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iOS 8.2: Five things you need to know

iOS 8.2: Five things you need to know

Another day, another iOS 8 update.

Except that unlike the slew of incremental upgrades that followed the original glitchy version of iOS 8, the just-released 8.2 edition of Apple’s software is about a lot more than sticking plasters and botched 'fixes'.

From the addition of Apple Watch support to a fully functional version of Health that doesn’t keel over in the face of any sort of exertion, this is a major upgrade by anyone's definition.

Naturally, that means there's an awful lot to get your teeth into.

For those of you who haven’t time to pore over tech blogs or spend hours exploring the crevices of the OS, here’s our one-stop, need-to-know guide to iOS 8.2.

1 It brings Apple Watch support

apple watch big blue

Perhaps the key feature of iOS 8.2 is the Apple Watch app it installs on your handset.

Naturally, it’s impossible to remove. So even if you’ve no intention of investing in Apple’s techno timepiece, you’re stuck with the app.

This applies if you’ve got an iPhone that doesn’t support the Apple Watch (that's any handset before the iPhone 5, wearables fans).

Once the Apple Watch is on sale, though, the app will let you set up your smartwatch, tweak notifications settings and manage app installations.

But until April 10th, the Apple Watch application is just a placeholder and a repository for a trove of Apple Watch showreels and glossy ads.

The health-tracking facet of the Apple Watch comes under the new Activity app, which you’ll be able to use to view your feats of fitness.

It’s worth noting, though, that this app only appears when you pair your iPhone with an Apple Watch. So if exercise is anathema to you, you won’t be stuck with another app that’s useless to you.

2 Health app improvements

ios 8 healthkit

I’m not sure exactly how much my shonky experience is shared by the wider world of iPhone 6 owners. But for me, Health has been more of a bugbear than a boon so far.

Slow to update and prone to crashing and taking everything with it, it's a major blight on iOS 8.

iOS 8.2 should see Apple finally get a grip, however.

Health is now more stable (especially when dealing with large amounts of fresh data and making adjustments), offers support for third-party apps and lets you change units of measurement.

And you can now turn off the automatic step-counter too, which was previously ‘always-on’ whether you wanted it or not.

3 You can grab it right now

ios 8.2 download

Apple made iOS 8.2 available the moment the house lights went down at the Apple Watch launch.

As usual, the rollout is staggered and you’ll get a reminder when you can grab it for yourself.

Can’t wait that long? Just check for updates in the settings part of your phone and you’ll be offered the chance to upgrade to the fresh OS straightaway.

However, because of the sheer weight of demand on Apple’s servers you should, of course, expect a long wait to actually download it.

So you may decide it’s smartest to wait until upgrade fever dies down a bit.

Naturally, you’ll want to make sure that when you do upgrade you do so over WiFi to avoid punishing your download allowance. And it’s smart to ensure your iPhone has over 50% charge or is plugged in before you start too.

4 Bug fixes. Lots of them.

starship troopers

The only good bug is a dead bug. Or at least it is if we believe General Johnny Rico from campy but clever Sci-Fi outing Starship Troopers.

With that battle cry in its ears, Apple has tooled up and gone to war.

Fixes are promised in iOS 8.2 for a bug that impaired calls over Bluetooth calling and meant there was no audio until a call was answered. It also tackles a Maps snafu that caused problems navigating to users’ favourite destinations.

There's more. It patches the so-called FREAK vulnerability, nixes problems when restoring content from iCloud in the event that you had duplicate content on iTunes too. And it addresses minor calendar and quick-reply problems.

What it doesn’t remedy, or at least there’s no mention of it in Apple’s changelog, is the Wi-Fi connectivity issue that’s been plaguing handsets and seriously impacting on battery life.

Given the sheer volume of complaints about it, that’s more than a little disappointing.

##5 It’s for iPhone 4S and above

iPhone 4S on wooden surface

iPhones that support the new software are: iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C, iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S.

iPads that will run it are: iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, iPad Air, iPad mini 2, fourth-gen iPad, iPad mini, third-gen iPad, and iPad 2

And if you’ve got a fifth-generation iPod touch, you’re in luck too.

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