How to Download and Install iOS 8 for Your iPhone, iPad, iPod

Apple has released the latest version of their mobile operating system for the iPhone and iPad.  It promises significant enhancements and added features.

iOS 8 will work with the iPhone 4s and newer and is already included on the new iPhone 6 devices.  Additionally it works with all iPads with the exception of the first model iPad.  So the full sized iPad 2 and newer as well as all iPad minis are compatible.

You have two ways to get it; either download it directly to your device, or use iTunes via your PC or Mac computer.

Downloading iOS to your device – iPhone or iPad

To download iOS directly to your phone or tablet, first it is recommended that you plug in your device.  If you are not plugging in, it will only download and install if your device has more than a 50% charge.  It is also highly recommend to connect your device to Wi-Fi as well since the download is large and will use a significant amount of your mobile data otherwise.

To initiate the download on the iPhone or iPad, go to Settings > General > Software Update and hit the download button. You will need at least 5.7 GB of storage of available memory to complete the download.  You can check your device’s available storage space by clicking Settings > General > Usage.

You can also install iOS via your computer. Simply plug your device into your Mac or PC and open the iTunes software (www.apple.com/itunes to download it if you don’t already have it installed).  You then will select your device and receive a prompt to check for and download updates.

Since millions of users typically rush to get these new iOS updates Apple’s servers are often busy and bogged down by the traffic. You could very well experience slow download speeds and even an error message if the traffic is too high at the time you are trying to download it.

Important things to note

If you are typically an early adopter and like having the latest technology, then getting iOS will likely be fine for you.  Bear in mind however that it is not uncommon for newly released software to have some bugs or quirks.  None are likely major, but if you would like to avoid any potential hassles, you should probably wait at least a few weeks to ensure that the software is stable and Apple has had the chance to fix any potential issues that may arise.

Additionally, it is always best to back-up your device prior to installing such a significant software update.  In the event of a catastrophic failure during the install, you will at least rest easy knowing that your data is safely backed up and can be easily reloaded.  There are many ways to perform a back-up.  The most common and most automatic and easy way is to ensure that iCloud is properly configured to back up your devices data.  You can also back up via iTunes on a computer as well.

What is new in iOS 8

In addition to an updated interface and enhancements to it’s look, there are other new features iOS adds.  We cannot possibly go into all of them, but some of the major changes include an updated photos app, changes to the way the messaging app works for text messaging, keyboard enhancements, new family sharing options, health features, and the new iCloud Drive.

For more details on major new features of iOS 8, visit www.apple.com/ios/whats-new