iOS 8 release date Sept. 17: What to expect at launch

(PHOTO: Apple Inc.)Apple iOS 8: Huge for developers. Massive for everyone else.

Apple iOS 8 goes live on Sept. 17, just two days before the market release of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

There are a handful of new elements that the latest mobile operating system from Apple brings to the plate for innovation-hungry fans.

Arguably, four of these new features are a cut above the rest: Beefed up iMessage capabilities, the "smartest keyboard" ever, synchronization of all Apple devices, and the HealthKit.

iOS 8 also promises messaging to be more fun and interactive by allowing users to record any sound by holding the new microphone button and swiping to send to whomever you want.

Macs and iPads will be able to make and answer calls even though users' iPhone is buried inside their backpack or charging in another area.

The Cupertino-based company claims that iOS 8 carries the biggest changes to the keyboard since the original iPhone was released, through QuickType's predictive features.

As a user types his message, a bar above the keyboard flashes word suggestions that you are likely to use.

iOS 8 also enables third-party keyboard installation such as Swype, where one can spell by swiping finger without lifting it across letters – similar to Windows Phone 8.1's Word Flow.

The introduction of a more integrated health and fitness system is exciting, especially that they have partnered with Mayo Clinic to create this platform.

"The new Health app gives you an easy‑to‑read dashboard of your health and fitness data. And we've created a new tool for developers called HealthKit, which allows all the incredible health and fitness apps to work together, and work harder, for you. It just might be the beginning of a health revolution," according to the website.

Alongside the big iPhone 6 and Apple Watch reveal last Sept.9, Apple has also stealthily launched iOS 8 Gold Master seed for developers, the final beta program of the OS.

Apple iOS 8 is compatible with iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPhone 5C, iPhone 5S, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad 2, iPad 3, iPad 4, iPad Air, iPad Mini, iPad Mini with Retina Display and iPod Touch 5.

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