Apple revealed iOS 8 will come with several improvements at its iPhone 6 launch event on 9 September. Revisions include a new health application, a multimedia savvy messaging application, an improved keyboard and added functionality to its ‘Photos’ gallery application.
The updated software is expected to be pushed to supported Apple products today. Updating to iOS 8 can be performed as an over-the-air download, or by connecting supported iPhones, iPads and iPads to a Mac or Windows PC.
The download measures 1.1GB for an iPhone 5s and 1.3GB for an iPad Air.
Apple has struggled to manage the interest in its new range of products over the past week. The company‘s online stream of its iPhone 6 launch crashed multiple times, as did its website when pre-orders commenced for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.
Previous Apple updates have been characterised by delays and glitches due to demand, including the roll out of iOS 7.
The update will be rolled out to “hundreds of millions of users”, said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering.
What’s new in iOS 8?
Apple’s messaging application has been revised to support different kinds of media. It will be possible to share photos, voice recordings and video snippets.
Managing group conversations has also been streamlined with the ability to add and remove contacts. The option to snooze notifications has been added, along with the ability to leave conversations and share location data.
The ‘Photos’ gallery featured on Apple devices will have more detailed editing options. Included is a feature that automatically straightens the horizons of landscape shots, and controls for exposure, brightness, contrast, highlights, shadows and more.
Formerly frayed fitness devices will present findings in a unified Health application. Different applications can be authorised to share data for an improved health and exercise overview. It is also possible to share health data with doctors and other healthcare providers once they have been authorised.
Apple’s QuickType keyboard has gained IQ points with the ability to predict sentences by learning conversation lingo used with specific people. Information learned by the keyboard is “kept private, encrypted on your device and never sent to the cloud”.
Fans of iOS who are indifferent to QuickType will be able to install keyboards from third-party developers.
A feature called Family Share enables the content purchased from iTunes, iBooks and App Store to be shared with one another. Content can be shared between six family members and parents can be asked if they want to authorise purchases made by children.
The updated OS will make it easier to control automated households with HomeKit. Saying “Good Morning” to Apple’s Siri can switch the lights on in select rooms, have the thermostat adjusted and and open electric garage doors.
Will it work with my Apple iPhone, iPad and iPod?
Apple’s iOS 8 update will support the iPhone 4S and onwards, the iPad 2 and onwards, the iPad Mini, and the fifth generation iPod Touch.
• iPhone 4S
• iPhone 5
• iPhone 5S
• iPhone 5C
• iPad 2
• iPad with Retina display
• iPad Air
• iPad Mini
• iPad Mini with Retina display
Apple iPod Touch
• iPod Touch fifth generation