It's almost time to update your iPhone and iPad, with the iOS 8 release date having been confirmed for today, September 17.
Meaning existing iPhone and iPad owners can update their beloved devices prior to the arrival of the iPhone 6, the iOS 8 update will bring a mass of new features and improvements, including HealthKit and third party keyboard support.
Although an exact time for the iOS 8 release has yet to be confirmed, it is expected that the software patch will start its rollout around 6pm BST.
“iOS 8 is a giant release and it is two stories not one,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in unveiling the software back in June. “It has great user features but it also has great developer features.”
Apple’s Senior Vice President of Software Engineering, Craig Federighi added: “iOS 8 builds on iOS 7 with new features for iPhone and iPad.”
While the iPhone 6 will be the first device to run iOS 8 direct from the box, Apple has confirmed a wide range of existing devices will support the latest software patch.
The September 16 iOS 8 release date will see iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S owners all offered the update. Sadly the iPhone 4 will not be making the jump, although the 5th generation iPod touch will.
On the tablet side of things, all iPads from the iPad 2 onwards, including both mini offerings, will join the iOS 8 revolution.
iOS 8 Features
A considerable update over last year’s iOS 7 efforts, iOS 8 brings a mass of new accessibility features into the fold.
Two of the industry’s latest boom areas – fitness trackers and home automation systems – are taken into account with the introduction of HealthKit and HomeKit. Both are centralised data stores for all your third party accessories. The days of jumping between four different apps to get a sense of your overall wellbeing are almost a thing of the past.
“HealthKit provides a single place where applications can create a comprehensive wellbeing and health,” Federighi stated.
He added HealthKit will allow users to do “everything from monitoring your activity level, your heart rate, to your weight and chronic medical conditions like diabetes.”
Ease of use is another focus of iOS 8. The software will bring an improved Notifications menu, as well as Mail improvement and new Safari features.
With improved cross compatibility between iOS 8 and Apple’s new Mac software, OS X Yosemite, family sharing features and 22 new input languages for Siri are included.
As always, expect the iOS 8 release date to be plagued with slow download times. With millions of iDevice owners all looking to update their products at the same time, delays are likely.
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