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

Apple Wrapup.. Apple makes magic again..

Apple's press event for the iPhone 6 concluded a few hours ago, and it was a whirlwind event, There has been SO MUCH said before this event about what it would be, could be, should be, so much speculation and rumor, and months of talk. That said, I don't want to wax on about every detail. Instead, I figure the real data, raw and concise is the best way to summarize. 

What was announced:

iPhone 6 - 4.7"


16GB for $199, 64GB for $299, 128GB $399

Space Gray, Silver, Gold

AT&T, Sprint, Verizon

T-Mobile Contract Free $649

iPhone 6 Plus - 5.5"

16GB for $299, 64GB for $399, 128GB $499

Space Gray, Silver, Gold

AT&T, Sprint, Verizon

T-Mobile Contract Free $749






Apple Watch

It’s not called the iWatch, it’s called Apple Watch. Apple is positioning its first new major product since 2010 as a fashion accessory, a communication tool, a fitness tracker, and a method of payment, among other things. As rumored, it’s going to come in a lot of different models: There are two sizes, and six different straps created by Apple itself. There’s a sports band, a leather loop that uses magnets for fastening, and a second leather model that uses a metal clasp, among others. 

"Apple Watch is the most personal device we’ve ever created," Tim Cook says. It’s a precise, customizable timepiece accurate to within 50 milliseconds. It lets you communicate directly from your wrist, monitors your health and fitness, and is designed to work seamlessly with the iPhone. It has a touchscreen that can tell the difference between a tap and a long press, which access contextual menus. Apple Watch also has health monitoring features: it measures your daily activity, including steps taken and heart rate. And it charges inductively. But it’s not a standalone device: you need an iPhone to make it work. Cook says it has lots of features that weren’t even covered in detail today, including controlling your Apple TV, serving as a viewfinder for your iPhone camera, and acting as a walkie-talkie. One feature we know nothing about: battery life. Cook didn’t say anything about it. 

That said, there is SO MUCH to this watch and what is can do, you almost can't put it all in words. The Verge has an amazing breakdown: 


The Digital Crown interface

The key to the interface is the watch’s side-mounted dial, or "crown," which you might want imagine as a reimagined iPod clickwheel. Turning the crown does things like zoom in and out of maps and scroll through messages. Pushing it returns you to the device’s home screen. The interface is designed to minimize the hassle of using a small screen – the included messaging app lets you respond using canned replies or spoken ones that you dictate, and the communication system gets its own little dedicated button under the crown. Beyond that, the interface will also differentiate between taps and hard presses, giving users more options for interaction but departing from Apple’s normal touch system.

The communication button

Prepare to feel like Dick Tracy, because Apple wants you talking on its watch. The app lets you access a list of favorite people, and you can tap on their faces to communicate with them via a phone call or a new messaging app that lets you send drawings back and forth. It’s separate from the messages app, which has some bold new features of its own: one lets you send animated emoji to your friends, and you can change the emoji’s faces by moving them with your fingers.

A true health and fitness device

Apple Watch includes a fitness app that monitors your activity throughout your day, and a workout app that lets you set specific goals for workouts like cycling and running. The apps show you summaries of your fitness and workout data and shares it with the iPhone’s Health app, where it can be accessed by third-party fitness apps.

Two sizes and a lot of bands

While Google is shopping out Android Wear to different manufacturers, Apple is trying to build a whole line of smartwatches on its own. The Apple Watch comes in two sizes, both rounded metal squares, and three finishes, including the "Apple Watch Edition" in 18-karat gold. Beyond that, it’s got six different kinds of swappable band, made of everything from leather to plastic to stainless steel. If it’s like other popular Apple products, the watch will also create a thriving market for third-party accessories, so get ready for a lot of customization.

$349, available early next year

Apple Watch goes on sale early next year for $349 at the low end. "And it is worth the wait," Cook said. Until then, we’re also waiting for any details on battery life and potential wireless connectivity, as well as a full list of prices.

Apple Pay

From Apple:

Gone are the days of searching for your wallet. The wasted moments finding the right card. The swiping and waiting. Now payments happen with a single touch.

Apple Pay will change how you pay with breakthrough contactless payment technology and unique security features built right into the devices you have with you every day. So you can use your iPhone 6 or Apple Watch to pay in an easy, secure, and private way.

From the iPhone,One touch to pay with Touch ID. Now paying in stores happens in one natural motion — there’s no need to open an app or even wake your display thanks to the innovative Near Field Communication antenna in iPhone 6. To pay, just hold your iPhone near the contactless reader with your finger on Touch ID. You don’t even have to look at the screen to know your payment information was successfully sent. A subtle vibration and beep lets you know. From the Apple Watch, Double-click to pay and go.You can pay with Apple Watch — just double-click the button below the Digital Crown and hold the face of your Apple Watch near the contactless reader. A gentle pulse and beep confirm that your payment information was sent. 

What to expect from Apple's iPhone launch..

We are rounding the corner to the Apple iPhone event, and with all the buzz surrounding the launch, details, rumors and speculation abound. While wild rumors have flown around for months, the closer we get to the actual launch, details become more clear. So we figured we would round up the things we know and are almost positive of.

- Apple will release a new iPhone, that is a given. Possibly 2 of them. While we can only speculate on the units, industry reports from manufacturers, fabricators and suppliers, pictures, patent filings, and videos provide almost concrete evidence their will be a 4.7" and a 5.5" iPhone. A Chinese leaker released photos and video that reportedly show off a fully functional 4.7-inch iPhone, and while this may just be pre-production hardware, but we feel that it is regardless the genuine product.

- Sapphire Glass: This is a given. For the home button and the camera lens at least. Apple has been using the material in these components since the iPhone 4. However, speculation that the the iPhone 6 will use sapphire for the screen appears to have been highly exaggerated according to a very well informed and historically accurate analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

- Mobile Payments: Apple has made it clear over the last year that they want in on the mobile payments business, and they steps they have been taking certainly make that abundantly clear. Apple is reportedly in talks with Amex to partner for a next generation reliable and secure mobile payments system. The fact that this partnership is with Amex suggests the seriousness of their intent, as Amex is famed for their reputation for high security, high standards, and uncompromising attention to detail. They are not the kind of card services provider that would make this sort of play without a real, tangible long term plan for making something revolutionary. In addition, Apple has established an agreement with CVS and Walgreens pharmacies, giving Apple several high volume retail partners to start their new system with.

- iWatch: The consensus is that Apple will be showing off their smartwatch at the very special event, even if nobody can agree on the street date for the wearable. The focus appears to be on using the technology as a wellness and fitness tracker; although with talk of wireless chargingflexible OLED screens, and NFC support for Apple’s potential mobile payments system, the smartwatch could be packing in a lot of technology into a small space.

Fire Phone - What you should know

Amazon held their much anticipated press conference today, and as was expected, they unveiled a Smartphone. Keeping with the "Fire" nomenclature, the phone is named the Amazon Fire Phone. Obviously not intended to be left behind in a market they are late to, Amazon went big in the specs department, stepping toe to toe with the big players in the space like the Galaxy S5 and the iPhone 5s. Packing a "13MP camera with optical image stabilization for stunning photos and 1080p HD video, a 2.2 GHz quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM for fast, fluid performance, a beautiful 4.7" HD display, dual stereo speakers, and Dolby Digital audio", Amazon obviously wanted to make sure potential users didn't feel they had to make sacrifices in power and performance if they opted to make the switch. Here is how the Fire Phone stacks up: 

It's obvious that the Fire Phone isn't a top tier phone from these specs, with the bewildering choice of Bluetooth 3.0 instead of 4.0, and the last generation Snapdragon 800 processor. But the phone is certainly no slouch in the specs department. It is obvious Amazon came to play. 

But as always with Amazon, the true point to this device is the experience, and Amazon aims to make it like no other.  

Fire Phone will work with the Amazon Appstore, but will not use any Google Apps. Running on the FireOS fork of Android that Amazon built for  the Kindle, expect a similar experience here. While it does not have access to Google Apps (NATIVELY, we installed Google Apps to our Kindle FIRE HDX the day we got it through sideloading), don't expect that to hold the experience back TOO much. Navigation in FireOS is a smooth, fluid experience. Game changing features like Firefly: a tool that lets you identify songs, shows or movies via the microphone, then queues up the content or product on Amazon's site to buy it, are certainly going to wow consumers. It's like the Google Goggles app on Android, times 100. It will even recognize phone numbers in text to let you dial or store in your contacts. In addition, Amazon brought the much beloved Mayday feature from the Kindle Fire HDX. Hitting the Mayday button summons a personal tech support concierge that connects within 15 seconds to your device, who can remotely guide you through any feature, even drawing on your screen to highlight the way. Having used this feature extensively with our HDX, we can attest to just how helpful and cool this feature is. The multiple cameras on board aid in creating an experience Amazon calls "dynamic perspective", a sort of parallax effect where images on the screen move and shift in a 3-Dimensional space in relation to where the user is looking. It is a striking effect that has to be seen to be believed. Whether this is merely a gimmicky feature of the lock screen only, or if it makes it's way into other features of the phone (aside from maps) remains to be seen. Either way, it's cool. 

Knowing that in order to compete in a space completely dominated by Apple and Google, Amazon knew they had to be prepared. Completely disassociating themselves from Google apps was a risky move. Android is well renowned for it's Google Apps, with the industry recognized best Maps and Email apps, among others. Jumping into this space without a quality replacement would be suicide in the smartphone arena. If initial impressions are to be believed, the Amazon Maps app with incorporated 3D visuals is a winner, with a competitive Email app as well. Packing in all the expected Kindle related features including X-Ray, and adding accelerometer powered scrolling and navigation, this looks to be one of Amazon's most ambitious and promising products ever.

With 32 and 64GB models selling at $199 and $299 respectively, and an off-contract purchase price of $649 for 32GB and $749 for 64GB, the Fire Phone aims to remain competitive in pricing as well, given that is double the storage most phone offer at their respective price points. Currently Fire Phone is available on AT&T only and comes with a free year of Amazon Prime. 

Can Amazon take on the mobile market and revolutionize it? That remains to be seen. But it is definitely clear with their aggressive entries into multiple product categories with the Kindle e-Readers, FireTV and now a smartphone, Amazon is certainly on "Fire".