In the several months leading up to Apple’s 2014 Worldwide Developers Conference, we reported on several features on tap for iOS 8, the new iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch operating system, and OS X Yosemite. Many of the features we reported on were announced last week: improved messaging, revamped notifications, various user-interface enhancements, indoor mapping, iCloud improvements for end-users and developers, Shazam in Siri, Voice Memos improvements, the redesigned Mac interface, multi-resolution mode for Xcode app testing, and of course, health-tracking integration. But some of the reporting did not become official last week. Namely, the Healthbook name, various improvements to Apple’s controversial mapping software, and a split-screen iPad multitasking mode.
Let’s go through each feature one-by-one.
While Apple did, indeed, announce a health tracking application and an API for partners to hook into, the interface did not match up with our screenshots from March. The reason, a source confirmed this week, is that Apple revamped the user-interface and dropped the “Healthbook” name late in development due to the leak. While the icon and interface is new, the entirety of the earlier reported functionality and in-app graphics are identical.
Let’s take a look:
Here are our screenshots of the Healthbook cards interface from March:
Here’s the Health app interface from beta 1 of iOS 8:
As you can see, the icons for each data point are identical in our March screenshots to the ones in the current iOS 8 build. The only change is the overall interface, and many Apple employees that I have spoken to agree that the original Healthbook UI is far superior in usability than the current look.
Here’s what the “Dashboard” graphs looked like in our March screenshots:
Here’s what it looks like in the newer Health app:
As you can see, the interface is nearly identical. Hamza Sood on Twitter has also confirmed in the iOS 8 SDK that the original name was Healthbook:
Our original report on Apple’s health tracking application also detailed some features set to appear in a future Apple wearable device, like Maps integration, fitness tracking, and a sensor chipset, and we’re looking forward to seeing that functionality discussed at Apple’s October Special Event.
We reported that iOS 8 would include a Maps app update with public transit directions, improved data, a new transit view, and indoor maps tracking. While the indoor mapping functionality was introduced, the rest of the improvements were not. As our own report and TechCrunch detailed, Apple’s Maps team has been facing internal political issues that resulted in the new functionality being delayed. We even reported a couple of months ago that the new maps features would be delayed.
In addition to those reports today, developers have noticed that some Maps interface materials in WWDC developer sessions make reference to a new transit mode. You can see an image of the transit button on the iPad image above. Commenters on that original report have since noted that Apple removed that slide from the presentation.
Split-screen iPad multitasking:
A few weeks ago, we reported that Apple is working on a split-screen application multitasking mode for the iPad that could ship as soon as iOS 8. Before WWDC, we reported that the feature would be pushed back to at least iOS 8.1 or even to a future software or hardware update (iPad Pro?).
Developer Steven Troughton-Smith has since located code strings in iOS 8 that confirm the functionality to be in development. A source sent in the below screenshot of iOS 8 code that proves this:
Troughton-Smith explained to us that, based on that above code snippet, Springboard in iOS 8 has support for more than just two apps side-by-side. The interface in testing is dynamic so that one app could take up 3/4 of the screen and the other app 1/4.
Perhaps future larger iPad models will have the boosted split-screen capabilities and current iPad screen sizes will have the more basic functionality.
Troughton-Smith has some more on multiple apps and screen resolutions:
And some code to prove it:
Some other odds and ends on iOS 8:
– The TextEdit and Preview apps we discussed were containers for viewing files stored in iCloud. These features were test apps for the announced iCloud Drive (and the new CloudKit feature we reported on at the same time). Hamza Sood has more on this:
– The standalone iTunes Radio app was always something we reported was under consideration, not confirmed for release. It is likely that Apple decided to retain iTunes Radio in the Music app upon the acquisition of Beats Music, which will close around the time that iOS 8 ships to the public in the fall.
iOS 8 is scheduled to ship this fall alongside OS X Yosemite. Apple often keeps a few surprises for the final, public release, so it’s possible some of the features not announced at WWDC will make in time for the next-gen iPhone and iPad events.