After several months of beta testing, Apple has released iOS 8.3 to all iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch owners today. The latest update includes a ton of new emoji characters; Apple has redesigned the emoji selector to accommodate all the new choices — which also include more diverse options. Aside from the big emoji bump, iOS 8.3 adds support for Siri in a handful of new languages, allowing Apple's personal assistant to operate in countries where it previously couldn't. Siri can also place calls that immediately start from the speakerphone rather than requiring users to toggle it on manually, and the update claims to improve stability, overall performance, and packs in bug fixes for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, third-party keyboards, and a host of other apps.
Apple's caught plenty of flack for continuing to sell iPhones and iPads with just 16GB of storage in 2014, and just as much for the amount of storage needed to upgrade to iOS 8, two things that a pair of customers from Florida are suing the company over. In a legal complaint filed yesterday in California, Miami residents Paul Orshan and Christopher Endara say that the 16GB iPhones and iPads they purchased had less than that amount of usable space, something Orshan contends was further reduced after upgrading his iPhone 5S from iOS 7 to iOS 8.
We’ve seen a number of great keyboards for iOS emerge after Apple finally added support for third-party keyboards in iOS 8.
Apple already encourages new iPhone owners to install Beats Music along with its other apps like Pages, GarageBand, and iMovie. But it sounds like there are plans to take that one step further and give Beats (or a rebranded version of the music service) a permanent spot on the iOS home screen. The Financial Times is reporting that Apple will add Beats Music to the core iOS operating system with an update due "early next year." Such a move would remove an extra step for consumers and may help boost Beats Music's piddly subscriber numbers.
Apple's just rolled out iOS 8.1.1 for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Aside from the usual promise of bug fixes and security updates, Apple says the latest release should speed things up on iPad 2 and iPhone 4S, two of the company's aging devices. We've seen it several times: installing major new versions of iOS on old hardware can often result in degraded performance, making the user experience slower and worse than it had been before. That was true with iOS 7 last year, and now again Apple is working to make things better for customers still holding onto old products.