iOS 8 download and install: what you need to know | BGR

You’ve seen it, heard about it, and heck- you’ve probably checked out a developer preview if you’re anything like me. But today, iOS 8 hits the public. So what do you need to know? I’m glad you’re reading along!

First things first: back up the iPhone to a Mac or PC, or by using iCloud, before installing iOS 8. In case someone else will be using the iOS 8 device after it’s updated, users should perform a clean iOS 8 install rather than restoring a backup on the handset (and that’s best done using a computer). Once Apple opens up iOS 8 downloads, iOS device users have two options to update their devices: either perform the update directly on the device (in which case they need to make sure they have enough storage on the iPhone, iPad or iPod touch to download and install iOS 8), or via iTunes, after hooking the device up to a Mac or PC.

In case you’ve been living under a rock, here’s what you can look forward to once you’re back up and running.

Widgets! Apple has historically kept a very tight leash on developers, limiting access to key iOS features but has finally found ways to let developers spread their wings a bit, and one way they can do that is with widgets. The bad news, however, is that widgets are confined to the Today screen in Notification Center, thus ensuring battery drain and clutter are kept to an absolute minimum. (baby steps, right?)

Extensions. In iOS 8, Apple has added support for several different types of extensions. Apps will be able to share data (FB, Twitter, etc.), but you’ll also be able to edit photos in 3rd party programs. Custom keyboard and third-party storage are also in the mix

Interactive Notifications. When notification center came along, it was a step in the right direction. Now you can act on these messages. Interactive notifications are like little temporary widgets. For example, when a new iMessage or text message notification appears at the top of the display, users can swipe downward to open a small reply window at the top of the screen.

QuickType Keyboard. Apple’s new QuickType keyboard finally brings in-built word prediction to iOS, which will definitely help offset Apple’s auto-correct.

Continuity. Finally,  iPad and Mac carriers will delight in the tighter integration between these devices and their iPhone. Answering calls on your laptop and continuing your edits on a document are now a reality. You can also keep watching that video from one device to another. Apple would love me to remind you at this point that you can use their new watch as a remote to do so.

So? Give it a shot and let me know what you think? I’ve only spent minutes with it on an iPhone, but hours on an iPad so I’ve got my opinions. Want a more in-depth review of iOS8? Click HERE.

iOS 8 download and install: what you need to know | BGR.