iOS 8 Release Prep Continues as Apple Fine Tunes Update

Apple shared a new version of the iOS 8 beta with a collection of new features and changes as work continues towards an iOS 8 release date this fall.

Apple announced iOS 8 in June and we are now on iOS 8 beta 5, as Apple continues work towards the iOS 8 release date with small changes and bug fixes for the iOS 8 beta that developers are using to test apps and to help Apple identify any remaining iOS 8 problems ahead of the official release when it will land on millions of iPhones and iPads.

Apple normally releases a new iOS 8 beta on Tuesdays, but with the iOS 8 beta 5 Apple pushed it out early on Monday afternoon, offering a new version to registered developers and users who paid to register their UDID to try iOS 8 early as a fake developer.

If you are a registered developer the iOS 8 beta 5 download links are live in the Developer Center and if you need to look for alternate iOS 8 beta 5 download links, IMZDL is a good place to start.

The iOS 8 beta 5 downloads reveal fine tuning of new features before the iOS 8 release date.

The iOS 8 beta 5 downloads reveal fine tuning of new features before the iOS 8 release date.

The iOS 8 release date is not confirmed for a specific date, but it will likely arrive near the iPhone 6 release date in late September. Apple traditionally delivers a new version of iOS two days before a new iPhone release. The iPhone 6 will run iOS 8 when it arrives on store shelves.

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As we approach the iOS 8 release date Apple will continue to make small changes to the iOS 8 beta, but the closer we get the smaller those changes will be. In iOS 8 beta 5 users get a few small changes that line up with new features we will see in full this fall. MacRumors rounds up several of these new features.

  • SMS Relay Pop Up – iOS 8 now asks users if they want to share their text messages with a Mac running OS X Yosemite so that they can send messages from the Mac.
  • Health Features – The Health app in IOS 8 can now track Spirometry data, which is a fancy way of saying it can monitor lung functions like volume and flow of air.
  • iOS 8 Photos Prep for iCloud Photo – The iOS 8 Photos app shows when it was last updated and there are now iCloud Photo Settings to keep the originals or optimize those on the iPhone for better storage. iCloud Photo is a new service from Apple that can keep all of your photos online.
  • iOS 8 Keyboard Changes – The new iOS 8 keyboard now offers a quick toggle for predictive text, hidden behind a long press of the iOS 8 emoji key.
  • iOS 8 WiFi Calling – On T-Mobile iPhone users will be able to make WiFi calls using the iPhone, which can deliver better sounding calls in poor coverage and calls where no T-Mobile coverage is.

In the iOS 8 beta 5 Apple also adds new iCloud icons and moves Wallpaper settings around as it fine tunes small visual changes in the software. Previous iOS 8 betas added new Voice Typing options as shown in the video below.

As part of the iOS 8 8 release preparation Apple delivered iTunes 11.3, which unlocks iTunes HD movie extras which will come to the iPhone and iPad with iOS 8, so users don’t need to plug-in to get them.

We will likely see iOS 8 beta 6 in the coming weeks, as Apple pushes to finish for the iOS 8 release date. The iOS 8 beta 6 could be the Gold Master version. This represents a finished version of iOS 8 that will not likely change ahead of a public iOS 8 release date. A report on 9to5Mac claims this could arrive in late August or early September. It also outlines Apple’s plan to shift attention to iOS 8.1 which could bring dual-screen multitasking to the iPad.

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Although iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite share some features, the iOS 8 release date is not tied to the OS X Yosemite release according to reports.

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