Unlike the massive queues for iPhone 6 devices that are sure to choke off walkways near Apple stores around the U.S. during launch, the wait for Apple's latest operating system can be held in the sanity of homes and on the comfort of couches.
Some of the highlights of iOS 8 include a new Photos app, a more robust messaging app, a reworked interface and a virtual keyboard that shouldn't introduce as many errors and unintentionally hilarious sentences as its predecessors. Apple has also added a Family sharing mechanic into iOS 8, as it did with iTunes, so that up to six family members can share photos, calendars, locations and content purchased from Apple's virtual stores.
Other features new to iOS 8 include an improved Spotlight search, iCloud drive for anywhere file access, and Health. The Health app is the front end of Apple's new health platform, while HealthKit is the back end developers use to present users with biometrics in new and more efficient ways.
"With HealthKit, developers can make their apps even more useful by allowing them to access your health data, too," says Apple. "And you choose what you want shared. For example, you can allow the data from your blood pressure app to be automatically shared with your doctor. Or allow your nutrition app to tell your fitness apps how many calories you consume each day. When your health and fitness apps work together, they become more powerful. And you might, too."
iOS 8 is available to iPhones 4s and up, iPad 2s and later, and fifth-generation iPod Touches and after. The update is less than 1 GB, but the installation process could chew through a good chunk of time. Barring any extended technical difficulties, users should be able to download the mobile OS in little time.
A brief visit to the Usage menu, found inside of the Settings menu's General option, will help users determine if they have the 1 GB of free space required to install iOS 8. It'll also help them determine what needs to go in order to make way for the update, if their storage space is packed to the brim.
But clearing the way for Apple's latest mobile operating system is just part of the process. Backing up data to iCloud or iTunes is another important step to take in order to avoid losing irreplaceable data; it should be the first step taken by a user who has trouble deciding what to delete to make space for the new OS.