Apple’s iOS 8 release is now official and it will be coming to iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users in mid-September. And now that it’s a official, we have a better read on which iOS 8 features will be heading where and unfortunately, it looks like iPhone 4s users and owners of some iPad models will be getting a watered down version of Apple’s new operating system.
Today at its launch event, Apple confirmed a number of new products for arrival including a new Apple Watch, two new iPhones in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, and the iOS 8 update for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. iOS 8 was originally confirmed at WWDC 2014 though Apple declined to get into specifics about its release date or the update’s final features.
Those details were confirmed today alongside the iPhone 6. The iOS 8 update will land for iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5, iPhone 4s, iPad Air, iPad mini with Retina Display, iPad 4, iPad 3, iPad 2, iPad mini, and iPod touch fifth-gen users on September 17th, five days after the iPhone 6 pre-order date and two days before the iPhone 6 release date.
It’s an exciting time for iPhone and iPad users particularly those with the iPhone 4s and iPad 2. iOS 8 is the third iOS update for the iPhone 4s and the fourth for the iPad 2. The iPad 2’s iOS 8 update actually came as a bit of surprise given that Apple historically cuts the cord after three years of iOS software support. These two updates will be arriving alongside Apple’s other iOS updates though they, like a few others, will be missing iOS 8 features when they arrive.
In addition to confirming the iOS 8 release date, Apple also confirmed some bad news. The company announced, in small print, that some iOS 8 features will be limited to certain models.
Health, a new feature that’s featured inside iOS 8, will be limited to the iPhone 4s or later and the iPod touch. However, the big blow is the fact that Apple’s exciting Continuity feature won’t be coming with support for the iPad 2, iPad 3, or the iPhone 4s. The company quietly made the announcement on its iOS 8 splash page.
Continuity features are available on iPhone 5 or later, iPad (4th generation), iPad Air, iPad mini, iPad mini with Retina display, and iPod touch (5th generation).
What this means is that the iOS 8 updates for iPhone 4s, iPad 3, and iPad 2 will be lacking one of the most exciting iOS 8 features. Continuity is actually a series of features that will tightly connect Apple’s mobile products with the Mac. For instance, Handoff allows users to start an email on the iPhone and finish it on the Mac. It also works for an assortment of Apple apps including Safari, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, Maps, Messages and more. Apple’s also opened it up to third-party app developers.
With Continuity, iPhone users will be able to answer calls on the iPad or the Mac, send texts from any device, or connect the Mac or iPad to the iPhone’s personal hotspot for quick and easy access to the internet. These are key iOS 8 features but again, they won’t be coming to the iPhone 4s, iPad 3 or the aging iPad 2.
Fortunately, these are the only omissions. It looks like everything else will be coming to the iPhone 4s, iPad 3 and iPad 2 including the changes to iMessages, Photos and more.
iOS 8 looks similar to the iOS 7 update from last year but it will be delivering a number of improvements that should improve Apple’s latest devices and help prolong the lives of Apple’s older smartphones and tablets.