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Apple adds home and health access to iOS 8

Cliff Saran

Apple has unveiled what will be coming up in future iPhone and iPad releases at its Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco.

The  iOS 8 operating system – which will power future mobile devices iPads and iPhone – has been revamped, in a bid to keep up with Google and Samsung.

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With its eye on the wearables market, Nike+ and the Samsung Smartwatch, Apple has set its sights on expanding the iPhone and the iPad into the internet of things. 

Apple said the new HealthKit API will enable apps to provide health and fitness services to access shared health-related information in one place. A user’s health information is stored in a centralised and secure location, and the user will decide which data should be shared with your app, Apple said.

The second big focus is in home automation with HomeKit, a framework which Apple said can be used to communicate with and control connected devices in a user’s home

"Your apps can enable users to discover devices in their home and configure them, or you can create actions to control those devices," Apple said. 

Users can group actions together and trigger them using Siri."

Apple has also opened up its iCloud cloud storage service, with an API called CloudKit to enable developers to access a cloud database for storing app data. This appears to be a move to develop a platform as a service for iOS. Direct access to Google Drive and DropBox are no longer possible. 

The new operating system is expected to ship in Autumn 2014.


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