As I’m sure everyone knows, Apple yesterday released its latest iOS to the waiting hoards. iOS 8 was let loose just before 6pm, and there began the now customary overload on Apples servers! Unlike previous software releases this one came with a nasty surprise for those of us attempting to download OTA (over the air). In order to download and install untethered, users need to have over 5gb of free space!! So, not wanting to delete almost all my photos and music etc from my iPhone 5S (these items would easily be returned after installing by performing a restore) I connected my iPhone to iTunes and downloaded the iOS that way. Much less space needed this way, just under 2gb.

Once downloaded and a quick installation I was curious to see the new features. As I only had a few hours to play around with it here are some of the more obvious updates/improvements.

Health Kit

Compile all your fitness stats in one easy to read application. A nice feature that I haven’t seen much mention of is Medical ID. This has its own separate tab within the app allowing users to input emergency contact info, Allergies & Reactions, Medications, Blood Type, Organ Donor, (this information is not included in your Health Data or shared with other apps.) This information can be accessed under the “Emergency” option on the lock screen also.

Camera

A long awaited update! Tap on the screen and you will see a light icon beside the focus box that you can slide up and down to adjust.

Third Party Keyboards

Many years after Android users us poor Apple’ites can at last choose to use third party keyboards! There are plenty to choose from on the AppStore and once downloaded can be added to the system wide keyboard using Settings-General-Keyboard-Keyboards-Add New Keyboard.

Photos

The Photos app now has a much better searching ability based on location,time or albums. Personally I miss the old Camera Roll 🙁

Messaging

Now has the ability to not only send quick video and voice messages, but also the option to make them expire. OS 8 adds a new Tap to Talk feature that lets you share video and photos with a simple gesture. Annoying group messages are a thing of the past now too with the option to leave a conversation, label threads, add/remove contacts mid-convo, and the option to add Do Not Disturb to specific threads.

QuickType

By predicting which words you are about to type, writing text messages just got a lot quicker and easier.

There are also some new features that will only really come into their own once Apples next OS, Yosemite is released. iCloud Drive and Continuity/Hand-off.

For an in-depth look at all the features in iOS why not download the official iPhone User Guide for iOS 8 here https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id917482340?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D8