I downloaded iOS 8 yesterday and it took forever. Honestly, though, that’s not really surprising as a ton of people were also trying to do the same thing at the same time I was. All in all, I think the update process probably took me just short of 2 hours. At one point in the download, it said it was going to take 17 hours, and I wondered what in the world I’d gotten myself into. Thankfully, it went down from 17 hours to somewhere in the realm of 7 minutes within a few minutes. iOS 8 was an update I’d been looking forward to since it was first announced this past June at the WWDC; it promised all kinds of changes that would drastically improve the iPhone. In fact, Apple claimed it was the biggest update since they added the App Store – it might be the biggest update ever. So, how’s it stack up to iOS 7?

I’ll be honest – when my phone came back on after the installation, I had a hard time telling any kind of a difference whatsoever, and I obviously haven’t had near enough time to test out every single new feature, so this post is going to focus on my first initial thoughts with the new operating system. The first thing I noticed was that the Control Center got a little bit of a visual update. Have a look:

First Thoughts On iOS 8

Admittedly, it’s not a whole lot different. Some of the icons are darkened or lightened, but that’s about it as far as I can see.

Now, where I did notice a huge difference was when I sent some text messages. Apple promised a smart keyboard with predictive text, and so far, I’d have to say they delivered on their promise. From my experience up to now, this new predictive text is much more accurate to what I wanted to say than when I used an Android phone in the past. It also makes suggestions based on the context of whatever you’re talking about, so that’s a neat little trick. I haven’t had the chance to test this feature out all the way, but iOS 8 also promises to suggest different words based on who you’re talking to and whether you’re sending them a text or an email.

First Thoughts On iOS 8

I tried to play around with the new Health app, but Apple apparently has it at a standstill right now as some kinks are still being worked out. I did discover that my iPhone 5s had been keeping track of my steps since I’ve had my phone though, which is kind of neat and creepy at the same time. Eventually, though, the Health app promises to be a game changer when it comes to monitoring your health, and will only improve once the Apple Watch is released.

First Thoughts On iOS 8

After using iOS 8 for one day, I’d have to say I’m pretty impressed. As I continue using it and learning the new features, I will write additional posts covering them.

If you’ve updated to iOS 8, what do you think of it?

[Images via BGR, iPhoneHacks, Gigaom]