iOS 8 released! (and a warning about iCloud Drive)

iOS-8-Logo-2As expected, iOS 8 has been released today! Unlike last year’s controversial upgrade that completely changed the cosmetics of your mobile devices, iOS 8 focuses more on refining the user experience and providing powerful tools that allow developers to build even more incredible apps.

Compatibility

In short, iOS 8 is compatible with all devices that were compatible with iOS 7 with the exception of the original iPhone 4.

  • iPhone 4s or later (hold down the home button and see if you get Siri; the incompatible phones will display “Voice Control”)
  • iPad 2 or later (that’s all but the original iPad which hasn’t seen a software update in years)
  • iPod Touch 5G (the one with the taller screen that came in multiple colors)
  • Apple TV 2nd generation (the hockey puck-sized one)

A word of warning about iCloud Drive

During the iOS 8 upgrade process, you will be asked if you would like to upgrade to iCloud Drive. iCloud Drive is a great new feature. It is what iCloud Storage should have been from the start. Instead of each app having an isolated folder for your documents, you can now browse your folders like any file system. Unfortunately, if you choose to upgrade to iCloud Drive you will lose access to your files on any device or Mac that is not upgraded to iOS 8 or OS X Yosemite.

  • Tap “Upgrade Now” if your Mac is running the Yosemite beta, if you don’t use a Mac, or if you don’t already have files in iCloud that you want to access from your Mac
  • Tap “Upgrade Later” if you use iCloud to store your files and you need to access them on your Mac that is not yet running Yosemite.

Once you upgrade your Mac to OS X Yosemite (which will probably be out next month and is compatible with any Mac that can run Mountain Lion or Mavericks) you can then upgrade to iCloud Drive.

Upgrading

  1. Before you upgrade, make sure you are backed up. Go to the Settings app > iCloud > Backup & Storage and make sure that the “last backup” date is acceptable.
  2. Connect to WiFi and (if your battery is low) power
  3. Visit Settings > General > Software Update

If you don’t have enough space available you can try upgrading the “old fashioned way” using a USB cable and iTunes on your computer.

After upgrading

Be sure to check for updates in the App Store. Many developers are releasing new apps today that take advantage of the powerful new features. For example, Amazon and Mint now allow you to log in using Touch ID on your iPhone 5s, 1Password (which, by the way, appears to be free at the moment) now has a Safari plugin, Yahoo Weather adds a weather widget, and third party keyboards such as Fleksy and SwiftKey are available.

Explore some of the new features on Apple’s website.

Download my app so that you get tips on how to better use iOS 8 in the coming weeks.