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iOS 8: the biggest update since the App Store

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Apple released iOS 8, the latest version of its mobile operating system, on September 17th, 2014, timed to coincide with the imminent retail availability of the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Apple boasted that iOS 8 was the "biggest release since the launch of the App Store," and the company wasn't kidding, with the software requiring up to 5.7 GB of free space on iPhones and iPads in order to be downloaded and installed. The update also came with some long-requested features, including the ability to install new keyboards and see app widgets in the notifications screen. Some apps developers were also caught unprepared. Follow the latest on all the iOS 8 news here.

  • Josh Lowensohn

    Sep 25, 2014

    Josh Lowensohn

    Apple's fix for major iOS 8 bug coming in the 'next few days'

    Apple says it's working "around the clock" on a fix to its 8.0.1 update, which went out Wednesday and proceeded to wreak havoc for owners of the company's newest iPhones. Apple now says a working version of that update will be ready "in the next few days." In the meantime, the company has outlined a way to restore both cell service and Touch ID to unlucky users who downloaded the faulty update. The company's using a similar method to the workaround that was discovered earlier today.

    Per a company spokesperson:

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  • Josh Lowensohn

    Sep 24, 2014

    Josh Lowensohn

    Did Apple's iOS 8.0.1 update break your iPhone? Here's a fix that works

    Apple's latest update to iOS 8 is keeping some iPhone owners from being able to use their iPhones as a phone, or use Touch ID. Users on multiple cellular networks are reporting the connectivity issue unfixed after restarting their devices, toggling airplane mode, and by resetting all networking settings. The same goes for Touch ID, which can be used to unlock the phone, and validate a user's identification in Apple's stores and inside apps as part of iOS 8. That feature has been disabled system-wide, and attempts to remove and re-add fingers result in a "failed" message.

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  • Chris Welch

    Sep 24, 2014

    Chris Welch

    Apple pulls iOS 8.0.1 after users report major problems with update

    One week after the launch of iOS 8, Apple released its first update for the new OS — iOS 8.0.1 — on Wednesday afternoon. It was meant to fix a slew of bugs, but that's not what happened. Immediately after the update hit, reports began flooding in that iOS 8.0.1 was breaking cellular reception and other features like Touch ID. Apple eventually removed the faulty update, but not before an untold number of users were able to install it. ""We have received reports of an issue with the iOS 8.0.1 update," a spokesperson told The Verge. "We are actively investigating these reports and will provide information as quickly as we can. In the meantime we have pulled back the iOS 8.0.1 update."

    Those affected report that "no service" is displayed after iOS 8.0.1 has been installed, and toggling airplane mode or powering the phone off and on again doesn't seem to restore cellular reception. Both of Apple's latest iPhones seem vulnerable to the massive problem, though older models seem to handle the update just fine.

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  • Sep 23, 2014

    Vlad Savov

    Nearly half of active iPhones and iPads are already running iOS 8

    Apple's developer support page has revealed the rapid pace at which iPhones, iPads, and iPod touch music players have been upgraded to the latest iOS software. Having been made available to download on Wednesday, by Sunday iOS 8 had already been installed on some 46 percent of devices connecting to Apple's App Store. This comes at a time when the 10-month-old Android KitKat is still working its way toward the 25 percent mark.

    The relatively quick transition isn't out of character for Apple's devices and compares favorably to Google's efforts, however it hasn't been entirely painless. Many people were unhappily surprised by the large amount of free space that the new upgrade required, and there remains a swathe of important and prominent apps in need of an update to make them work properly with the new iOS. To that point, Apple's numbers show it's struggling with its app review process, with only 53 of new app submissions and 74 percent of updates being fully reviewed last week.

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  • Ellis Hamburger

    Sep 19, 2014

    Ellis Hamburger

    These are the apps you want to try on your new iPhone

    Where iOS 7 was style, iOS 8 is substance.

    Last year, our favorite apps got a facelift, but this year, they’re actually becoming a lot more useful. How? iOS 8 offers a whole range of features that let apps extend themselves — into other apps, and even into widgets inside notification center.

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  • Sep 17, 2014

    Josh Lowensohn and Casey Newton

    7 keyboards for iOS 8 you can try right now

    When it comes to typing on your smartphones and tablets, iOS users are about to see how the other half lives. With the launch of iOS 8 this morning, you can now install a third-party keyboard on your iPhone or iPad. The system keyboard still works just fine, and is getting a nice upgrade for iOS 8: for the first time, it’s offering predictive text. But other developers makers have been in the game much longer, refining their predictions through years of iterations. And keyboards are already turning into a design playground, with creative user interfaces and highly customizable graphics. Here’s a guide to trying out an iOS keyboard alternative right now.

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  • Jacob Kastrenakes

    Sep 17, 2014

    Jacob Kastrenakes

    Apple has to fix an iOS 8 bug before you can get the most out of new health apps

    If you're eager to start putting your fitness apps to work with iOS 8's new HealthKit feature, you're going to have to hang on a bit: Apple has discovered a last-minute issue with HealthKit and is now preventing apps from using it. Apple has apparently been contacting developers throughout the day to tell them about the situation, having actually had to pull some apps that were previously published into the store. In a statement to the Financial Times' Tim Bradshaw, Apple says that it discovered a bug in HealthKit and intends to quickly fix it in a software update and "have HealthKit apps available by the end of the month."

    This is a somewhat embarrassing hiccup for Apple, which is beginning to put an increased focus on fitness. HealthKit is its new backend service that allows fitness apps to share information. Given that it works behind-the-scenes, it's likely that many — if not most — iPhone and iPad owners won't even realize that the feature is unaccessible (additionally, iOS 8's similarly named Health app is in fact present and working). It just means that, for now, third-party fitness apps won't be quite as powerful as iOS 8 wants to make them. Several other substantial features of iOS 8 haven't launched yet either, including its ability to synchronize calls, text messages, and what you're working on with a Mac. Those features will have to wait for the release of OS X Yosemite, likely next month.

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  • Ellis Hamburger

    Sep 17, 2014

    Ellis Hamburger

    iOS 8 could stop the next app privacy panic before it starts

    A few weeks ago, the world went crazy when reports surfaced that Facebook Messenger was snooping on you. Reporters, hackers, and users alleged that, because Messenger had the permission to use your camera, monitor your location, or (on Android) read your text messages, that it was doing so all the time.

    The scare was eventually debunked. The consensus: just because an app has the ability to do something doesn’t mean it’s doing it 24/7. You can find these same permissions, from the camera access, to the location-tracking, to the text-message reading in many social networking and texting apps, partly because Android and iOS don’t allow much control when it comes to asking users for their permission to do things. All developers can ask is "Do you want tracking on or off?" with no shades of gray in between.

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  • Chris Welch

    Sep 17, 2014

    Chris Welch

    Apple TV update adds design tweaks, Family Sharing, and Beats Music app

    Apple TV is considered an iOS device, which is a thing people sometimes forget, so it too has been updated with a new version of the software today. The first thing you'll notice is a slightly tweaked design that replaces the icons for music, TV shows, movies, and other apps with new versions that are more in line with the visual style of iOS 7 and 8. The on-screen font has also been changed slightly. Other than that, it's still the same old grid of rounded rectangles, a user interface that's getting really long in the tooth at this point. You'll need a third-gen Apple TV to receive all the new stuff.

    Today's Apple TV update also makes the set-top box compatible with all the latest iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite features like iCloud Photo and Family Sharing, with the latter letting you access iTunes content purchased by other people in your family. The software has been in development for several months, with MacRumors and 9to5Mac having already revealed its new looks and feature set.

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  • Casey Newton

    Sep 17, 2014

    Casey Newton

    Storehouse brings its beautiful storytelling app to iPhone

    In February, some design-minded former employees of Apple, Facebook, and The Daily teamed up to create Storehouse: an iPad app that blends beautiful typography, full-bleed photos, video clips, and music into compelling narratives. As of today, Storehouse is also available for iPhone, and it's using new features in iOS 8 to make sharing easier than before. Using new systemwide sharing features, you can access photos taken inside any app with camera access and share them straight to Storehouse, where you can easily drag and drop images, crop and resize them, and annotate them with captions.

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  • Tom Warren

    Sep 17, 2014

    Tom Warren

    iOS 8 update may be too big for your iPhone or iPad

    Apple just released iOS 8, but if you're preparing to update your iPhone or iPad then be ready to clear out enough free space. While previous iOS updates have always required around 1GB of free space, a large number of iPhone and iPad owners are noticing that iOS 8 requires up to 5.7GB of free space to install. The number varies depending on device and increases up to 7GB on some iPad models, but if you have an 8GB iPhone 5C or even a 16GB iPhone then you're likely to run into issues.

    There's no easy fix to free up space quickly, but you can use the iTunes client on Mac or PC to update a device to avoid the huge space requirement. The iTunes method will still require free space, but not nearly as much as 5GB using the over-the-air upgrade method on the device. If you've been lucky enough to upgrade already, check out the best iOS 8 features you may not know about.

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  • Chris Welch

    Sep 17, 2014

    Chris Welch

    The best iOS 8 features you may not know about

    Apple's latest iOS update is here, and it's full of new features. The company has showcased plenty of the changes already: better photo editing, easy-to-send voice messages, a smarter keyboard, fitness tracking, and the list goes on and on. It's so long, in fact, that we've gathered some of iOS 8's lesser known features here to make sure you don't miss them as you get familiar with the new software today. Improvements are everywhere, and many of them aren't immediately obvious. We'll have a full review of iOS 8 soon, but for now hopefully you'll find something here you didn't know about before.

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  • Rich McCormick

    Sep 17, 2014

    Rich McCormick

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

    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.

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  • Rich McCormick

    Sep 16, 2014

    Rich McCormick

    Apple has written a guide for people switching from Android to iPhone

    Apple releases iOS 8 tomorrow, and its next generation of iPhone later this week. With the new models approaching larger Android phones in terms of screen size, the company appears to be expecting a lot of people will make the switch from Samsung, HTC, and other devices to its iPhone. To that end, it's provided a guide to moving all your stuff from Android to iOS.

    The guide explains how new users can transfer their photos, music, documents, contacts, and calendars from their old device to their new one. It says users can utilize iTunes and iCloud to move information over, but the guide shows that Apple hasn't spent a lot of time making tools for moving data between operating systems. The company calls out a set of third-party apps of questionable quality — including AT&T's Mobile Transfer — as one of the best options for transferring data between devices. It's also not particularly useful in helping you continue to use your favorite apps: Apple says you'll "probably" find the ones you like, but you'll need to head to the App Store and dig them out yourself.

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  • Chris Welch

    Jun 9, 2014

    Chris Welch

    iOS 8 code allows for apps to run in split-screen mode

    Recent rumors have suggested that Apple may be aiming to match Microsoft's Surface by introducing a split-screen multitasking mode for iPads. The company's WWDC keynote — complete with a lengthy preview of iOS 8 — came and went with no mention of this feature. But developer Steve Troughton-Smith has discovered code in iOS 8 that allows two apps to run side by side, suggesting that Apple has at least been working on the idea, even if it's not ready to showcase the results just yet.

    From the sounds of it, Apple has looked at an approach resembling Microsoft's "snap" functionality that would enable apps to be resized on the screen according to preference. Troughton-Smith says the code allows apps to take up half of the screen, a single quarter, or three quarters. So in theory you'd be able to have a Twitter app take up a small section of the iPad's display, with Netflix, Safari, or another app receiving the majority of screen real estate.

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  • Russell Brandom

    Jun 9, 2014

    Russell Brandom

    iOS 8 strikes an unexpected blow against location tracking

    Combined with inventory and in-store video, the records are immensely valuable to stores as marketing data, and companies like Euclid Analytics and Path Intelligence have made an industry out of providing them. But now that Apple has embraced MAC spoofing, the practice of Wi-Fi sniffing may stop working entirely. With more than one in three US smartphones running iOS, and a notoriously fast adoption cycle for new operating systems, any data collected is likely to leave out a huge sector of the population.

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  • Aaron Souppouris

    Jun 4, 2014

    Aaron Souppouris

    iOS 8 is the dramatic redesign that iOS 7 promised

    It’s been 51 weeks since Tim Cook introduced the world to iOS 7’s "stunning new user interface." We thought then that the radical redesign of iOS would be the biggest update in the platform's history. But in some ways, we were wrong. While iOS 7 brought a massive change in aesthetic direction, it remained functionally similar to its predecessors. iOS 8, on the other hand, is a subtle but important overhaul of the most important thing about the design of Apple's mobile OS: the way you use it.

    The beauty of iOS has always been its simplicity. Apple gave users a springboard of app icons and taught them to jump in and out of apps to get things done. The introduction of the App Store with iOS 2, multitasking with iOS 4, and Notification Center with iOS 5 certainly shook things up, but the core paradigm remained. Many designers, including Apple’s Jony Ive, strive to make things simple, following functionalist principles of "less is more." But by not acknowledging a shift in the way people use their devices, iOS began to feel like it was stuck in the past.

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  • Josh Lowensohn

    Jun 4, 2014

    Josh Lowensohn

    Apple's iOS 8 beta showing location-aware app shortcuts on the lockscreen

    The iPhone's lockscreen has been hallowed ground for the types of information that can be displayed, though with iOS 8, Apple seems to be loosening up. The new software, which became available as a beta for developers yesterday, will show you the icon for apps — either installed, or not — that will work nearby, reports MacRumors. In screenshots of the early software build, that includes places like Starbucks, Apple stores, Costco retail locations, and even train stations. The new icon appears on the bottom left hand corner of the lockscreen, across from where Apple's kept the shortcut to the camera app.

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  • Dan Seifert

    Jun 2, 2014

    Dan Seifert

    8 huge new features in iOS 8 that Apple didn't talk about today

    Apple announced iOS 8 with great fanfare today, revealing many new features and a number of significant changes to the platform. Things like HealthKit, new extensibility options, and HomeKit got a lot of attention during Apple's presentation — but as is often the case in Apple's big keynotes, there were a number of new features that didn't even get a mention. Here are eight of the most interesting.

    Apple has supported making FaceTime audio and video calls over Wi-Fi networks for some time now, but it looks like iOS 8 will bring the ability to make standard calls over Wi-Fi as well. Carriers such as T-Mobile have offered this service on other smartphones for years, but it's been excluded from the iPhone — until now. In fact, T-Mobile has already confirmed that it will support Wi-Fi calling in iOS 8, though It's likely that this feature will be dependent on carriers, not available universally.

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  • Josh Lowensohn

    Jun 2, 2014

    Josh Lowensohn

    Developers already at work on alternate iOS 8 keyboards

    Developers have been asking Apple to open up iOS to other keyboards for years, and today the company obliged. As part of iOS 8, which will be released in the fall, users can swap out Apple's keyboard with ones made by other companies. Users have been long able to do that on Google's Android, but it's been far more difficult on iOS, requiring either a jailbreak or individual developers to supply their own specialty keyboard features.

    Following Apple's annual developers keynote earlier today, a number of prominent third-party software keyboard makers now say they're already at work on those keyboards, and plan to let people try them out ahead of time.

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  • Chris Welch

    Jun 2, 2014

    Chris Welch

    Apple will let you ditch Google search for DuckDuckGo in iOS 8 and OS X

    Most people aren't going to change their default iOS search provider away from Google anytime soon, but that's not stopping Apple from giving them new choices. Mixed into a slide containing dozens of new features in iOS 8 that went unmentioned on stage was something interesting: "DuckDuckGo support in Safari." With its latest mobile operating system, Apple will easily let users switch over to the privacy-minded search engine and set it as the default for all queries within Safari. The preview page for OS X 10.10 Yosemite also confirms that DuckDuckGo will be available as a search choice for desktop users.

    DuckDuckGo was designed to be a less creepy and less invasive alternative to Google. It ditches the tracking habits of Mountain View, much to the relief of internet users who've grown wary of overzealous surveillance from tech companies and the government alike.

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  • Jun 2, 2014

    Verge Staff

    The 22 most important things Apple announced at WWDC 2014

    Apple kicked off its Worldwide Developer Conference with a glimpse into the future of OS X, iOS 8, and the developer tools that bring them to life. This is the rare event where a man can get on stage and write code for ten minutes while thousands of developers watch in stunned silence before erupting in applause. It's where Apple talks about everything it's bringing to customers, and to developers — the deeply nerdy and the user-friendly, all in one two-hour event.

    Rumors were flying about all sorts of hardware that might be announced at WWDC, but this was a software-focused show. OS X 10.10 Yosemite and iOS 8 bring the desktop and mobile device closer together than they’ve ever been before, and a host of new developer tools should enable the creation of some powerful new apps. That includes a new programming language, Swift, which Apple hopes will replace Objective-C over time.

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