iOS 8 leaked screenshot shows OS X apps, file readers coming to iPhone

iOS app

We all know iOS has a gluttony of apps. The popularity of the platform was practically built on the famous tagline stating as much, “there’s an app for that,” and — whatever phone fanboyism you may harbor aside — there really is an app for just about whatever an average user would want to do with their phone. However, that doesn’t mean iOS is free of glaring holes. While average users may be completely happy with the platform and its capabilities, it may leave more advanced users feeling a little unsatisfied. Now, though, a leaked screenshot suggests that the upcoming iOS 8 may be getting official app versions of popular OS X software, such as Preview and TextEdit.

The above screenshot appeared on a Weibo (China’s Twitter) account, and among the regular table of iOS apps, icons for Preview and TextEdit — OS X’s basic image viewer and text editor, respectively — are plainly displayed on the home screen. Though the source of the image has not been revealed, 9to5Mac confirmed with other sources that the screenshot is, in fact, legitimate. If you’re wondering why anyone should care about an extremely basic image viewer and text editor coming to the iPhone, it’s not for the reason you may think.

While the addition of these apps will make viewing images and reading basic text documents less of a pain (no more opening files using DropBox), they could hint at a future where iOS finally gets some sort of navigable file structure. Apple’s mobile OS does not have a file viewer like a standard desktop or Android — you can’t open something like OS X’s Finder or Windows’ Explorer in order to view and open files. Instead, you generally have to load your files — music, pictures, books, and so on — from within the apps themselves. Now, the addition of Preview and TextEdit don’t mean iOS 8 will have a mobile version of Finder — it most likely won’t — but it does mean that Apple is finally doing something about iOS’ hampered ability to deal with various file types, or even easily viewing them.

Given Apple’s yearly release cycle, it’s safe to assume iOS 8 will release sometime toward the end of this year.

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