Apple iStore
A general view of an Apple store in the Manhattan borough of New York September 7, 2014, ahead of the expected release of iPhone 6 and other products this week. REUTERS/Carlo AllegriREUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Just a few hours ago, Apple unveiled the much awaited iPhone 6 and iPhone Plus smartphones and a smart wearable gear watch in USA.

Besides the new devices, the company also released the iOS v8.0 GM (Gold Master), final version (release to manufacturing) to the developers ahead of the official OTA (Over-The-Air) OS update to general public on 17 September.

So far, the company has released 5 Beta versions since the Apple WWDC (World Wide Developers Conference) 2014 in early June, where the Beta 1 software and SDK was first made available to iOS Developer Program members.

Now, the iOS v8.0 GM has been made available as downloadable files at the Apple developer's center (HERE) via iTunes.

Even general Apple device owner will be able to get the GM version (HERE, courtesy iDigitalTimes), provided they get their device UDID registered with an authorized developer.

[Note: Though GM is said to be the final version, it still contains some bugs. For those who are still in decision process, we advise them to wait for the official public release.]

The new iOS v8.0 is not compatible to iPhone 4(last update iOS v7.1.1 was released few months ago) officially ending the software support for 2010 model.

The iOS v8.0 compatible devices include- iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPod touch® 5th generation, iPad 2, iPad with Retina® display, iPad Air™, iPad mini™ and iPad mini with Retina display.

Apple iOS v8.0:

In the new iOS, Apple has enhanced the user-interface by making software simpler, intuitive and introducing new features like iCloud Photo Library, a new Messages app, the QuickType keyboard and the new Health application.

Description of key iOS v8.0 features:

New messaging app: The feature recognizes swipe gesture – 'Tap to talk', it allows you to share your voice and the same simple gesture also works for sharing videos and photos within Messages. Now, Group message feature gives the user an ability to add and remove contacts, leave a conversation and also the option of 'not be disturbed'.

iCloud Photo Library: It gives easy access to all of your photos and videos anytime, anywhere and it comes with options to organize the photos and smart editing tools. Once edited the changes reflect in all the connected Apple devices.

Healthkit app: This is an intuitive inbuilt app that can gather (with permission) information from multiple health apps (inside the Apple devices) and companion fitness devices to provide specific tips for comprehensive way of managing personal health and fitness routine of the user.

iCloud Drive: Gives online cloud memory service for storing many types of documents, where user can edit, share and access word documents/presentations across multiple devices on the go. The service will free for 5GB storage, but users have to pay $0.99 (around ₹58) subscription fee for 20GB per month, and $3.99 (around ₹237) for 200GB.

QuickType keyboard: this intuitive app tries to learn the user's writing pattern and over time, it will automatically understand the user's text context such as who you are messaging and begin suggesting favorite phrases and words even if the user is using third-party messaging app. While this feature does raise questions of privacy, and if personal data would be safe, the company dispels this apprehension saying that whatever the keyboard app learns is encrypted within the device and is never sent to the cloud.

New Siri: Now, the voice assistant application can understand more accents even Indian English and iOS brings in 'always on' voice activation mode like 'Google Now' in Android devices; users just need call out 'hey Siri' to activate the service and can also use Siri for the music identification app Shazam.

Handoff: this feature gives greater continuity between iPhones, iPads and Mac devices (via closer integration between iOS and Yosemite), user can start an activity on one device and finish it on another, along with Instant Hotspot and the ability to make and receive calls and send SMS and MMS messages from your Mac or iPad.

Family sharing: With the release new iOS v8.0, Apple has made it easier for loyal users to communicate and share purchases (apps and games), photos and sync calendars of all the Apple devices within the same household.