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Everything you need to know about iOS 8, from must-have apps to how to free space to download it

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With the new iPhone 6 release comes a new iOS (i.e. Apple's mobile operating system) which is available as of last night. And you're going to get it because, dear reader, there are some fancy new apps for your phone that you're going to want to know about.

However, there is one rather large caveat, in that you need at least 5.8GB of space on your phone to download it. While all this storage won't actually be used, it does mean you'll need to do a rather significant clear out (or back up) before you can install iOS 8. So before we even tell you what kind of new sorcery you need to be installing on your mobile device, here's a quick guide on how to upgrade (fairly) painlessly.

  • Is your device compatible? If you have an iPhone 4s or newer model you can upgrade. As for iPads you need a 2 model or newer
  • Backup your data. Do this using iCloud or on iTunes
  • Now you've backed up, delete images and apps you don't need to make room for the new iOS. You will be able to reinstall apps from the iCloud or iTunes once you've installed it. However, note that the data stored on the apps will not be retrievable
  • Install the new iOS 8 by plugging in your device. Simply go to Settings > General > Software Update to upgrade

You can see a longer guide on how to do this here

Now onto the best things about iOS 8:

Swiftkey

The new operating device does actually give you a new keyboard, which auto-predicts words, but it also allows you to install dowloaded keyboards. Free app SwiftKey learns from you and stores that information to help you type faster and more intelligently. There's also the flow function, which allows you to swipe instead of type your letters, which is great if you've only got only hand free. An all-round way to make your life quicker and smarter.

Get it here.

Email

With the new iOS comes a new way of using email. While that sounds as revolutionary as white bread, the truth is that it totally is. For example, when emailing, you can now minimize the email like a tab so you can refer back to other emails mid way through. Another function means your phone recognises when dates are included in an email so it will prompt you to add it to your calendar. It also offers several 'gestures' which allows you to manage your inbox more effectively, with 'more', 'flag' and 'trash' as options and you can also add a notification alert when an important email is responded to.

iBooks

While iBooks has been around for some time, this is the first time it will automatically be installed with an iOS. And with that means free books, such as David Nicholls' hilarious Starter For Ten. Hurrah! A new library at your fingertips!

Head to iTunes to see what you can be reading here

The VSCO photography app

While it's not new to iOS 8, our favourite photography app has issued a release for the new operating system. Remarkably, the VSCO photographer app is free despite the fact it offers so much in the way of making your photos look professional, even when they're not. It has advanced shutter speed options, better camera controls, a sharper focus tool, white balance, and also exposure composition. So what are you waiting for? Get snapping.

Get it here

MyScript Stack

Instead of using a keyboard at all, this app allows you to write with your own hands and then converts them into text. Ideal for writing notes when you're on the go, or if you just like this functionality.

Get it here.

Sort out your battery life

If there's one thing that at times destroys our love for the iPhone, it's the battery issue. And by that we mean it has a habit of running out ridiculously fast. Thankfully, with the new system Apple has added a new feature to give us a better understanding of where all our battery power is going. The new battery usage facility offers us to chance to see which apps are eating away at our power, so you can turn them off. To use it, head to your settings icon, then go to General, then Usage and finally to Battery Usage. This is probably the best thing to happen to iPhone since the actual iPhone was created.

Weather

Being British, we couldn't resist the chance to tell you about the latest meteorological app. If not to stop us from ruining our freshly blow dried hair, it's something extra for us to talk about weather-wise at dinner parties. Allow us to introduce to you the new and improved weather app from Yahoo. Not only is it more accurate than the standard Apple weather one, it also displays a thumbnail of the weather in your current location, which we think is pretty awesome, actually.

Get it here

The built-in Healthkit app

Despite the fact the the new Healthkit app in Apple's iOS 8 isn't fully functioning yet due to a bug, there are some great things coming on this app which is installed as standard with iOS 8. Most importantly, you can store all your allergy and preexisting health problems into the phone to create a medical ID. "So what?", we hear you cry, "what happens if you've had an accident/fallen ill and someone can't get into my phone to see it". Ah ha, well, the clever thing about this app is that you can set it, by ensuring the 'Show When Locked' function is activated, so that in an emergency someone can access that vital information for you, without having to guess your passcode. Basically, it could save your life.

HealthKit will collect health data from devices like watches, fitbits, apps and scales and combine the information in one place.

Read more about it here

Hipmunk

We're fans of travelling wisely and love finding deals on our favourite destinations. However, we hate having to trawl through so many websites, just to find the most economical flights and hotel offers. Thankfully, there's an app for that, which is called Hipmunk. Get it now, you won't regret it.

Hipmunk is on iTunes here

Continuity

Continuity is a new in-built app which allows you to connect all your Apple products together. For example, you can start writing an email on your iPhone and finish it on your Mac. Or browse the web on your Mac and continue from the same link on your iPad - all you need to do is ensure your devices are logged into the same iCloud account. You can also use Handoff with all the other apps that come standard with you iPhone.

Read more about it here

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