iOS 8 App Tweaks

Besides adding new Maps, Healthbook, and iTunes Radio applications, Apple plans to enhance and refine the functionality of some of its current pre-bundled applications and features for iOS 8. Here is a list, provided by sources, of some of the refinements Apple is considering for select applications and system functions in iOS 8:

- Notification Center: Notification Center, the translucent drop-down menu for managing alerts may be simplified. In iOS 7, Notification Center includes a “Today” view, “All” Notifications view, and a “Missed” Notifications view. In iOS 8, Apple is considering reducing the panel to solely include the “Today” and “Notifications” views.

Notification Center

The new “Notifications” view would combine all notifications with missed notifications, making the overall experience simpler. After acquiring the team behind the app Cue last year, Apple has likely been working on adding additional pertinent information to Notification Center, but it is uncertain if those enhancements will be ready this year for iOS 8.

- Inter-app communication: Apple is said to be working on and testing functionality that would allow apps from the App Store to better communicate. This is known as an “XPC” service in the developer world. An API is being developed for apps to be able to share data. For example, a future photo editing application could have the ability to push the edited content for upload via the Instagram or Facebook apps. The debut of the API has been in development for the past couple of years, and it had been removed from the launch version of iOS 7 last year for unspecified reasons. With that in mind, it is plausible that Apple could, again, choose to hold back the functionality.

- Voice Memos: Apple plans to move around some of the controls in the Voice Memos application to be more visible. Some iOS 7 users have complained that it is unclear which controls in Voice Memos need to be clicked to play recordings, and iOS 8 will fix this.


- Messages: Apple is said to be considering adding the ability for Messages threads in iOS 8 to automatically be deleted. The options for auto-deleting of threads on a user’s local device are said to be removal after a month or after a year. The functionality is being integrated in order for the iOS Device storage space to not be clogged up by old Messages threads, which is a common problem among iOS Device users with old backups or dated hardware. The auto-deletion will be optional, so users who never want their threads disappearing have nothing to worry about.

- Game Center: Sources say that Apple is considering removing the Game Center application from iOS and OS X. Instead of having the (little-used) Game Center app, the functionality will solely be found inside in games that have integrated the social gaming service. Just last year, Apple completely redesigned the Game Center app for iOS 7 to remove the green felt and casino theme from the Scott Forstall era. Yesterday’s leaked screenshots did, however, show the Game Center icon.

- CarPlay: While iOS 7’s version of CarPlay exclusively works over the Lightning cable, Apple is testing versions of iOS 8 that can conduct CarPlay (in certain vehicles) over WiFi. The lines up with Volvo saying that its CarPlay implementation will work wirelessly in the future. Of course, Apple has been testing WiFi CarPlay for sometime now with iOS 7, so perhaps the functionality will be pushed back once again.

In addition to the in-app tweaks, Apple has been working to speed up iOS 8 in comparison to iOS 7. Applications are said to launch more quickly, close more quickly, and overall system navigation is said to feel much smoother and more stable. Apple sped up animations and improved stability in the recent release of iOS 7.1, but the enhancements in iOS 8 are said to go a bit further.

Of course, Apple’s official introduction of iOS 8 is still a few months away, so the company’s plans can and likely will change at any time before WWDC.

Succeeding iOS 7, Apple’s “new beginning” for mobile software, iOS 8 will be the first major update to provide several refinements to the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch software under the watch of design head Jony Ive and engineering lead Craig Federighi.

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68 Responses to “iOS 8: Apple considers Notification Center + Messages tweaks, removing Game Center app”

  1. Do you guys EVER proof-read your articles? Geez.


    • “Proofread” is one word.


      • I love this comment.


      • Dorbie Smith says:

        Both are acceptable. American English is without a hyphen. In British, Australian and even Canadian English both are found and in the relevant dictionaries.

        I realise Americans think their English is the only correct version. American exceptionalism blah-blah blah. No-one, or no one, really finds the narrow thinking admirable.


      • Dorbie, from an etymological standpoint, “proofread” is the form that is used most frequently (in all countries). The development of the this word began as two separate words. It then became hyphenated. The hyphen was eventually dropped to form “proofread”.

        It is the same thing with the word “today”. One can technically spell “today” as “to-day”, but don’t be surprised if people question your antiquated spelling methods.

        For the record, while American exceptionalism is not an attractive quality, nor is presumption or anti-Americanism. Nobody really finds this kind of narrow thinking admirable. Next time that you venture into the world of orthography, try leaving your political views out of it, or you could end up looking foolish. That would be embarrassing for all of us. =)


    • Should anal-retentive be hyphenated?


  2. I wish Apple would give you an option to completely opt-out or remove Game Center. Although I play the occasional game, I have no intention of doing anything social with games. I have no use or need for Game Center. It’s really annoying/frustrating to have to always opt out/cancel the prompts.


    • PMZanetti says:

      Even if you don’t have friends, its much easier to just log in to Game Center and forget about. Should you one day make a friend, or decide hey its not such a bad idea to have an organized why of seeing my high scores and achievements, you’ll be glad you did.


      • lagax says:

        No, the whole Idea of GameCenter is made for a small amount of People, But Apple is not getting that almost anybody just clicks these prompts away. ;)


      • lycius84 says:

        I also like the idea behind Game Center. But I solely use it to track it between friends. I wish Apple would do something about the leaderboards(hundreds if not thousands of people having the exact same, impossibly high scores), but that’s something they’re not interested in doing apparently.


    • fjpoblam says:

      Hear, hear! Bane of my iPad. I’d like to have Apple allow moving into, say, “Purchased/Not on this iPad” (in the App Store), ANYTHING (what I consider bloatware) not used. Including NewsStand.


    • qj201 says:

      I agree. I primarily play games on subway rides…which means no signal and using game center or facebook connectivity pointless.


    • People don’t realize everything that Game Center does. It saves your games on a cloud as well so if I was say playing Jetpack Joyride and I decided I wanted to play on my iPad instead it would automatically update my save to go to my iPad and the other way around as well. I don’t use Game Center very often for a multiple player game but it works smoothly. Just because you don’t use it or think you don’t use it doesn’t mean it is a useless feature.


  3. will we ever get native quick reply for messages?


  4. PMZanetti says:

    It would definitely be nice to allow Messages to auto-delete after say 1 month or 6 months or 1 year. They take up a lot of storage space, especially when you have years of random photos and video shared through Messages. On the one hand, I hate deleting something before I have a chance to save it (like a photo or video), but on the flip side, if I don’t save that photo or video I get sent the day I get it…I’m never going to. Once that conversation fills up with more Messages, that photo or video is lost in the archive and not something I’m going to dig up.

    So yeah, I’m in favor of auto-delete for messages after say 3 months. Big time. Then my wife’s 16 GB phone won’t have 4.7 GB of Messages.


    • irelandjnr says:

      Article says 1 month or a year, and you say yes, you would like the option to auto-delete after 1 month, 6 moths or a year. And conclude with 3 months. And I agree, 4 months or 8 months sounds great.


  5. Crikey Mark, you’ve been on quite a roll this week with your daily iOS8 tidbits! Please do keep them coming (and I look forward to seeing a copy-and-paste version of the same story on Macrumors shortly…!)

    I would love to know whether there is a specific focus for iOS8 on optimising the iPad versions of iOS apps. Since iOS7, far too many of them have been blown-up iPhone apps (ironic given that Apple has repeatedly made that accusation of Android tablets…). Music is perhaps the worst offender – using a simple list view for songs/albums/artists is hardly a good use of a tablet sized screen!


  6. In OS X, you can create + email groups (close friends, teammates, work colleagues, etc.). It would be helpful to have the same ability to be able to create groups in contacts in iOS.


    • In iOS 7, Apple added auto-groups to Mail. After you’ve emailed that group of people, I think at least once, it will show you in the To field. You just type the name/email of one of those people, then the list of suggestions shows you the groups, or other people, you usually email that might include that person. It’s actually a better way to do it than manually sorting groups. Mail is also smart enough to know which of your own email addresses (if you have multiple accounts, say work and personal) to use based on how you’ve emailed that person/group in the past. Very handy and you don’t have to think about it.


  7. Great work, Mark! Thanks for bringing us the latest tidbits! I’m looking forward to know more about OS X 10.10 beside slightly simplified user interface. Will there be any feature enhancements? Thanks -:)


  8. i never understood why there was a ‘missed’ tab anyway


  9. Oh God, please don’t remove Game Center. Game Center shouldn’t be a “Ping” for games. It should be an iTunes/iBooks and contain your games. Multiple Folder pages was a step in the right direction. Game Center should have its own store and its own marketing campaign (ex. Cut the Rope now available in Apple’s Game Center).


  10. We can hold onto messages forever but our call log history is only 10 days. Who makes these decisions at Apple?


  11. I wish they would add the actual current weather conditions to the Notification Center. I want to know what the temperature is without unlocking my phone. I don’t want to read things like “It’s partly cloudy with a slight breeze. Today’s high will be 68.” Sometimes it does show the current temp but not all the time.


  12. secdj says:

    Bring back Full Screen Caller ID for iOS8… ;)


  13. mikhailt says:

    > In addition to the in-app tweaks, Apple has been working to speed up iOS 8 in comparison to iOS 7. Applications are said to launch more quickly, close more quickly, and overall system navigation is said to feel much smoother and more stable. Apple sped up animations and improved stability in the recent release of iOS 7.1, but the enhancements in iOS 8 are said to go a bit further.

    Probably the best news for me, although it should be in 7.2 rather than iOS 8.

    It sounds like it is possible iOS 8 was meant to be the refined iOS 7.0 (Think Snow Leopard > Leopard) with all of the speed enhancements but due to the several complaints, Apple pulled some of the code into 7.1.

    It would explain why the second 7.1 beta had everything licked in terms of stability and speed. Still, what doesn’t explain is the length of the iOS 7.1 release schedule.

    > Succeeding iOS 7, Apple’s “new beginning” for mobile software, iOS 8 will be the first major update to provide several refinements to the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch software under the watch of design head Jony Ive and engineering lead Craig Federighi.

    Huh? I thought iOS 7 was the first major under the watch of Jony Ive? I’d imagine iOS 8 would be the first serious update that Federighi is leading but doubt it’s the first for Ive.


  14. I won’t be happy until they get rid of the notifications pull-down altogether and put the notifications on the lock screen where they belong (or at least provide users with this option).

    I find the notifications screen to be so intensely ugly that I simply can’t use it. No one wants to READ what the weather is going to be in tiny 8 point white type on a muddy dark background. The weather should be on the LOCK screen, and it should be “glance able” (pictures! animations!) (or the user should at least have this option).

    Especially when using a white iPhone, with iOS 7 and all the bright shiny buttons with light coloured backgrounds to match … pulling down that hideous slither of muddy-grey despair over the top is jarring at best,. For me, it’s just unusable.

    I am constantly surprised, that at a company renown for it’s “taste” that Apple chooses to use this ugly, dark, and almost unreadable notifications pull-down. Especially when you consider that all the other overlays of the system (and there are far too many of them but that’s another story), are WHITE.

    The little pings for Facebook, Twitter and so forth are already on the lock screen, as is the date and time. Allow us to put the weather on there and a couple of other widgets like stocks and everyone will be happy. To withhold this obvious want/need by apple’s customers (people have been asking for this for years), in the name of some misguided idea of “security” is just foolish beyond measure IMO.


    • junkrar says:

      It’s funny that you feel so strongly about how bad Notification Center is, and yet other people love it. It’s almost as if people have different opinions.


  15. Why wouldn’t untethered CarPlay use BlueTooth instead of WiFi?


  16. I would like it if, in the Phone app, when you listen to a voicemail, that call is marked as “seen” in the Recents window so that we don’t have to view the Recents list to get rid of the icon that overlays Recents.


  17. RP says:

    it was a bad sign seeing the un-Apple inelegant trend-chasing look of iOS7 show up after Steve left. The fanny pack of UI design. hopefully this was an anomaly and the rush half ass look of iOS 7 will be replaced with something more fit a premium


  18. Can Apple address the security flaw in the Touch ID fingerprint hack we saw right after the 5S was released? Allow users to remove the Airplane Mode toggle from the Control Centre on the lock screen, or require a passcode to activate – as well as the actual passcode is required for the first unlock following turning Airplane Mode off.


  19. Anthony Gill says:

    The music app is in major need of a redesign with iTunes’ “Up Next” capability and Mailbox-like swipe controls.


  20. Too bad 7.1 trashes battery life. Maybe Apple will fix that though.


  21. How about an option to return to the Scott Forstall era? ios7 is cheap looking. Might as well just get a android unit – it’s all about the look and feel – the original iphone look was what made it stand out above all the other smart phones. RIP SJ and hopes that some future ios will recapture some of the classy design of yesteryear.


  22. An additional feature I would like to see with regards to the message app, is the ability to select and delete multiple threads at once. My phone has 2.4 GB of messages, and for me to go through and swipe and delete each one would take forever. And there’s no way to “delete all” either.

    Most importantly, though, I want the ability to UNSUBSCRIBE FROM GROUP MESSAGES. I can’t believe that’s still not possible.


  23. Communication between apps will be an enormous upgrade to iOs. I recently purchased and use 1Password, and, while you can copy and paste a lengthy password in apps that require a password, it would be so nice to have plug-ins like Safari on my iMac. Once click and I’m logged in. Right now the operating system reminds me of the first-generation of iPhones and iPod Touches, where you had to stop one app to use another. How nice to have them all interact. That alone would warrant an upgrade, I would think.


  24. I simply desire responsiveness. Tap-response. Tap-response. Tap-response.


  25. blancalanca says:

    Can we possibly get new emojis with the ios8 ? Cuz we do need to upgrade