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A peek at Apple’s new iPhone OS, iOS 8, reveals Apple’s future plans

iOS 8 Screenshot reveals a number of new apps and functions
iOS 8 Screenshot reveals a number of new apps and functions

Anticipation of Apple’s next version of the iPhone is driving a spate of leaks that reveal a number of innovations and a window into Apple’s future ambitions.

Currently being referred to by the tech community as the iPhone 6 and due out this fall, the rumor mill is chock-a-block with compelling insights. As Apple’s devices and software drive the entire market, predicting what’s in store for consumers this fall has become a sort of sporting event.

The new operating system (being touted as iOS 8) seems to offer a number of innovations. The rumors allude to a combination of new apps and services as well as some needed improvements on existing applications.

Among the newer entries is ‘Healthbook’. According to Mac prognosticator 9to5Mac, Healthbook will be a mobile health suite of applications that imply a much grander plan to leverage mobile activity and vitals data for mainstream health tracking and prevention. The existing geospatial tracking and movement-enabled/accelerometer capabilities baked into iPhones have been largely taken advantage of by third-party entrants like Nike’s Fuelband, FitBit and Jawbone’s Up tracker band devices and software. With Healthbook, Apple is clearly looking to up the ante and build out their own health and fitness eco-system that couples with its rumored ‘iWatch’ device (more on this below) that is also being touted for release later this year. The implications of these rumors are far reaching for not only consumers who can use their iPhones as weight management, sugar intake, heart rate and glucose monitoring tools, but will also be huge for Physicians, Hospitals and Insurance providers who will no doubt see many uses for this slew of real time, personal health information.

Next on the rumor list is the highly anticipated ‘iWatch’. According to Mac Rumors, this new ‘Wearables’ category killer (Nike’s Fuel Band seems to be the first casualty) is intended to act as a pairing device with the iPhone to bridge the phone’s inability to measure vital signs like blood pressure and heart rate. Aside from simply telling time, the wearable computer device will feature newly developed sensors that can track, measure and capture vital aspects of the human body. Apparently, the use of these features will be highly reliant on the iPhone. This one is an exciting new entry and all eyes are glued to the newsfeeds for new developments.

As with all of these rumors, it’s important to take them with a dose of salt. While many of the sources have proven to be extremely reliable, Tim Cook is also known for throwing ghosts and out-witting even the most strident sleuths. As far as when this will all happen: some key info should be revealed in June at Apple’s annual WWDC event, and then again in September, when Apple typically reveals its new wares in time for the Holiday Shopping spree.

Stay tuned…..

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