Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) had announced last week that it would release the newest iOS 8 mobile operating system on Wednesday, September 17. The new OS will be available for download beginning 10:00 a.m. Pacific (1:00 p.m. Eastern) today. Cupertino has referred to the iOS 8 as the biggest release since the launch of the App Store.
iOS 8 jam-packed with new features
Is your phone or tablet eligible for the iOS 8 upgrade? Well, every iPad except the first generation will work with the upgrade. The iOS 8 compatible iPhones include 4S, 5, 5C, 5S. Your fifth generation iPod Touch is also eligible for the upgrade. The new operating system will bring some exciting new features. Currently, more than 90% of iDevices run the iOS 7. It indicates that most users want to upgrade to the newest version.
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The iOS 8 will allow you to replace the default keyboard with others such as Swype, which would cost you 99 cents on the App Store. Apple claims the new OS will give users a faster, simpler and more intuitive experience with its Photos and Messages features, Family Sharing, and predictive typing for the QuickType keyboard.
Extensions in the iOS 8 will allow apps to talk to each other. According to Mark Rogowsky of Forbes, people using Pinterest, Evernote and other similar apps will love this tool. Continuity and Handoff features will let users seamlessly move between their Mac and the iPhone or iPad. You can start typing an email on your iPhone and finish it on your Mac.
The new Health app gives you an overview of your health and fitness data. HomeKit is yet another major addition. It will let developers integrate controls for numerous smart-home appliances and gadgets. Jam-packed with new features, the iOS 8 is more mature than ever. But it continues to lag behind Android in some aspects.
iOS 8 still has some drawbacks
Apple Maps still lacks transit directions, forcing users to rely on Google Maps. While Google Now and Cortana have been moving upward, Siri seems to be stuck in elementary school. Soon, Siri will help you turn the light on or adjust the thermostat, but users have to prompt it. In contrast, Microsoft’s Cortana and Google Now anticipate what the user needs to know.
However, these are pretty small drawbacks, considering the amount of new features the iOS 8 will bring. So, if you want to update, go to General > Software Update > Install Now. With the new OS, a lot of apps will receive upgrades, too.