Everything You Need to Know About iOS 8

iPhone 5s With iOS 8
Apple, Inc.

Apple introduced hundreds of great new features in iOS 8, like Handoff and iCloud Drive, improvements to the iOS's interface, and important built-in apps like Health. 

Another significant improvement over earlier versions of the OS involved device support. In the past, when a new version of the iOS was released, some older iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch models were blocked from using some advanced features of that version of the iOS. With iOS 8, any device that could run iOS 8 could use all of its features.

iOS 8 Compatible Apple Devices

iPhone iPod touch iPad
iPhone 6 Plus 6th Generation iPod touch iPad Air 2
iPhone 6 5th Generation iPod touch iPad Air
iPhone 5S   4th Generation iPad
iPhone 5C   3rd Generation iPad
iPhone 5   iPad 2
iPhone 4S   iPad Mini 3
    iPad Mini 2
    iPad Mini

Problems With the iOS 8.0.1 Update 

The iOS 8.0.1 update had serious problems. In fact, Apple withdrew it the day it was released. It made this move after reports that the update caused problems with the 4G cellular internet connection and the Touch ID fingerprint scanner on the then-new iPhone 6 series. Apple fixed the bugs and released iOS 8.0.2, which delivered the same improved features as 8.0.1, the next day.

Key iOS 8 Features

After the major interface and feature changes introduced in iOS 7, iOS 8 wasn't so dramatic a change. It used basically the same interface but also delivered some valuable improvements to the OS and the pre-loaded apps. Important new iOS 8 features include:

What If Your Device Isn't iOS 8 Compatible?

If your device isn't in the table above list, it can't run iOS 8 (in some cases, that's because it can only run newer versions). That isn't entirely bad news. Having the latest and greatest features is always best, but many older devices can run iOS 7, which is a very good operating system.

Check out our full list of iOS 7-compatible devices and iOS 7 features.

If your device can't run iOS 8, it might be time to consider upgrading to a new phone. Not only will you be able to run the latest OS, but you'll also get a ton of valuable new features like a faster processor, longer battery life, and an improved camera.

Not sure what new iPhone to get? We've got tips in How to Pick the Best iPhone for You.

Later iOS 8 Releases

Apple released 10 updates to iOS 8. All of those releases were compatible with all devices in the table above. For an overview of and details on the iOS's full release history, check out iPhone Firmware and iOS History.

iOS 8 Release History

  • iOS 8.4.1 release: Aug. 13, 2015
  • iOS 8.4 release: June 30, 2015
  • iOS 8.3 release: April 8, 2015
  • iOS 8.2 release: March 2, 2015
  • iOS 8.1.3 release: Jan. 27, 2015
  • iOS 8.1.2 release: Dec. 9, 2014
  • iOS 8.1.1 release: Nov. 17, 2014
  • iOS 8.1 release: Oct. 20, 2014
  • iOS 8.0.2 release: Sept. 25, 2014
  • iOS 8.0.1 release: Sept. 24, 2014 (withdrawn due to bugs)
  • iOS 8 release: Sept. 17, 2014

iOS 9 was released Sept. 16, 2015.