Deleting Stock iOS Apps
This is something that my fellow editor Evan covered just yesterday, and something that I have to somewhat agree with. There should be a way for iOS users to delete, or at least hide, applications that they never plan on using. For example, I never used Stocks, Newsstand, or even Safari after long. If I don't use it, I don't want it cluttering up the screen. However, given that these applications don't take up a ton of space, most people seem accepting of just being able to hide them from view. Sure, you could put them in a folder, but they're still taking up a space somewhere on the screen. You can't remove bloatware right out of the box with Android either, but you can at least shove it in the app drawer somewhere, which you never have to open if you have all the apps you need on the home screen. iOS doesn't have the luxury (or peskiness?) of an app drawer, and it doesn't seem likely that they'd let you straight up remove the app like you can in Windows Phone, so it seems like hiding the apps would be the most likely of the two options.
I think one of the reasons I'm not entirely fond of iOS 7 is because most menu options are going to be presented with a stark white screen. One thing that I remember wishing for in iOS 7 was a dark theme, especially for the black or darker variant iPhones because I think the contrast of the black face with the stark white screen is somewhat of an eyesore. Plus, I'm just not a huge fan of bright, bright white - have you ever been woken up by the do-doo-DOO! of a text message at 3 AM and instinctively reach over to read and respond to it? I've never stared directly into the sun before, but I'm fairly certain that staring straight at a bright white screen after staring at the back of your eyelids for the past few hours is the equivalent. Yeah, yeah, brightness settings help, but in the end I still think that offering a dark theme would be an optimal addition to iOS 8. A good concept of such an idea is the Eclipse tweak for jailbroken iOS 7 devices - although it's not perfect, it's still a good concept.
Those are just a few of the changes among many that people seem to be hoping for in iOS 8, but now it's your turn, readers: What are some changes that you're hoping to see come to iOS 8 later this year? We want to know your opinions, so share them with us in the comments below!