updated 11:26 am EDT, Thu May 1, 2014
Some iOS 8 features could be pushed into iOS 8.1
Several sources have offered a glimpse into the current status of several Apple projects. At this year's WWDC, for instance, the people say OS X 10.10 will play a more prominent role than iOS 8, as it should feature a major redesign and Apple wants developers to latch in. The company is even said to be allocating iOS interface labor to OS X teams in order to get the framework of v10.10's design done for WWDC.
OS X 10.10 -- codenamed Syrah -- is reportedly adopting iOS 7-influenced design cues like sharper window corners, more defined icons, and a greater use of white space. Signature elements like the Finder and Mission Control won't be going anywhere, however. Any convergence will only take place in terms of aesthetics and feature parity. Syrah is expected to ship under a different name in the fall, like Mavericks.
Regarding iOS 8, the sources say that Apple has already begun work on iOS 8.1, and that some features planned for v8.0 could be pushed into the later release. It's uncertain which features might be delayed, but one of the prime candidates is believed to be public transit directions, since Apple is said to be "racing" to integrate them into iOS 8 Maps. Apple stripped transit directions out of Maps when it removed all Google content from the app in iOS 6.
Another possible iOS addition is song recognition for Siri, which would be done in partnership with Shazam. This has already been reported on, but the sources say that work continues. More significant are Apple's efforts to optimize iOS 8 for the A8 processor, which is expected to focus less on raw speed than on efficiency, including battery life. Low power consumption may be essential, since next-generation iPhones will have larger displays.
Apple is further claimed to be working on a "high-priority" iOS device that, along with the new iPhones, will demand an iOS 8 feature Apple workers refer to as "multi-resolution support." This is intended to help apps and iOS itself perform better across different resolutions. That high-priority device could theoretically be the iWatch, but might also refer to the Apple TV, which is now more important at the company.
Apple is said to be gathering large groups of software and hardware engineers to finish up hardware and software updates for the Apple TV. A fourth-generation set-top was originally planned for the first half of 2014, but appears to have been delayed; the sources add that the hardware and software updates aren't chained together, which could mean that the software update will arrive first, or simply that it will apply to current Apple TVs as well.
The company's iCloud service, lastly, is claimed to be getting several significant changes that could take effect as soon as this year (but may get pushed into 2015). These include a new service that would make it easier for developers to create cloud-ready apps; at the moment, many developers complain of how difficult it is to integrate iCloud support.