Apple today released iOS 8 to the public, making the download available to all users who have an iPhone 4s or later, iPad 2 or later, 5th-generation iPod touch, or iPad mini. The update can be downloaded via iTunes or through an over-the-air update accessible by going to the Settings app and tapping General —> Software Update.

While iOS 8 is currently available for download, it may take a few minutes for the update to propagate to all users due to demand. In past years, Apple’s servers have been overwhelmed with traffic.

iOS 8 includes the same general design elements introduced with iOS 7, but introduces several under-the-hood improvements. Improved integration between Apple devices, both mobile and desktop, is a major focal point of iOS 8, with Apple introducing several new "Continuity" features designed to connect the iPhone, iPad, and Mac "like never before."


The operating system also includes interactive notifications, app widgets in the Notification Center, and Messages improvements that let users manage group conversations for the first time.

Third-party access to both the keyboard and Touch ID has been enabled, and Apple has implemented its own keyboard improvements, in the form of its QuickType predictive keyboard. A new Health app is included with iOS 8, aggregating health and fitness data from a variety of apps and devices, and a new Family Sharing feature lets families of up to six people share apps, music, books, and more.

Our iOS 8 roundup has a complete rundown of all of the major new features introduced in iOS 8, and our separate features roundup showcases all of the smaller changes and additions made to the operating system throughout the beta testing period.

In addition to being released to the public today, iOS 8 will also come pre-installed on the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus, which will be available beginning on Friday, September 19.

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