TECH

iOS 8 Latest: News, Pictures And Release Date For Apple's New Mobile OS

13/03/2014 15:04 GMT | Updated 13/03/2014 15:59 GMT

Just as day follows night, and sunshine follows rain, iOS 7 will be followed by iOS 8.

And unlike the new iPhone 6 on which it will presumably run, we're pretty sure we have some concrete details about when and where we'll get to see it for the first time.

The new version of Apple's mobile operating system for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch (perhaps…) will almost certainly launch at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) which takes place in San Francisco in June.

It was at that conference that Apple announced the radical new iOS 7 last year, and it seems likely that it will once again be the setting for another visual and mechanical refresh. The beta will follow soon after, with a public release coming in the autumn alongside the new phone.

Here's what we're expecting from iOS 8:

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Design:

After the revolution that was iOS 7 and its new 'flattened' aesthetic - and the associated tears, angst and woe that went along with its adoption - we'd be amazed if Apple did anything as drastic this time around. Details are scant, but we'd be looking to see a tightened, freshened-up version of iOS 7 in the new version of the OS, perhaps with a few new icons and tricks but nothing too crazy.

It's possible that Apple will allow for more animated or updating App icons too, though don't expect to see any major homescreen customisation options added - and certainly not 'widget' support. Apple has always maintained tight control over its homescreen and that will continue.

Siri:

There are lots of rumours that Siri will get a big update in iOS 8, including allowing third-party developers to integrate more closely into the voice control service.

Healthbook:

With Apple reportedly exploring options for its first 'wearable' computer release, which will likely be focused around fitness and health, we're expecting to see a new app called 'Healthbook' included in iOS 8 which will bring together festures like a pedometer, heartrate monitor and more into a single, iOS optimised interface.

Maps:

Apple Maps were ridiculed when the company first switched from using Google Maps to its own system. But now that's pretty much calmed down. Yes, in part that's just because you can now use Google Maps instead via a separate app, but it's also a reflection that Apple Maps are now pretty decent. Expect improvements in iOS 8 to include better options for public transport, and potentially advancements in Augmented Reality information overlays and indoor maps (though that seems like a stretch).

Mobile Payments:

The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple wants to build a new payments system using the fingerprint scanner in the iPhone 5S. Exactly how this would work and roll out to retailers remains to be seen, though.