iOS 8, Apple’s New iPhone Operating System, Delivers Health and Fitness

Almost lost in the buzz surrounding the Apple Watch and new  iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus announcements, iOS 8 is Apple’s latest iteration of their mobile operating system. With a host of new features led by the health and fitness app, HealthKit, Apple is calling iOS 8 “the biggest iOS release ever.”

Let’s take a closer look at iOS 8 to see if it makes sense for you to update your iPad or iPhone.

iOS 8 is a Big Release

Apple got one thing right amongst their hyperbole — with install requirements ranging from 4 GB to 8 GB depending on your device, iOS 8 is definitely a big release. Since Apple attempts to automatically download the update to your mobile device, this new iPhone operating system is a bandwidth hog that might slow down your devices.

Check your iOS device’s settings to see if the update is already downloaded. If you own at least an iPad 3 or iPhone 5, iOS 8 should run fine. Some users have complained that the new OS seems sluggish on the iPhone 4 and iPad 2, so you may want to forego the update for those devices. And periodically test your speed and compare results to see where you stand.

apple_iOS8iOS 8 Features Abound

Collections of photos and videos on your iOS device are now easier to manage. New editing tools also allow interesting effects and editing functionality for your rich media content. These obviously take advantage of the enhanced displays on the new iPhone 6 smartphones.

HealthKit also garnered a lot of buzz as a new app to help you keep track of your diet and exercise activity. This is one area where an Apple Watch, and its robust collection of sensors, makes sense as a device. Of course, you already have most of those sensors on the more recent iPhone models, and the Apple Watch must tether to an iPhone 5 or newer to function.

iOS 8’s messaging feature now makes it a breeze to add voice or video to your texts — another reason to make sure your bandwidth remains robust! The same Internet speed issue applies with Family Sharing, which lets you share iTunes media content with other members of your family on their own iOS device or Mac which might have everyone uttering test my speed. Enhanced iCloud Drive functionality also can put stress on your home Internet service.

So while iOS 8 comes with some exciting new functionality, you better have the bandwidth to take full advantage of features like iCloud Drive and Family Sharing. If your household already uses a ton of Apple devices, by all means upgrade your newer iPhones and iPads to iOS 8 after checking your bandwidth.