With two new smartphones and a dazzling smartwatch to reveal, Apple spent considerably less time than usual repeating the features of iOS 8 at yesterday’s event. But now we know when we’ll actually be using it.
As expected, iOS 8 will launch just before the new iPhones, becoming available next week on 17 September. That’s two days before the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus debut overseas, naturally with the updated OS already installed.
Device compatibility is always a question with new iOS versions, and Apple has revealed that iOS 8 will extend back to the iPhone 4S and newer on the smartphone side, and the iPad 2/iPad mini and above with tablets. The fifth-gen iPod touch will also accept the upgrade.
Apple already detailed out the extensive array of new features back at WWDC, and while less of a dramatic shake-up than its full version predecessor, iOS 8 does seem to deliver a lot of small tweaks and big enhancements alike.
On the latter end, you can expect everything from the Health app to the Handoff feature that lets you move active content between your iOS devices and Mac, plus there’s third-party keyboards, easy voice and video swapping within Messages, Family Sharing, and overhauled photo management.
And on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, you’ll also have access to Apple Pay, which uses each phone’s built-in NFC chip combined with Touch ID and your account details to keep your wallet firmly in your pocket or bag. That feature won’t launch until October, however, and as we’ve pointed out before it probably won’t be all that useful here at home.