While Apple today announced the launch of its biggest advancements in iPhone history - the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus - the Cupertino-based tech giant also confirmed that iOS 8, the biggest release since the launch of the App Store, will be available starting Wednesday, September 17 to iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users as a free software update.
The new features in iOS 8 include an intuitive user experience with new Messages and Photos features, predictive typing for Apple's QuickType keyboard and Family Sharing. iOS 8 also includes the new Health app and iCloud Drive. At the same time, with more than 4,000 new APIs, iOS 8 will allow developers to further customize the user experience with major extensibility features and robust frameworks such as HealthKit and HomeKit.
"We're excited for hundreds of millions of users to begin experiencing iOS 8, with incredible features that offer new ways to use your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch," said Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of Software Engineering. "iOS 8 also creates an extraordinary environment for developers, providing them the ability to create amazing new apps like never before."
Further, iOS 8 also include new features like - Simply Tap to Talk to share your voice, the same gesture also works for sharing photos and videos. There's also the new Photos app with smart editing tools, adjusting exposure, brightness, contrast, highlights, shadows and other aspects.
Additional iOS 8 features include:
expanded security and management improvements for Enterprise, with new productivity features, including an extended level of data protection for key built-in apps and support for configurable Thread Notifications in Mail.
Improvements in the way users are informed of how their devices are configured and managed further support the new mobilized workforce IT model;
design enhancements that build off the stunning interface of iOS 7, bringing interactive notifications, quick access to key contacts, intelligent suggestions and the ability to quickly switch back and forth between the Inbox and Drafts in Mail; and
Spotlight suggestions beyond what's on your device, including Wikipedia entries, places nearby and news articles.
Pricing & Availability
iOS 8 will be available as a free software update starting Wednesday, September 17 for iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPod touch 5th generation, iPad 2, iPad with Retina display, iPad Air, iPad mini and iPad mini with Retina display.
New iCloud pricing includes 5GB free, 20GB $0.99/month, 200GB $3.99/month, 500GB $9.99/month and 1TB $19.99/month. Continuity features and iCloud Drive will be available on Macs running OS X Yosemite. In October, SMS Continuity will be available as a free update to iOS 8 and iCloud Photo Library will be available as a beta.
Starting in October, with iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, Apple Pay will be available in the US as a free update to iOS 8. Features are subject to change. Some features may not be available in all regions or all languages.