Today is the day iOS 8 will be released to the public, and we can only hope it goes smoother than the iOS 7 release from last year.
Apple is not supporting its earliest iPhone models with the update, so if you're still holding on to an original iPhone, iPhone 3G, 3GS or 4, you're out of luck. Only the iPhone 4s, 5, 5c and 5s will be able to install iOS 8 officially, as will the fifth-gen iPod Touch.
WHAT'S NEW IN iOS 8?
- iMESSAGE Now you can now simply tap to talk and share your voice with your friends. Apple has also made it easier to share photos and videos. Group messaging now gives you the ability to add and remove contacts during conversations and the option not to be disturbed or to leave a chat entirely. You can also choose to share your current location from within Messages.
- PHOTOS In iOS 8, the Photos app brings some extra editing tools to your fingertips. Horizons on your pictures get automatically straightened, and with smart editing tools you can quickly adjust light and color with a swipe. For deeper fine-tuning, you can access individual tools to adjust exposure, brightness, contrast, highlights, shadows and more.
- QUICKTYPE New predictive typing for Apple’s QuickType keyboard is smarter, more personalized and intelligent. It can predict what you are writing and give you instant choices of words or phrases you’d probably type next, based on your past conversations and writing style. QuickType understands the way you communicate, suggesting favourite phrases, so you can write entire sentences with just a few taps. The QuickType keyboard learns with time, it's also kept private, encrypted on your device and never sent to the cloud.
- HEALTHKIT This new Health app gathers the information you choose from your various health apps and fitness devices, and provides you with a clear and current overview of just how unhealthy you are. It’s a useful addition to your phone but you won’t get the most out of it until the Apple Watch launches next year. The watch will monitor your heart rate and activity levels and beam it straight to HealthKit. Apple Watch is due to be released early next year with a price tag of around $350/£300.
- FAMILY SHARING This makes it easier to communicate and share purchases with your family. The feature automatically keeps everyone connected by creating a shared family photo stream and calendar, and provides an option to locate family members and their devices. Your family can also browse and download each other’s songs, books or apps.
- CONTINUITY This clever feature means all your Apple devices now talk to each other. So, if you’re half way through bashing out an email on your iPhone, you can now seamlessly finish the message on your iPad or iMac. Continuity also means that as long as your iPhone is nearby, you’ll be able to receive text messages and make phone calls on your iPad, iMac or MacBook. And you can share content such as webpages on all your devices with a single swipe of your finger.
- iCLOUD DRIVE This new feature allows you to safely store, access and edit documents of almost any type.You can also make edits on one device and the most up-to-date version of your documents will be available across all devices, whether an iOS device, Mac, Windows PC or on www.icloud.com.
WHEN CAN I GET iOS 8?
Last year the general availability for iOS 7 went live at 6PM in the UK, or 1PM EST, so assuming Apple release iOS 8 the same way, it's likely to happen again.
We recommend to start checking from around 4-5PM BST or 11AM ET. The moment it becomes official we'll of course share this news, by updating and bumping this post.
In the meantime, here's a counter you can keep an eye on, for our guesstimate.
SHOULD I UPDATE TODAY?
That is a personal preference. iOS 8 has issues just like many first-day releases before it. If you use Dropbox and rely on the backup solution, you might have to wait to upgrade, as iOS 8 does not play well with the service. The Dropbox team tweeted earlier today:
Additionally, according to Mashable, iCloud Drive is only compatible with iOS devices running iOS 8 and Macs running OS X Yosemite, which is not yet available. This means that if you update now, your iOS apps won't sync with your Mac apps until the new version goes public.
Nick Fletcher of Realmac Software— the company behind productivity app Clear explains in his blog post "As OS X Yosemite is still pre-release (and not yet available) upgrading to iCloud Drive will prevent you from syncing with Clear for Mac until both OS X Yosemite is released and you upgrade to OS X Yosemite," he wrote. "Developers cannot work around the choice made when upgrading to iOS 8, so please make sure you pay close attention to the iCloud Drive screen shown after you update to iOS 8."
So it's up to you. Just know that this year will probably be no different from last year regarding a brand new OS. Unforeseen bugs are always a part of the equation, but keep in mind the above two issues before you decide.
Source & images: Apple