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iOS 8 vs iOS 7: 8 Changes iPhone Owners Need to Know



Apple plans an iOS 8 release this fall as a free update to recent iPhones, leaving many owners wondering how iOS 8 compares to iOS 7. In this short iOS 8 vs iOS 7 comparison iPhone owners can learn what to expect this fall, and several key differences between the two versions.

One thing you will notice immediately in any iOS 8 vs iOS 7 comparison is that the new update doesn’t look much different from iOS 7. After a major change with iOS 7 and further tweaks with iOS 7.1, Apple is focusing on adding major iOS 8 features instead of changing the look again.

When the iOS 8 release date arrives this fall users with an iPhone 4S or newer can update to this new version of the iPhone software. Apple did not reveal the exact date, but should share more details at an iPhone 6 launch event this fall. It is possible that Apple plans the iOS 8 release date for September 17th, two days before the rumored iPhone 6 release date.

iOS 8 vs iOS 7 design looks very much the same.

iOS 8 vs iOS 7 design looks very much the same.

Apple released the iOS 7 with a completely new look for the iPhone in September 2013, days before the iPhone 5s. Nine months later it is running on almost 90% of iOS devices in one form or another. This software is now up to iOS 7.1.2, which includes a variety of bug fixes and performance updates to keep iPhone users happy.

New updates are exciting for many users, but there are also some users that worry what will happen to battery life, app compatibility and app crashes on iOS 8. Apple is in the middle of an iOS 8 beta that should help the company find and remove many bugs, delivering a better product to the regular user this fall. Developers also use this time to test apps and update them for iOS 8, to take advantage of new features.

This iOS 8 vs iOS 7 comparison will look at iPhone battery life, Touch ID support, the overall design, openness of iOS 8 vs iOS 7 and other important aspects

iOS 8 vs iOS 7: iPhone Comparison

Here are seven iOS 8 vs iOS 7 comparisons that iPhone owners need to know about the free iOS 8 update that will arrive this fall. The iOS 8 beta is not finished, so things may still change, but these features and details will likely remain very similar to the current state.

Battery Life

Comparing iOS 8 vs iOS 7 battery life stats and tools, it is clear that the iOS 8 iPhone update is one that users will enjoy, especially if they always run out of battery life.

iOS 8 vs iOS 7 battery life tools.

iOS 8 vs iOS 7 battery life tools.

In the iOS 8 vs iOS 7 screenshot comparison above you see that not only is battery usage above storage usage, but Apple also shows what apps are using the most battery life. In iOS 8 users can see how much battery life an app used for the last 24 hours, and it even breaks out when apps are using power in the background.

This will make it easier to figure out why you have bad iPhone battery life in iOS 8, which could lead to better battery usage by apps as users complain or delete poor performing apps

Touch ID

In iOS 7 Touch ID unlocks the iPhone and can be used to make App Store purchases on the iPhone, but expect a lot more in iOS 8. As these two videos show, iOS 8 will let users login to an app with Touch ID, and thanks to extensions you can also use it to login to a website in Safari using a secure password stored in another app.

And logging in to Amazon with Touch ID.

This is much better than anything iOS 7 offers, and another sign that Touch ID is on the way to the iPhone 6 and new iPads.

Better Sharing

It’s hard to even call sharing a valid iOS 8 vs iOS 7 comparison, considering how much Apple changed in the iOS 8 update. Sharing in iOS 7 is limited to a small number of apps that Apple built-in, but in iOS 8 developers can add in support to the sharing options, like the Touch ID app above did, and much more.

Calls, texts and your files are easier to access in iOS 8.

Calls, texts and your files are easier to access in iOS 8.

With iOS 8 not only do apps gain a new position on this sharing screen, but there is a dramatic increase in sharing between your iPhone, iPad and Mac. With iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite Apple includes Continuity, which is a fancy name for being able to take calls on your Mac or iPad, answer text messages from your Mac or iPad and easily open the last app or document used on your iPhone.

When you get a phone call there is a notification on Mac and iPad with the call, turning your device into a speakerphone for the iPhone. Text messages show up in the Messages app when the two devices are close and when you switch devices your document can follow you fast.

It’s also easier to use the iPhone as a personal hotspot when it is near your Mac, without diving into settings.

iOS 8 is Open

Users will notice that iOS 8 vs iOS 7 feature comparisons reveal a more open iOS coming this year. In iOS 7 users can only use Apple’s keyboard for all apps, and are limited to a single app if they want to use a new keyboard.

iOS 8 is more open, including third-party keyboards.

iOS 8 is more open, including third-party keyboards.

In iOS 8 third-party keyboards are an option that allow users to pick the keyboard they love to use, and make it the default across all apps. On iOS 7 this was only an option as an iOS 7 Cydia tweak with the iOS 7 jailbreak.

Family Sharing Apps & Movies

Forget buying the same app for each family member or figuring out which account you need to buy a movie on so that each device in your house can watch it. iOS 8 includes Family Sharing which makes it possible to share apps, music and movies across the iPhones in your house. You can also get a notification if a child iPhone user wants to make a purchase and approve or decline the purchase with a notification on your iPhone.

Share your apps, music and movies in iOS 8 without sharing an account.

Share your apps, music and movies in iOS 8 without sharing an account.


Again there is no comparison between iOS 8 vs iOS 7 when it comes to Family Sharing. Apple does not let users share apps in iOS 7, which led to many people sharing an Apple ID, which complicates other services like FaceTime, iMessage and Find my Friends.

Better iCloud Support

iCloud is an easy way to backup your photos and your iPhone, but it is incomplete in iOS 7. With iOS 8 Apple essentially turns it into a iOS specific Dropbox and offers better deals on storage so you can actually use it to backup your iPhone, even if you use a lot of space.

iCloud is easier to use in iOS 8.

iCloud is easier to use in iOS 8.

When you make an edit on a document stored in iCloud it is shared across all devices, and you can access it form the iCloud Drive on your devices.

Photos in iOS 8 vs iOS 7 offer a better experience as well. In iOS 7 Photo Stream stores 1,000 photos, but in iOS 8 iCloud Photo Library offers access to all of your photos, including every edit and album. The Photos app also now supports better editing tools to make your photos stand out.

Key to a Healthier You

Health features vary greatly in iOS 8 vs iOS 7. In the current iOS 7 release the iPhone 5s tracks a lot of movement information that it can share with other apps.  This is a nice way to monitor your health without any accessories. IOS 7 also supports healthy accessories that run with their own apps.

In iOS 8 users get a central spot to track health.

In iOS 8 users get a central spot to track health.

In iOS 8 Apple includes the Health app and a tool for developers to connect their apps and accessories into a central space for your health data. In the beta this tracks steps, distance and caffeine intake, but the full release will support much, much more. This will connect to apps and accessories, so you may still need another app on your device, but you will have a central place to see your health data in iOS 8.

Messages You’ll Love

The iOS 8 vs iOS 7 messages app comparison is night and day. In iOS 8 it is now easier to send a photo and also to see where a friend is. If they share data with you through Find my friends you can tap on details in a message and see their location. It is also possible to share your location to make it easier for friends to meet up.

Comparing iOS 8 vs iOS 7 messaging apps is no contest. iOS 8 offers richer features.

Comparing iOS 8 vs iOS 7 messaging apps is no contest. iOS 8 offers richer features.

When you want to send a photo you see your last two or three photos without leaving the message screen, and can also scroll to see more. If you Tap and hold the photo icon you can record a video message or take a quick selfie. On the right is an icon to record and send a voice message.

This is a big change from iOS 7, which does not support fast photos, videos or audio messages inside iMessage.



  1. drjwr

    07/09/2014 at 12:48 pm

    The one major improvement to messaging would be appending documents, appointments, and contacts — any and all of these — while already texting, thus moving texting out of the selfie world and into the work world. Also, adding a hyper-link from the native calendar back to a given contact, which numerous third-party calendar apps offer, would also be a big work help.

  2. yunikmaha

    07/09/2014 at 8:56 pm

    how can i access my photos stored in icloud photo library from my mac with Yosemite and older mac without Yosemite. can any one answer me?

    • Peter

      07/12/2014 at 11:16 am

      You need to download iPhoto.

  3. Joe

    07/09/2014 at 9:25 pm

    And icons designed by five year olds still remain a feature, nice.

  4. dmnwallace88

    07/10/2014 at 12:11 am

    @Yunikmaha use Google drive…. It’s better anyway.

  5. Andrea

    07/24/2014 at 12:03 pm

    Changes that are “pushed” to my phone occur frequently. Last night, two of my icons got moved (without my action or knowledge) from the main icon screen into a Utilities folder – my Clock and my Messages icons. I use both regularly and find that having them one level down in the Utilities folder, makes using them more cumbersome. How can I move them out of the folder and return them to the main screen? Is there a setting that will keep changes from being “pushed” to my phone?

  6. Applebiter

    09/01/2014 at 7:13 am

    iOS 8 is open? Ya must be jokin.

  7. berat

    09/14/2014 at 2:59 am

    lol the iphone 4s was an improvement all i see improved is the scan function and the biggers screen and saphire glass.. but let me tell you this :P

    that scanner for the index or thumb w.e thats how they track you :P how easy ..:P apple is quite dumb and the saphire must be really thin larger screen is nice tho :P but hard to put in your pocket

  8. Harold

    09/26/2014 at 11:35 pm

    Andrea, it sounds like you accidentally created the utilities folder yourself. You can create folders by dragging one icon over the other. The default name of the folder will be determined by the category of the icon you are dragging. Since you said they were on your main screen and that you use them often I think this is most likely what happened. To delete folders, just drag the icon that’s in the folder to the bottom of the folder. When you drag it below the bottom border, it will minimize the folder and allow you to place it back on the main (or any other) screen. Once you drag all icons out of a folder, it will also move the last icon out of that folder and place it back on the previous screen. It then deletes the folder. (Since it won’t let you have a folder with zero or even one icon), it needs two or more to constitute a folder.
    I know your message was a few months ago but I hope this helps to either fix it, or at least understand it.

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