While still months away from even a beta release, sources have told 9to5Mac that Apple is reportedly considering making a few minor changes to Notification Center and the Messages application in iOS 8. A number of reports this week from Mark Gurman tip us on possible new apps in iOS 8, which include Healthbook, Preview, Text Edit and moving iTunes Radio to a standalone app. The stock app creep is increasing, but users may get some relief with the removal of the Game Center app. These changes are still under consideration, meaning it’s not a sure thing.
The current design of Notification Center provides users with three menus that reveal information on a translucent backdrop. The “Today” view providing date, weather, calendar events and stock information. All and Missed show notifications from third party applications, which at times can be somewhat confusing. In iOS 8, Apple may consolidate these to one ‘Notifications’ view, leaving the ‘Today’ view as is now.
Apple is said to be considering the removal of a dedicated app for Game Center, on both iOS and Mac OS X. Functionality of the app would be retained, but it would wrapped into functionality within individual games. The early iOS 8 screenshots still show Game Center, but this is an early build and plenty will change before it is formerly introduced.
Another possible feature would be a user option to set text messages in the Messages app to auto-delete after a set period. For example, a user could remove messages that are older than a month. The move is said to provide users with an easy, automatic way to free up storage space.
As we’ve seen with iOS 7.1, Apple continues to refine the user interface and will continue that trend with iOS 8. Changes to the Voice Memos app could clear up confusion users have had with playback controls. The current version of CarPlay requires a lightning cable, but Apple is testing the new iOS in the car feature using WiFi. Providing a wireless CarPlay experience would certainly add to to the overall convenience and car manufacturers have mentioned that wireless functionality would be coming in the future.
As you’d expect, iOS 8 will build upon the stability and speed of the current shipping version of iOS. Apple’s not looking to make drastic changes with iOS 8. This year will likely be more about improving and refining the experience.