Now that iOS8 is available, the questions arise “Is it worth it?” and “Should I upgrade?” Many people tend to update blindly whenever there are any updates available (this one is big at 1.1 GB) while others like to wait to see what issues arise and have the first round of bug fixes addressed beforehand.

Apple is claiming hundreds of new features though many of them will be hidden under the hood and not immediately apparent. Visually it feels the same as iOS7 though there are many improvements for usability. Here is a quick list:

  • Messages better group messaging options and do not disturb support
  • Photos now searching, editing tools, and better album organization
  • QuickType keyboard and ability to swap out look and feel of the keyboard like on Android
  • The much advertised Health app with a bunch of health and fitness data
  • Camera features with time-lapse, timer, and exposure adjustment
  • iCloud Drive to improve file sharing
  • Family Sharing to better manage multiple devices and share purchases
  • Finally the ability to see your inbox when working on a draft e-mail
  • Improved Siri reliability and responsiveness, and ability to read out contents of a screen
39 Comments
  1. Interesting, Apple is finally catching up with Samsung Galaxy. I still think it needs a lot more if it wants to beat android though. But the features look nice, better options for group messages would be one, sometimes you find annoying getting messages, but for some reason you don’t want to leave the group. Also one of the main iPhone features, Siri, hopefully the improvements were big.

  2. Hmmm, the updates don’t seem that great, but hey, they’re somewhat essential. Apple needs to make some serious breakthroughs or something to sell their products to happy consumers, like file sharing through whatsapp or bluetooth. Sometimes it’s frustrating and inconvenient that the most rudimentry feature, which is available on the way cheaper phones in the market, but are not available on the critically acclaimed iPhone.

  3. I have an iphone 5. I’m probably going to update the software in a few days but I’m wondering if this update will slow mine down any. I’m happy to keep the current OS if the 8 is really designed to work better on the 5S and 6. I guess I’ll see. The new features look like they will be fun to play around with.

    • I’ve also notices performance issues when people upgrade to the latest iOS versions using older iPhone models. Some people go as far as saying its a “marketing scheme” to push people to buy the latest iPhone. I don’t use an iPhone myself but I started noticing this when my girlfriend’s upgraded her 4s’s OS and it slowed down and hanged a lot. This was around the time the iPhone 5 was released, she eventually gave up and upgraded to the 5s.

      • My uncle also had a lot of problems trying to upgrade his iPad 2 from iOS 4 to iOS 5 many years ago. This was supposedly due to many software revamps which required a factory reset of the device. In the end, my uncle reset his data and lost all of his App Store purchases, but was still unable to upgrade his iOS. Fortunately, I told him to save a backup on his iTunes before he performed his reset.

        His next tablet was a Samsung.

  4. Taking into account these and other features, it seems that the answer to the question in the post’s title is obvious. I’m particularly excited about the Health app and the camera improvements.
    My only recommendation would be to wait until you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network to download the upgrade (I know, it’s hard ;)).

  5. iOS 8 is a nice refreshing update to iDevices. Not as new styled as iOS 7, but I believe that is a good thing because users cannot take change at too rapid of a pace. I agree that Apple is playing a catch up game with other competitors. They also seem to be straying away from the closed ecosystem that they pioneered ages ago, with the introduction of a custom keyboard and other expansive features. While it may not be all that we wanted, iOS 8 is a nice addition to the OS’s lineup.

  6. I refuse to upgrade right now because I know that there will be a log of bugs with the new update. I also do not want to loose my jailbreak. I think that I will wait for a jailbreak to be released before I think about updating my software.

  7. I cannot update my old iPhone 4S because I cannot find 4.5GB free space (it’s only a 16GB), but I do have the iPhone 6 on order and am looking forward to the improved communication features. I see a lot of people complaining about the text updates, but everyone always complains at first, I will have to see for myself.

  8. Thanks for the quick, condensed features list. Unfortunately I may skip this update since the 4s is the last supported device, I can only assume it’s going to run rather slow on my device. I had to cut corners just to have 7.1.2 run smooth. Disabling transparency and motion effects lets it run like a charm, but I feel like I’m missing out on some of 7’s graphical features. May just wait on iOS 8 until I upgrade to a 6/5s.

  9. Along with new iOS versions come hoax-“features”. The last one I can remember was that your phone became waterproof and a bunch of people tested it out and ruined their phones. Right now one is going around that you can microwave your iPhone to charge it quickly, which will ruin your phone and might hurt your microwave. So be wary, and never trust anything that’s not from a reputable source!

  10. I tend to wait for it to actually be stable. If you’re an average consumer there’s really no point in updating immediately not unless you’re planning on doing a review. It’s better to wait for the bugs to surface and once it’s all fixed then it’s time to update.

    • Personally I’m in the Samsung Galaxy “club.” I have considered switching to the iPhone due to all the ‘hype’ that stirs up around a new release. However, the rave versus the stability is not a compromise I’ve been willing to make. I have to agree with you though, once they actually have a stable release it only makes sense for people to update then. People would rather give reviews: to social media, family, and friends!

      • Yeah but it’s going to be at the expense of your inconvenience minor it may seem. I wouldn’t want to deal some sort of bug and had to wait for a fix for a few weeks or months. If you’re planning on switching to the iPhone be sure to get used to the OS. And I don’t think it’s really good to switch just because of the hype.

        • I agree with you. Unless you’re really want to update soon it’s practically unsure to just go in and update without having some prior knowledge of what you’re about to receive.

          I usually wait for a month or a few weeks to pass on before I do software upgrade just to make sure that all the bugs are fixed so I don’t have to worry about it.

  11. I don’t see too many differences from iOS 7, but according to my brother it’s worth the download cost for the extra features. Then again I’m not an iPhone owner, so many someone who does have one can shed some light on the situation for me.

  12. Not for now I guess, because my 4s 8 Gb just dont have the 5+ GB thats needed for the update. But I am actually interested with this update since it looks like Apple has been incorporating some 3rd party apps into it home grown apps.

    My two concern here, especially for the messaging app is, how would it be if you are messaging someone wothout the iphone. Would it still be compatible? And would this mean a lot more update since the new apps will have more features, thus more bugs to fix and others.

    Anyway, I still have to wait until I have enough space and the new ios is already stable. I never updated my ios7, so I think Ill be much more excited with the release of this new one.

    • So I resorted to upgrading my Ipad just to see if it worked fine than my 4s that has low space. Right now it is still working fine and haven’t experience any issues as of yet since I upgraded on the 8.0.2 already. But well, I’m not really sure since I only used for surfing the internet. ))

  13. I really like iOS 8 but I’m only running it on one of my two devices currently. Unfortunately (but maybe fortunately) there are still valuable things in a jailbroken iOS that are not yet implemented in standard iOS, so I reserve a device for being jailbroken for convenience. But the iOS 8 software is very good for what it is, and it is worth considering an update for!

  14. I don’t really think I’ll be upgrading to iOS 8. I’m personally jailbroken and already have a load of the features which are now included in this version of iOS, also, it seems that iOS 7 is actually faster. I’ll wait and see 🙂

  15. Being an Android user I do like it when Apple steps up their game, it is good for competition and pushes the industry ahead. I do think that Apple still needs to look and listen more to what is occurring in the jailbreak arena, there is so much information there regarding what the users really want and would consider a valuable addition to iOS proper. Apple is still making its fortunes, but it is living on a smaller and smaller percentage of smartphone users worldwide and that is not good for anyone.

    • I’m a fellow Android user, and I agree with you about Apple stepping it up. Half of me wishes Android had more Siri-like functionality, but I’m also somewhat creeped out by the whole thing. Already Google Now seems to be pushing it, giving me unrequested updates about sites I’ve visited…

      In any case, I do wonder what would happen if Apple looked at the jailbreak scene. On the one hand they’d be able to offer some very popular features, but on the other I think it’d hurt their image. They’ve taken a very strict stance on jailbreaking, and bringing in features from jailbroken devices might be seen as them backing off.

      Of course, there are some really neat features available to jailbroken devices that Apple couldn’t implement without some changes to their whole model. The big one, the ability to install unauthorized applications, comes to mind right off the bat. Apple have tried to make a name for themselves as only offering secure applications, and they’ve tried to make the whole iDevice arena a sort of walled garden. For them to back off on that, they’d have to change their entire operation, from app publishing and validating, to their marketing.

  16. I found it a little unsettling that the update was a big 1.1 gb. I am short on space and it caused a small headache. It was time to transfer my pictures into my computer. I have still not updated, but the fitness feature is what really gets my attention. I’ll be testing this out soon enough.

  17. Apple claims that this is the biggest update since the app store, but I just don’t see it nor feel it. Sure, there is some new features, but they simply just aren’t big enough to spark my interest. As for the actual hardware (Iphone 6 and 6+), there is not a whole lot to be super excited about there either. Sure the screen is bigger, but Samsung has been doing that for years. And of course the phone is faster than the 5s, that is to be expected. Overall I’d say as a whole the new launches are mediocre.

  18. I commented a few days ago about this update slowing my phone (I have a iphone 5) down. I upgraded last night and all seems to be well. Hopefully this information can help someone else.

    • That’s interesting to hear. Everyone I know who have installed iOS8 on anything less than in iPhone 6 are experiencing slow issues. This doesn’t surprise me as Apple always disregard their older models, eventually not supporting them at all with updates.

  19. I think it’s worth upgrading to iOS8. First of all, as with any first release, there are going to be problems, but those are usually not that kind of problems that break the whole system, the whole OS. They are minor formatting, or displaying or even functioning errors, but you can live even with those there for a week or two until the fixes are out. So, my advice is to upgrade if you have the required amount of space.

  20. I tend to wait out first. I don’t want to immediately update to the latest version without having to hear from reviewers first. What if the release was flawed and I have to compromise my phone because of a faulty update right? Better late and safe than early and sorry.

    • My friend is doing the say, in my opinion is the wisest thing to do! I don’t own an apple device, but if I did I’d surely wait, just like my friend is waiting to update his iPhone 5! It’s just you never know what you are installing exactly until you wait for a bit to see what flaws are found. What if there is a critical flaw that can put your privacy in danger? I’ve always said better be safe than sorry!

      • That’s exactly my concern. Not unless the update is critical and the last version is so flawed that immediate update is necessary. I tend to wait it out until every is in the green light then I update.

  21. The size of the update was a bit different from previous ones. Usually, Apple software updates in small chunks and not every single month or biweekly. We’d learn that there are new updates. The thing with the iOS 8 update is that there are extra apps that are part of the bundle, yet we still had to download them from the app store. If you already have a list of applications from the previous updates, you would know what I mean. Each app requires updating that should synch well with the current operating system. The new iOS 8 (now iOS 8.2) has many improvements that we just have to discover ourselves.

  22. I’ve upgraded to Ios 8 on my iPad mini, and I can only state that I am disappointed. Upgrading to iOS 8 seems to have caused significant performance issues and I now suffer from frequent pauses and freezing issues, I find that the new keyboard is unsatisfactory and the ‘Health’ app is unnecessary.

  23. This feature set seems pretty good for a new iOS update. Although it’s sad to see that Android users won’t be able to have the exclusivity of SwiftKey and swappable keyboards. The only downside to upgrading is that iOS 8 is currently having bugs right now.

  24. This is good news but, I would wait a little longer as bugs can occur and could mess up my iPhone.

  25. My friend owns an iPhone and hasn’t upgraded yet, he is a tech savvy person, so I guess he hasn’t upgraded it for the same reasons you listed, David. But I can tell all those new features do sound great 🙂 I’m sure they’ll come in handy for all those people owning an Apple device. Wish they there that thorough with Android devices!

  26. The iOS 8 has so much catching up to do to Android OS that it’s not even funny. I mean those new features hardly feel like anything new or a big deal at all. The only advice I would lend users of Apple products is that if it works better then upgrade but if it has worse performance, stay with the version you have.

  27. I don’t like making big upgrades like this on my existing computer. It always manages to slow my computer down. And I hate that. I would rather just buy a new computer that already has the new program added plus the extra space. I already have to upload a ton of extra software because of my business. But anyway, this upgrade does look good. I can’t wait to see the reviews a few months from now.

  28. I’d love to update but I don’t think my phone would handle it very well.

    I updated my old macbook to Yosemite and it literally ruined the computer. I had to spend multiple days trying to downgrade to an earlier OS, it was a real pain.

    I do not want to go through that with my phone. So I’m just staying on my current OS. 🙂

  29. I usually wait two to three weeks before upgrading my software. I go on forums first and try to find out if there are bugs and stuff. You never know if one one these updates might brick your phone accidentally. I’m sure Apple would help you if that were the case,but it would all be such a hassle and I’d rather avoid the whole thing entirely.

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