Designed for use with Apple’s multi-touch devices, iOS 8 supports input through direct screen manipulation. The system retains its familiar control scheme of user gestures, such as pinching, tapping and swiping. iOS 8 focuses on under-the-hood updates, largely retaining the major visual updates of iOS 7.
Added features in iOS 8 include:
- Handoff: A feature that lets one pass documents, texts and phone calls from iPhones to Mac computers and between other Apple devices.
- Health app: A centralized app for recording and interpreting all exercise and health data and connecting to health professionals.
- Family Sharing enables sharing among up to six Apple IDs within a household. It also offers the options of purchase requests rather than having a child's account fully enabled with credit card details, allowing the parent to make the final decision.
- Photos offer enhanced searching as well as albums to better organize photographs. iCloud library automatically stores all photographs, making them accessible from all of the user’s Apple computers and devices.
- Predictive text suggests likely words as you type, long a feature on Blackberry and Android. Apple claims the feature is implemented in a superior way, as the software is contextually aware of what you might say to each individual.
- Messages can include voice and video to easily send an audio message or share what you are seeing with friends.
- Enterprise benefits from the option of fingerprint ID as a second authentication factor (2FA), which Improves security, reduces frequency of password requests.
- Better single sign-on support, allowing enterprise certificates to be used transparently to log users into enterprise apps.
- Always-on VPN support.
- Data at rest is protected by encryption, including all app data and iOS native calendar items, contacts, email, messages, notes and reminders.
- Protection for data in transit is increased with always-on VPN and per-message S/MIME encryption for email.
Also significant to enterprise, IT can disable the Handoff feature, prevent users from wiping a device or setting their own restrictions and restrict devices from backing up data to iCloud. These capacities prevent extra work created when temporary users overstep company policy in the pursuit of personal security. Administrators can also prevent workers from changing device and application passwords or deleting corporate data.
iOS 8 has had a number of version updates:
- 8.0.1: A short-lived update due to issues introduced in Touch ID fingerprint-based security as well as cellular issues specific to iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus.
- 8.0.2: Released shortly after the previous update fixing the main issues introduced with 8.0.1 however it too had its issues with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and battery performance.
- 8.1: Dictation toggling from keyboard settings, camera roll and My Photostream are reintroduced, iCloud photo added.
- 8.1.1: Changed the free apps download button label to “Get” instead of “Free,” and provided stability improvements.
- 8.1.2: Bug fixes, fixed an issue involving iTunes removing purchased ringtones from the device.
- 8.1.3: Stability and performance boosts, Fix iPad multi touch gesture issues, disallows installing unapproved apps.
- 8.2: Provided Apple watch support, Health App, and stability improvements.
- 8.3: Performance improvements, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Message, family Sharing, CarPlay, Enterprise and orientation sensing fixes, “effective. Power” bug allowed iPhone, Apple Watch, iPod Touch, iMacs and Macbooks to be crashed with specific text messages.
- 8.4: Support for iPod Touch 6g. Changes and features to Music app including making miniplayer and search accessible while using other apps, iBooks improvements and updates. Fixed “effective. Power” bug.
- 8.4.1: Final version before iOS 9. iCloud music library fixes, Music app fixes, security updates.
While trailing previous version of iOS 7's 59% adoption rate for existing users iOS 8 at 38% still handily beats the latest Android OS, 4.4 KitKat, at a 22% adoption rate.