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iOS 8 available for iPhone and iPad on September 17th

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Apple’s latest iOS 8 update will be available on September 17th for existing iPhones and iPads. iOS 8 might not be the big visual overhaul that iOS 7 was, but it adds in a number of important features and changes for existing iPhones and the company’s new iPhone 6. The overarching theme is a bond between OS X and iOS 8 thanks to a new Continuity feature that lets you share files, phone calls, and SMS messages between Macs and iPhones.

Elsewhere, third-party widgets will be available in the Notification Center, and a new iCloud Drive file-sharing service is enabled. Apple is also two new HealthKit and Family Sharing features. HealthKit builds on Apple’s focus on health-tracking by pulling in data from third-party fitness apps to create a hub of information. Family Sharing lets families share iTunes purchases, along with calendars and group messages.

Lots of new features and tweaks for iOS users

Apple has also improved notifications in iOS 8, allowing you to action them directly from the lock screen. Double-tapping the home button still brings up the familiar task switcher, but it has been improved with recent contacts along the top and Spotlight search lets you search deep into apps to find data and information. If you’re a fan of keyboards like SwiftKey, then iOS 8 allows iPhone and iPad owners to install third-party keyboards. Even Siri gets an update with iOS 8, allowing you to simply say "Hey Siri" to activate the voice assistant in a way that’s identical to Google Now. The oldest supported devices will be the iPhone 4S, the fifth-generation iPod touch, and the iPad 2.

Check out our Apple iPhone 6 and iWatch liveblog for more!