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printed October 23, 2017
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Review: Apple iOS 8

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Where iOS 7 was the window dressing, iOS 8 is the meat on the bones. iOS 7 was style, iOS 8 is substance. iOS 7 was the form, iOS 8 is the function. The on-the-surface changes and user-facing features of iOS 8 are certainly welcome updates. Who doesn't like the new iMessage features, or notification screen widgets, or camera features, or photo editing powers, or Siri search functions? These are all good and necessary additions to iOS.

Many of the new features (keyboard, email, etc.) do in fact play catch-up with what Google's Android platform offers, but others (HomeKit, HealthKit, Apple Pay) take the game in a whole new direction. Android users can feel smug to a certain degree, but the real changes in iOS 8 are yet to be fully realized.

Apple wasn't lying when it said iOS 8 was massive for developers and huge for everyone else. With new extensions, SDKs, and APIs, developers have never had more opportunity to innovate on iOS. The more developers innovate, the better life will be for iPhone and iPad users.

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iOS 8 is an incredible update to Apple's smartphone and tablet platform. While there are plenty of here-and-now improvements to enjoy, the actual benefits of iOS 8 will only begin to make themselves apparent as developers latch onto features such as TouchID and take them to the next level.

iOS 8 will be preinstalled on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. If you're using an iPhone 5s/5c, or an iPad Air, Mini, or iPad with Retina Display, iOS 8 is well worth the upgrade.

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