iOS 8 Release Date And Time (Plus First Reviews Are In!)

Your new iPhone arrives today - and no, we don't mean this thing.

Apple's new software update for iPads and iPhones will be released on Wednesday, bringing most current iPhones up to date with a range of new software features, bug fixes and intriguing new ideas.

So when will iOS 8 be released?

Our best guess is that it should come at around 6pm UK time - morning in California. It's possible it will be released earlier, however -- we'll let you know.

What phones are included?

Anything from an iPhone 4S up.

And iPads?

iPad 2, iPad 3, iPad 4, iPad Air, iPad Mini and iPad Mini with Retina Display

Is it a full upgrade?

But the release will also stop short of introducing everything that's new in iOS 8, since it will not be accompanied by an update to the OS X desktop operating system.

For while iOS 8 has some neat new features that let you link your phone and laptop, and make/receive calls on your phone but from your computer, those features won't be usable until Mac OS X Yosemite arrives in October/November.

So what's iOS 8 like? Here are some choice quotes from the first reviews:

"I'll probably always have gripes, but iOS 8 pulls out ahead of the competition by leveraging the greatest strengths of the iPhone: its apps and ecosystem. After you tap the Update button, those small perks and fixes will make the most difference.

Over time, as software developers release apps that talk to each other, to Apple's hardware and to its new health and home software initiatives, the iPhone will have the power to become something much bigger than it already is—no big screen required."

The new software isn't perfect. iCloud Drive, Apple's alternative to a proper iOS file manager, is in the early stages. For now, at least, it's easier to access on OS X than iOS, which doesn't currently have its own app. Very little was done to improve the struggling Apple Maps, and while "Hey Siri" is a welcome addition to the digital assistant, I only found it useful in the car, and even then, only as long as I have it plugged in. Finally, while I find myself using Notification Center more than ever, I'm frustrated that I have no way of knowing if anything's in there until I actually take a peek.

"What a difference a year makes. When iOS 7 was looming in 2013, excitement was at a fever pitch to download the newest software from Apple. With such a significant visual change, everyone couldn’t wait to get hold of the new look and feel. iOS 8, on the other hand, brings little in the way of new visuals, but much more under the hood."