iOS 8 Download To Release With 'Smarter' Siri Update: Rumor

  • Michael Briggs , Design & Trend Staff Writer
  • Mar, 06, 2014, 01:02 PM
Tags : apple, Siri, iOS 8, Her

Siri's functionality could see an upgrade in iOS 8, as Apple will look to open the personal assistant to third party service providers and app developers, The Information reports.

The update would allow these third party providers to add links to their own apps, and would mostly be aimed at making Siri "less gimmicky and more useful," according to the report. Currently, Siri can't do things like book a car rental or place a hotel reservation.

The update would also help Siri make intelligent decisions, such as bringing a running app up when a user starts running.

As Tech Crunch notes, the end game for tech giants like Apple and Google is to create a "comprehensive, anticipatory system like the one found in 'Her.'"

The next-generation Apple operating system, iOS 8, could also feature a built-in "Healthbook" app, according to 9to5Mac.

Citing sources familiar with Apple's plans, the report states users will be able to track blood pressure, heart rate, hydration level and even measure glucose levels. The app will integrate the rumored "iWatch," and will be tied into first-party software including Calendar and Reminders, which would allow users to get their medical reminders from their device.

"Healthbook" will access data from advanced sensors that will track health through a swipe-able card UI, Apple Insider reports. Like other fitness apps, it will also include basic functions such as a daily step tracker that measures distance traveled and daily caloric intake and weight tracking.

The feature would require hardware that could generate raw data, which is currently not available with Apple's M7 motion coprocessor. The iWatch, however, would incorporate the more advanced measurements via Bluetooth or another wireless tech.

The "Healthbook" rumor caught fire this week following the New York Times report that Apple SVP of Operations Jeff Williams, VP of Software and Technology Bud Tribble, Michael O'Reilly and government affairs counsel Tim Powderly met with FDA in December to talk "mobile medical applications."

O'Reilly, a recent Apple hire, was previously the chief medical officer and executive vice president of medical affairs at medical technology firm Masimo Corporation.

Should Apple stick to its previous release date schedule, iOS 8 would be available for download in the late summer or early fall. The update's release will likely be tied to either Apple's rumored next-generation iPhone 6 or iPad Pro, with WWDC targeted as a possible launch event.

Other iOS 8 rumors involve the ability to add additional accounts to Apple devices, a multitasking capability update, customized autocorrect and improved battery life.

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