The latest version of Apple’s iOS operating system, the iOS 8, has finally been released for free to iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users. We’re assured by Apple that this latest iOS update is a big step up from iOS 7.
This update is accessible through an over-the-air update available by going to Settings-General-Software Update. If you’ve got a restricted or limited data plan and you can’t download it wireless, get the update by connecting the phone to the newest version of iTunes.
In June we saw the first public reveal of the iOS 8 at Apple’s WWDC (Worldwide Developer Conference), and it was showing a much-improved Notification Center.
iOS 8 has a few new functions and features that tie to your location; aside from the security patches. It also has improved privacy settings allowing users to control how long their data is stored, including message expiry features and new settings for browsing.
iOS Vulnerabilities Have Been Patched
Several WebKit bugs, a series of kernel flaws, and a pair of vulnerabilities which permitted users to install apps from outside the App Store have all been patched in this newest release. The biggest flaw in the iOS 8 which has been patched is the issue with the way 802.1x was implemented by the Operating System. This flaw, in some cases, allowed attackers to steal the user’s WiFi credentials.
Also patched were the two app-installation vulnerabilities: both of these allowed a local attacker to install apps that were unverified, with both being reported by the evad3ers team. The evad3ers are a team of hackers who release iPhone jailbreaks. It also patches a path traversal issue and a race condition flaw.
“A path traversal issue existed in App Installation. A local attacker could have re-targeted code signature validation to a bundle different from the one being installed and cause installation of an unverified app. This issue was addressed by detecting and preventing path traversal when determining which code signature to verify,” the Apple advisory says.
New iOS Functions and Features
iOS 8 comes with major changes to the functionality of the devices that support it. HealthKit has been introduced with this latest version: this is a hub where third-party fitness apps are able to access your health information. There’s also Family Sharing, allowing you to share calendar information, share iTunes purchases, and share messages with a group.
With iOS 8 we now have improved Notification Center widgets, the ability to install third-party keyboards like Swype, and a Spotlight search function which allows you to search inside apps, among other features. You’ll begin to notice that many of your own favorite apps will offer features that are specific for iOS 8, such as being able to directly interact with other apps. Have a look at the presentation:
The update pack for iOS 8 needs a staggering 5.7 GB of free space for installation on the iPhone and 6.9 on the iPad: this means that you may have to delete some games in order to provide space for this new update.
This latest Operating System supports iPad 2 tablets and later, iPhone 4s handsets and later, iPad Air, 5th-generation iPod touch devices, iPad mini, plus iPad mini with Retina Display.
We believe the next version of OS X will be released next month, then iOS 8 will permit you to sync files, phone calls, and SMS messages between Macs and iOS 8 devices.