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Apple's iOS 8 is now available on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch

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Apple has released iOS 8, the latest version of its mobile operating system, for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Users can download the new software by navigating to the "general" tab in their device's settings menu and selecting "software update." If you don't want to download the update wirelessly — perhaps you're on a restrictive data plan and have limited Wi-Fi access — you can also connect your phone to the latest version of iTunes to download the update. The iOS 8 update pack weighs in at 1.4GB and requires a staggering 5.7GB of free space to install on an iPhone (6.9GB on an iPad), so you may need to delete something like half a dozen games to free up some room before you get started.

The new operating system brings subtle but significant changes to the functionality of the Apple devices that support it. The new version introduces HealthKit, a hub for third-party fitness apps to siphon information about your health into, and Family Sharing, which lets you share iTunes purchases, calendar information, and messages with a group of people. iOS 8 also brings improved notifications, a Spotlight search function that lets you search inside apps, and the ability to install third-party keyboards such as Swype, among other features. And once the next version of OS X is released, likely next month, iOS 8 will allow you to sync phone calls, files, and SMS messages between iOS 8 devices and Macs.