Two interesting developments (one related to iPhone 6 design/spec and one pertaining to iOS 8 features) have cropped up at a time when we’re talking about iOS 7.1. While a new iPhone is not expected at least till June/July this year, the seeds of rumors about iPhone 6’s design have already been sown.

In a report emerging from the often-right MacOtakara, we hear that the upcoming iPhone 6 might actually be, design-wise, a cross between iPhone 5c and iPod nano 7th-gen. Without good references, it’s hard to put a visual cue to this cross-breed being rumored, but it’s kind of interesting. This is largely because the MacOtakara report hints at the 4.7″ and 5.7″ rumors for the iPhone 6.

iPhone 6 To Feature a Thinner Design, iOS 8 To Feature a Better Maps App

The Larger iPhone 6
Rumors about Apple playing around with two large-screen prototypes have been floating around for quite sometime. The screen sizes – 4.7″ and 5.7″ – are definitely outside Apple’s usual design considerations but it’s hard to discount this rumor at this point of time.

The report says that the new iPhones (iPhone 6 presumably) would take on a design that’s inspired by the iPod nano 7th-gen but would also be a take-off from iPhone 5c. Obviously, the flagship product would not feature plastic shells like the iPhone 5c. The report suggests that the shells would be anodized aluminum hinting at the possibility of multiple colors too.

MacOtakara doesn’t talk about iPhone 6’s release or speculate on prototypes but there’s a discussion on the thickness of the upcoming iPhone. The rumors indicate that Apple’s looking at a really thin (7mm) iPhone but there are obviously many hurdles to cross. For starters, the iSight camera would protrude in the present prototype design. That prompts the report to say that may be the thickness would be ramped up to 7.5mm (something similar happened with the iPad Air).

Other iPhone 6 features are outside the scope of the rumors right now but one thing that’s heating up is the possibility of seeing a large-screen iPhone this year.

iOS 8 Apple Maps
In other news, 9to5Mac reports that iOS 8 will feature several updates to Maps, most of which is under-the-hood. A whole team is being headed by Cue, Federighi and Gautier to tighten up Apple’s stock Maps with improved data. It is said that iOS 8’s Maps will feature public transit direction service.

Much of this comes through major acquisitions over the past year (including popular navigation companies like HopStop, BroadMap etc.)