iOS 8 Could Simplify Notification Center, Add Better App-To-App Data Sharing, Ditch Game Center App

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A new report from 9to5Mac details a number of small tweaks we could see in the upcoming iOS 8 release from Apple. As always, the blog stipulates that these are merely things that are in development or have been worked on, and won’t necessarily see introduction in iOS 8, but they could significantly change the overall experience of the OS if included.

Much of what the new report from the reliable Mark Gurman of 9to5Mac focuses on is the removal or simplification of existing features to make iOS 8 either easier to use, or more resource efficient, which is great for older devices.

One such tweak would be the removal of the “Missed” tab from the Notification Center, which got a big overhaul in iOS 7 with three tabs including “Missed” as well as “All” and “Today.” Users have voiced some confusion about the distinction between the two notification tabs, and the new report suggests that we’ll see Apple unify them to make things easier.

Voice Memos will be refined, too, with rearranged interface elements that make it easier to find the controls users are looking for. Messages will get a new option to let older threads be automatically deleted after  period of either a month or a year, which should help free up storage space. It seems like a minor issue, but that would help free up storage for those who’ve been using the same backup to restore their devices across multiple generations of hardware.

Game Center might also be on the chopping block: 9to5’s report says that Apple is considering removing the dedicated app from iOS and OS X altogether, instead keeping any and all Game Center features within supported games themselves. Personally, I can’t remember the last time I opened the Game Center app itself, so this could help de-clutter the home screen and might not affect the actual usage of the feature itself.

The new report also details some additions to iOS 8 that could greatly improve overall functionality, including improved data transfer and communication between iOS apps. That’s via a new API being developed that would make it possible for apps to, for example, edit content, then push it to other apps for their subsequent use. This is currently possible to some extent via the “Open in…” iOS feature, but the new API would presumably be much more robust and far-reaching.

Finally, Apple is said to be working on making CarPlay work over Wi-Fi connections, in addition to just via Lightning cable hardwire input. That’s not surprising: A Volvo promotional release detailing its use of the feature said that Wi-Fi connectivity was coming soon early this month. iOS 8 could be how Apple introduces that upgrade, which would definitely make for a smooth experience in terms of making it easy to have CarPlay activate immediately upon entering a vehicle.

This is the latest in a series of reports from 9to5Mac which detail new potential iOS 8 features being worked on. If everything we’ve heard so far proves accurate, this next update to the mobile OS will indeed be a significant addition to the groundwork Apple laid with iOS 7.