Apple on Tuesday announced that the next version of its mobile operating system will officially launch on September 17th, just ahead of the company’s new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus handsets.
Speaking at today’s special event, held at Cupertino’s Flint Center for the Performing Arts, vice president Phil Schiller showcased some of iOS 8’s new tricks, including support for a new landscape mode on the company’s iPhone Plus, as well as a new one-handed mode to help users better interact with the larger screens that will make their appearance on new handsets.
Originally introduced during this year’s Worldwide Developer Conference back in June, iOS 8 offers only incremental changes over its predecessor’s design language, but introduces a slew of new technologies that are destined to have a significant impact on Apple’s mobile ecosystem, such as Handoff, which allows users to seamlessly transfer their work between all the devices they own, and Extensions.
The new operating system also includes new platforms geared towards making iOS devices hubs for the digital lives of their owners, including HomeKit, which enables communication with connected-home peripherals, and HealthKit, designed to allow users to collect, monitor, and share all sort of health data about themselves.
iOS 8 will come preinstalled on all new iPhone and iPad models, and will be available as a free update for existing users of iPhone 4s, iPad 2, iPad mini, and fifth-generation iPod touch models, or later.