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Data from LONAP shows that web traffic surged just as iOS 8 was released at 6:00 PM UK time. Traffic remained strong for several hours, with a peak at 8:00 PM in the UK as more than 70 gigabits per second were being transferred through LONAP's exchange.

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iOS 8 adoption from Mixpanel


iOS 8 may have caused web traffic to briefly increase, but the first-day adoption rate of the mobile operating system is relatively low when compared to previous iOS rollouts. According to analytics firm Mixpanel, only 14 percent of the iOS devices that it tracks are currently running iOS 8. Data from mobile marketing company Fiksu shows a similar slow uptake in iOS 8 with the adoption of Apple's latest iOS version trailing the last that of the last several iOS launches.

fiksu_ios_8_adoption
Fiksu iOS 8 Tracker

The slower update rate may be due to a record number of iPhone owners purchasing new devices. Apple sold more than four million iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus units in the first 24 hours that pre-orders were available last week. Customers who are receiving a new phone in the coming weeks may delay upgrading their current device, opting instead to prepare the handset for sale.

Another factor may be the large storage size required for the over-the-air updates. Though the iOS 8 update was just over 1 GB in size, it required 4.6 GB of free storage space on an iPhone and almost 7 GB of free storage on an iPad for installation. That's almost half the free space available on a 16 GB device, forcing many owners to decide whether to delete content from their devices or install the update.


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Apple Working with U2 on New Music Format to Boost Digital Music Sales
Apple and U2 have a long history of working together, producing a special edition U2 iPod in 2008 and more recently releasing the band's latest album, "Songs of Innocence," for free. According to Time, Apple and U2 reportedly now are collaborating on a new music format that will boost digital music sales.

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Details on the music format or the secret project surrounding it were not revealed, but U2's Bono says it will help musicians sell more of their music.
Bono tells TIME he hopes that a new digital music format in the works will prove so irresistibly exciting to music fans that it will tempt them again into buying music—whole albums as well as individual tracks. The point isn’t just to help U2 but less well known artists and others in the industry who can’t make money, as U2 does, from live performance. “Songwriters aren’t touring people,” says Bono. “Cole Porter wouldn’t have sold T-shirts. Cole Porter wasn’t coming to a stadium near you.”
Digital music sales are declining as consumer interest in online streaming services such as Spotify and Pandora grows. According to Nielsen SoundScan data from the first half of 2014, digital album sales fell 15 percent year over year, while digital track sales fell 13 percent. At the same time, streaming music increased 42 percent.

In the U.S., iTunes currently is the market leader for digital music downloads, but Apple is not blind to the steady decline in these digital music sales. The company launched the Pandora-like iTunes Radio along with iOS 7 and recently purchased Beats Music for $3 billion.


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Long Lines Forming for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Launch in Australia
With Apple's new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus going on sale in the first group of launch countries beginning on Friday, September 19, long lines have already started to form across the world as many anticipate the release of both devices. Apple retail customers in Australia will have the first opportunity to purchase the new handsets at 8 AM on Friday, as some have already begun lining up outside of the company's various retail locations. Currently, it is 7:10 PM on Thursday, September 18 throughout many parts of Australia.

iphone6launchaus_1
Image credit: @beth_blanchard

One photo taken by Guardian Australia writer Bethanie Blanchard shows many customers lining up outside the Apple Store Doncaster, as the line is said to have started at 6 AM and stretches around the entire length of the shopping center.

iphone6launchaus_2
Image credit: @rodgerrodger

Meanwhile, a photo shared by Twitter user @rodgerodger shows the line surrounding an Apple Store in Brisbane. The image shows numerous customers setting up chairs and laying down supplies in preparation to stay the night ahead of the launch of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in the morning.

In addition to Australia, Apple's iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will be available in the US, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore and the UK starting Friday, with Apple Retail Stores beginning sales at 8 AM. The company is also implementing a reservation pass system at its retail stores for those who line up, which will keep track of the line position of each customer and ensure that those waiting receive a device.

The first batch of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus pre-orders will also be delivered starting this Friday, as some devices have already begun shipping to customers. Shipping estimates for new iPhone 6 pre-orders remain at 7 to 10 days, while estimates for iPhone 6 Plus pre-orders are at 3 to 4 weeks. Apple announced this past Monday that it processed more than four million iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus pre-orders during the first day of its pre-launch sales on September 12.


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Apple Aims for Greater Transparency With Comprehensive New Privacy Site
Apple today launched a new privacy site that outlines all of the privacy features of Apple's products and services, offers tips on managing privacy, details government information requests, and explicitly states Apple's Privacy Policy.

appleprivacysite
The site comes alongside a letter on privacy from Apple CEO Tim Cook, who says that the company respects user privacy and protects it with "strong encryption." Privacy and security are of the utmost importance to Apple, according to Cook, and the company designs all of its hardware, software, and services with privacy in mind.

In the letter, Tim Cook says that Apple is aiming to be more transparent about what happens with personal information, detailing how and why it is used by the company. Cook also states plainly that Apple aims to sell great products, not collect user information.
We're publishing this website to explain how we handle your personal information, what we do and don't collect, and why. We're going to make sure you get updates here about privacy at Apple at least once a year and whenever there are significant changes to our policies.

A few years ago, users of Internet services began to realize that when an online service is free, you're not the customer. You're the product. But at Apple, we believe a great customer experience shouldn't come at the expense of your privacy.

Our business model is very straightforward: We sell great products. We don't build a profile based on your email content or web browsing habits to sell to advertisers. We don't "monetize" the information you store on your iPhone or in iCloud. And we don't read your email or your messages to get information to market to you. Our software and services are designed to make our devices better. Plain and simple.
The first section of Apple's new privacy site details the privacy built into "the things you use every day." The site gives information on the ways apps and services are protected and the data that Apple can collect. Services detailed include iMessage, FaceTime, iCloud, Safari, Maps, Siri, Mail, Apps and the App Store, Apple Pay, Health, HomeKit, Spotlight Suggestions, and Randomized Wi-Fi addresses.

For example, Apple states that it cannot access content in the Messages app due to the encryption, and it explains how iCloud data is encrypted.

A second Privacy section is clearly the result of a recent hacking incident that saw several celebrity iCloud accounts compromised. In the section, Apple suggests ways users can improve the security of their devices, pointing towards passcodes, Touch ID, and Find My iPhone.

Apple also instructs users how to create a strong password, how to create proper security questions, and it directs them to turn on two-step verification. In addition, it details phishing scams, suggests users change their passwords on a regular basis, and tells them to keep an eye out for emails sent after Apple ID login attempts.

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The final two sections of Apple's privacy site explicitly outline all government data requests that the company has received and offer details on Apple's privacy policy. The site lists examples of the personal information that Apple collects and exactly how that personal information is used. According to Cook, the new site is the result of a "commitment to protecting your privacy." "We know that your trust doesn't come easy," writes the CEO, "That's why we have and always will work as hard as we can to earn and keep it."


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Apple Releases OS X 10.9.5 With Reliability Improvements, Safari 7.0.6
Apple today released OS X 10.9.5, after approximately a month of testing and two months after the release of OS X 10.9.4.

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The update, which is recommended for all Mavericks users, improves the reliability of VPN connections that use USB smart cards for authentication and it improves the reliability of accessing files located on an SMB server. Also included with OS X 10.9.5 is Safari 7.0.6.

OS X 10.9.5 will likely be the final update to Mavericks ahead of the release of OS X Yosemite, which is expected in October. OS X Yosemite brings several improvements to the operating system, including a revamped look and several new features that improve integration with iOS.

Update: Apple has also released Safari 7.1 for 10.9.5 users. Safari 7.1 adds DuckDuckGo as a built-in option in the search field, encrypts Yahoo searches from the search field, and improves website compatibility with both Reader and Autofill. DuckDuckGo is a search engine that does not track users.


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List of iOS 8 Apps With Touch ID Integration
iOS 8, released to the public earlier today, included a slew of new APIs for developers. One of those APIs opened up Touch ID to third-party apps, letting developers use the fingerprint scanner for authentication purposes within apps.

Quite a few apps have been updated to take advantage of Touch ID integration, replacing passwords and PIN codes. We've gathered up a comprehensive list of the most popular apps that now use Touch ID, which you can find below.

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- 1Password (Free) [Direct Link] - Password management app 1Password allows Touch ID to replace a Master Password, providing access to the app.

- LastPass (Free) [Direct Link] - Like 1Password, LastPass uses Touch ID to protect a user's LastPass vault. It replaces the Master Password.

- Amazon App (Free) [Direct Link] - The newly updated Amazon app for iOS 8 allows users to sign into their Amazon accounts using Touch ID instead of a password.

- Discover Mobile (Free) [Direct Link] - Banking app Discover Mobile lets users log into their accounts using Touch ID instead of a password.

- Evernote (Free) [Direct Link] - Evernote allows Evernote premium users who have protected their accounts with a passcode to log in with Touch ID instead of a number.

- Mint (Free) [Direct Link] - Money management app Mint allows users to substitute Touch ID for a passcode when logging into their Mint accounts.

- Scanner Pro ($6.99) [Direct Link] - Scanner Pro's newly updated iOS 8 app lets users protect their scanned information with Touch ID.

- Simple (Free) [Direct Link] - Banking app Simple lets users log into their bank accounts with Touch ID.

- Lowe's (Free) [Direct Link] - The mobile app for home improvement store Lowe's allows users to log into their MyLowe's personal accounts.

- Day One ($4.99) [Direct Link] - Day One allows users to unlock their journals with Touch ID, replacing a passcode.

- ETrade* (Free) [Direct Link] - ETrade has been updated with Touch ID authentication, which allows users to enter the app through fingerprint verification rather than a password.

- Keeper Password Manager (Free) [Direct Link] - This password management app is now able to use Touch ID fingerprint authentication in place of a master password.

Other apps with Touch ID integration: Yplan, Memoir, eHarmony

These are just a sampling of the apps that have integrated Touch ID so far. Additional app developers will likely be rolling the feature into their apps in the near future, now that iOS 8 is widely available. Want more iOS 8 info? Make sure to check out our iOS 8 roundup, our iOS 8 Hidden Features roundup, our list of apps with widgets in Notification Center, and our list of third-party keyboards.


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Comprehensive List of iOS 8 Apps with Notification Center Widgets
iOS 8 was released today, which means hundreds of app developers are releasing newly updated apps that take advantage of all the APIs introduced with the operating system upgrade. Those include third-party keyboards, which we covered earlier today, and app extensions, a set of APIs that allows apps to interact in new and innovative ways.

One of the neatest app extension features lets developers create widgets that show up in the Today view of the Notification Center. These widgets let users interact with apps and get information at a glance. Several apps have been updated to take advantage of Notification Center widgets, and we've rounded up a comprehensive list below. Many of these app updates are already available, but some will be coming later today and tomorrow.

Dropbox (Free) [Direct Link] - Dropbox's new Notification Center widget displays all of the files that have been recently uploaded. Tapping on one of the files opens the file in the Dropbox app.

dropboxwidget
Duolingo (Free) [Direct Link] - Duolingo displays how close a user is to reaching their daily language learning goals. Tapping on the widget in the Notification Center opens the Duolingo app and lets users continue with their current language lesson.

duolingowidget
Evernote (Free) [Direct Link] - Evernote's Notification Center widget is especially useful, including five different icons that let users create a document, reminder, or list, as well as snap a photo or access photos stored in the app. Tapping one of the icons opens the Evernote app and begins the task immediately.

evernotewidget
Clear ($2.99) [Direct Link] - Clear's Notification Center widget includes a handy list of upcoming reminders. Tapping on one of the reminders will open the Clear app for direct access.

iTranslate (Free) [Direct Link] - iTranslate's Notification Center widget is a nifty tool that will let users one-tap translate whatever happens to be copied to the clipboard to the selected language.

itranslatewidget

Other apps with Notification Center widgets:

- 24me (Free) [Direct Link] - Adds notes, tasks, and upcoming Calendar events to the Notification Center.

- Agenda+ ($1.99) [Direct Link] - This new task management app includes a list of calendar events and reminders, with options to check off events directly in Notification Center.

- Asana (Free) [Direct Link] - Adds a list of tasks to the Notification Center.

- Audiobooks from Audible (Free) [Direct Link] - Audiobook app that lets users track total book listening time.

- BuzzFeed (Free) [Direct Link] - BuzzFeed's Notification Center widget displays a list of trending posts and lets users scroll through stories.

buzzfeedwidget
- Calendars 5 ($6.99) [Direct Link] - This popular calendar app from Readdle lets users enter new calendar events directly from the Notification Center.

- Day One ($4.99) [Direct Link] - Day One's Notification Center widget displays flashbacks of past entries, graphs of recent entry counts, and past photos.

- Finish (Free) [Direct Link] - Task management app Finish has a Notification Center widget that displays three upcoming tasks and reminders. Users are also able to complete tasks and add new tasks.

- NYT Now (Free) [Direct Link] - This app from The New York Times offers images and news headlines directly in the Notification Center.

- OmniFocus 2 ($19.99) [Direct Link] - Like other task management apps with widgets, OmniFocus displays a list of actions due in the Today section of Forecast.

- OpenTable (Free) [Direct Link] - Reservation-making app OpenTable will let users see their upcoming reservations in the Notification Center.

- Parcel (Free) [Direct Link] - Package tracking app Parcel's Notification Center widget displays upcoming deliveries.

- PCalc ($9.99) [Direct Link] - Pcalc's widget lets users perform quick calculations directly in the Notification Center.

- Runtime ($2.99) [Direct Link] - Fitness tracking app Runtime displays the current number of steps taken in the Notification Center, and allows users to time a run with a quick access button.

- Sky Guide ($1.99) [Direct Link] - Star viewing app Sky Guide lets users view information like sunrise and sunset times, upcoming meteor showers, and upcoming lunar eclipses.

skyguidewidget
- Wunderlist (Free) [Direct Link] - List making app Wunderlist displays a list of to-dos in the Notification Center.

wunderlistwidget
- Yahoo Weather (Free) [Direct Link] - Yahoo Weather is able to display current weather in the Notification Center, along with a picture depicting the weather conditions.

yahooweatherwidget
- NASCAR (Free) [Direct Link] - NASCAR displays live leaderboards directly in Notification Center.

- WeatherPro ($2.99) [Direct Link] - WeatherPro's widget includes data like current temperature, wind speeds, and more.

- forScore ($6.99) [Direct Link] - Sheet music app forScore includes an iOS 8 widget called "Pitch Pipe," which displays starting pitch.

- Countdowns (Free) [Direct Link] - Countdowns lets users create countdowns for important events, with the option to display countdowns in Notification Center.

- Breaking News (Free) [Direct Link] - Breaking News has a widget that's designed to display top stories in the Notification Center.

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- The Guardian (Free) [Direct Link] - The Guardian's Notification Center widget includes a list of top stories, which can be personalized.

- Slice (Free) [Direct Link] - Shopping assistant app Slice lists package delivery status and pinned orders in the Notification Center.

- TwoDots (Free) [Direct Link] - Puzzle game TwoDots has an iOS 8 widget that lists medals, lives, and game progress.

- Ancestry (Free) [Direct Link] - Genealogy app Ancestry has an interesting Notification Center widget that displays birthdays, marriages, and deaths from a user's family tree.

- Hotel Tonight (Free) [Direct Link] - Hotel Tonight lists reservation info and rates from recent searches in the Notification Center.

- Discover Mobile (Free) [Direct Link] - The Discover Mobile app includes a user's current balance and minimum payment due in the Notification Center, along with a balance of Cashback Bonuses.

discoverwidget
- LinkedIn Pulse (Free) [Direct Link] - LinkedIn Pulse displays top stories in the Notification Center.

- Cheatsheet (Free) [Direct Link] - Quick reference app Cheatsheet lists a user's last 10 notes in the Notification Center. Tapping a note will open the Cheatsheet app.

- Luminos (Free) [Direct Link] - Astronomy app Luminos has two widgets for the Notification Center. One displays the current positions of Jupiter's moons and the other lists daily moon and sun conditions.

- ETA ($0.99) [Direct Link] - Driving assistant app ETA allows users to place three favorite locations in the Notification Center, displaying estimated driving times to each location.

- Raincast ($1.99) [Direct Link] - Weather app Raincast offers a Notification Center widget that displays the upcoming rain and snow forecast. The update isn't available just yet but should be shortly.

raincastwidget
- Wattpad (Free) [Direct Link] - This eBook reader app and publishing platform has two new widgets for the Notification Center. The first lets users return to the story they were most recently reading, while the other shows quick updates on published stories.

- Gneo ($4.99) [Direct Link] - Task management app Gneo has a Notification Center widget that lets users mark a task as complete without needing to open the app.

- Kindle ($4.99) [Direct Link] - Kindle has gained a new Notification Center widget that lets users keep track of the books they're reading. The widget stores up to three titles, with a tap opening the selected book.

- HoursTracker (Free) [Direct Link] - Time tracking app HoursTracker has a Notification Center widget that keeps track of the length of a current task without needing to open the app.

- Wdgts (Free) [Direct Link] - Wdgts is an app that offers several different Notification Center widgets including a calendar, currency converter, time zones, and a photo frame.

- Yahoo News Digest (Free) [Direct Link] - Yahoo's news app displays recent stories in the Notification Center.

- ESPN SportsCenter (Free) [Direct Link] - SportsCenter's widget isn't quite available yet, but it's coming on Monday and will display information like scores directly in the Notification Center.

- The Huffington Post (Free) [Direct Link] - The Huffington Post displays trending content in the Notification Center with its widget.

- Onefootball (Free) [Direct Link] - Onefootball's widget lists the latest soccer news in the Notification Center.

Widgets can be installed in the "Today" view of Notification Center by opening up Notification Center and swiping to the bottom of the menu. Tapping the "edit" button will let users choose which Notification Center app widgets they want to see on their devices. Widgets require iOS 8, which was released to the public today.


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'Epic Zen Garden' Metal Demo Shown Off at WWDC Now Available for Download
At its Worldwide Developers Conference in June, Apple unveiled Metal, an API designed to improve game performance on iOS. Epic Games took the stage during the event to show off Epic Zen Garden, a game built using the Unreal 4 Engine and the Metal API.

The game, which was designed to show off the impressive graphic enhancement features possible with Metal, demonstrated an expansive world with a fully interactive environment. Users could touch a tree to send a cascade of leaves and cherry blossoms swirling to the ground or interact with a group of koi fish.

epiczengarden
As of today, Epic Zen Garden is available for download, letting users see some of the things that will be possible in iOS games in the near future. The game supports a resolution of 1440 x 1080 at 30fps, and can display 3,500 butterflies at once. One of the major features of Metal is that it allows for more draw calls, letting a huge number of objects be displayed on the screen.
Epic Zen Garden is a beautiful graphical environment showcasing the power of iOS 8, developed by Epic Games with Unreal Engine 4. Tap to navigate this interactive oasis brimming unmatched detail on mobile. Swipe the Sakura tree to make thousands of cherry blossoms swirl in the air, graze the koi pond to summon leagues of fish, and rake the sand with your finger to create subtle designs. Touch the well to bring throngs of butterflies out of hiding.
More information on how Metal works, Epic Zen Garden and the Unreal Engine 4 can be seen in the video below.


Epic Zen Garden can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

(Thanks, Eli!)


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Apple Confirms HealthKit Bug, Promises Fix by End of September
healthkit-logoJust before the public launch of iOS 8 earlier today, we noted that Apple had begun pulling HealthKit-related apps from the App Store, apparently due to a last-minute issue that cropped up in the new operating system. The issue has put a significant dent in the usefulness of the Health app that was to be a key feature of iOS 8, while also subjecting a number of third-party developers to uncertainty about the fate of their apps.

While details on the issue are still unknown, Apple has confirmed to Tim Bradshaw of Financial Times that it has discovered a "bug" in HealthKit that will require a software update to fix. Unfortunately, Apple is not necessarily promising an immediate turnaround on the fix, saying only that the company is aiming to "have HealthKit apps available by the end of the month".

iOS 8 is available now to owners of recent-generation iOS devices, and will be included on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus when they officially launch on Friday. Aside from Health, iOS 8 includes a number of other features such as a new QuickType keyboard with word suggestions, support for systemwide third-party keyboards and Touch ID integration, Photos and Messages improvements, and Continuity features to make iOS device and Macs work more smoothly with each other.


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List of Third-Party Keyboards Now Available for iOS 8 Users
iOS 8, released to the public today, includes an API that allows developers to create system-wide third-party keyboards for the first time, which will let users select from a range of different keyboards with unique functions.

We've rounded up a list of the best third-party keyboards currently available to you find the keyboard best suited to you. Some of these keyboards are in the App Store now, while others will begin rolling out today following the launch of iOS 8.

SwiftKey (Free) [Direct Link] - SwiftKey is a gesture-based keyboard that allows users to type by dragging their fingers from key to key. Along with offering predictive suggestions, SwiftKey integrates with SwiftKey Cloud to let a user's preferences be backed up and synced across all devices.


Swype ($0.99) [Direct Link]- Like SwiftKey, Swype is a gesture-based keyboard that allows users to drag their fingers from key to key in order to create words. Swype's built-in predictive text engine determines what was being typed, and it offers predictive punctuation to speed up typing. Swype also includes several different themes for custom looks. SwiftKey and Swype are fairly similar, and Re/code has done a review comparing and contrasting them.


Minuum
($1.99) [Direct Link] - Minuum is a resizable keyboard that can be shrunken down (via swipe gestures) to allow more of the screen to be seen. Minuum also takes advantage of a robust autocorrect feature that automatically corrects spelling as words are typed and offers word suggestions.


Fleksy ($1.99) [Direct Link] - Fleksy is known as the fastest keyboard in the world. It incorporates advanced autocorrection features to interpret what's typed (which improves over time) and it uses swipe gestures to make it easy for users to delete, add punctuation, spaces, and select alternate autocorrect suggestions. It also includes support for emoji and offers a resizable keyboard.


TouchPal (Free) [Direct Link] - TouchPal is another keyboard that lets users drag a finger over letters in quick succession to spell words, suggesting different choices based on input. TouchPal also offers a design that's similar to the standard keyboard, but it incorporates quick access buttons to allow for easy insertion of punctuation and special characters.


TextExpander ($4.99) [Direct Link] - Built into an update of the existing TextExpander app, the TextExpander keyboard allows users to type in short abbreviations, which are then spelled out fully. For example, tyvm might become thank you very much.


KuaiBoard ($1.99) [Direct Link] - Formerly known as QuickBoard, KuaiBoard is not a traditional keyboard. It's designed to let users insert chunks of frequently typed text like signatures, address information, billing information, and more. As outlined in our full hands-on post, KuaiBoard lets users create blocks of text that can then be inserted anywhere. It also has a feature that automatically detects a user's location, allowing it to be typed into a text message or email.

kuaiboard

Keymoji (Free) [Direct Link] - Keymoji is an emoji keyboard that converts text into emojis as it is typed. Users can use Keymoji to insert an emoji into a sentence quickly or replace text entirely with emoji symbols. For example, if a phrase like "cookie monster" is typed, Keymoji will give users the option to replace the text with a cookie emoji next to a monster emoji. "Toilet paper" becomes a toilet emoji next to a paper emoji, while "goatee" becomes a goat emoji next to a tea emoji.



Kaomoji (Free) - Kaomoji keyboard is a fun third-party keyboard that allows users to insert kaomoji, or ASCII text emoticons, into messages, email, and more. Many users may not be familiar with kaomoji, but the popular table flip emoticon seen in the image below is one example. The Kaomoji keyboard isn't available yet, but it should be launching soon.

kaomojikeyboard
Third-party keyboards require users to install a separate app for each keyboard. Once downloaded, a keyboard can be turned on in the Settings app. In Settings, go to General --> Keyboards --> Add New Keyboard and tap whichever keyboard needs to be installed. From there, it is easy to switch between available keyboards by holding down on the Globe or Emoji icon in any app that supports keyboards.


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iOS 8 Hidden Features Video: Battery Usage By App, Hidden Photos, Siri Hands-Free, and More
Apple released iOS 8 to the public today, giving millions of users their first look at the new operating system. Along with all of the major features, like Continuity, Notification improvements, Messages upgrades, and the introduction of third-party keyboard/Touch ID access, there are also dozens of other minor tweaks and changes that have been introduced in iOS 8, both ahead of the OS's initial launch to developers and across the beta testing period.

Outlined in the video below are some of the most interesting and handy tweaks in iOS 8, including automatic credit card scanning, expanded weather options, quick access to contacts, a hands-free mode for Siri, hidden photos, and more.


We've been collecting and cataloguing minor feature changes to iOS 8 since the first beta was released, documenting the development of new features and providing a one-stop location for all the changes that have largely gone under the radar.

A complete list of all of the hidden features in iOS 8 can be found in our dedicated Hidden Features Roundup, which also serves as a way to see the progress iOS 8 made over the course of the beta testing period.

For example, in beta 4, Apple introduced a Tips app that offers iOS 8 users information about all of the new features in the operating system. Beta 5, meanwhile, added location information to photo collections in the Photos app, and beta 4 saw a Control Center redesign.

We've also compiled a walkthrough of all of the major features introduced with iOS 8, which can be found in our iOS 8 Roundup.


iOS 8 can be downloaded immediately for free. It can be installed on the iPhone 4s and later, 5th-generation iPod touch, iPad 2 and later, and the iPad mini.


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Simultaneous Voice/Data, HD Voice Now Available to Verizon iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Users
Verizon began rolling out its Advanced Calling service earlier this week, enabling voice over LTE (VoLTE) capabilities for select devices that support the service, which includes the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus.

Numerous iPhone 6 and 6 Plus users are reporting that the VoLTE service is now functional, allowing Verizon iPhone 6 and 6 Plus users to use simultaneous voice and data capabilities for the first time when connected to a 4G LTE or Wi-Fi network. MacRumors has confirmed that VoLTE is indeed working, enabling users to browse the web or access apps while on a voice call.

verizonvolte
In addition to enabling simultaneous voice and data, Verizon's Advanced Calling features also allow for High-Definition voice calls, which are said to be more "natural-sounding" and Verizon-branded video calls.
Advanced Calling 1.0, a first-generation service suite enabled by Voice over LTE, or VoLTE, technology, is now available on America's largest and most reliable 4G LTE network with XLTE. With Advanced Calling 1.0, there is a clear difference. You will be able to enjoy natural-sounding High-Definition (HD) Voice and a Video Calling experience that's as simple as making a traditional voice call.
Users can enabled Advanced Calling features by visiting the Verizon website and adding the feature to their accounts. Users also need to make sure both Voice and Data are turned on in the iPhone's Settings app. Go to Settings --> Cellular --> Enable LTE --> Tap Voice & Data.

advancedcalling
Verizon's Advanced Calling features are limited to the iPhone 6, the iPhone 6 Plus, the LG G2, and the Samsung Galaxy S5.

(Thanks, Will!)


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iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Use 20-Nanometer A8 Processor From TSMC
Apple's 20-nanometer A8 processor in the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus was fabricated by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), according to Chipworks (via iFixit). Chipworks has been analyzing the various parts in the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 plus following its release today.

While the iPhone 5s used a 28-nanometer processor, the iPhone 6 and the 6 Plus have a 20-nanometer processor, as has been widely rumored. According to TSMC, its 20-nanometer process technology can result in speeds that are much higher than its 28-nanometer chips. The 20-nanometer process also results in a physically smaller chip that draws less power.

A8
Ahead of the launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, there were multiple back and forth rumors that made it unclear whether Samsung or TSMC was manufacturing the chips destined for the new iPhones. Previous generation chips, such as the A7 in the iPhone 5s, were manufactured by Samsung, but Apple reportedly entered into a partnership with TSMC in an effort to reduce its reliance on rival Samsung. The shift is also part of a larger effort by Apple to diversify its supply chain, which cuts down on potential manufacturing issues.

Though TSMC created the 20-nanometer chips for the iPhone 6 and the 6 Plus, rumors have suggested that Apple hasn't ended its relationship with Samsung entirely. The company is rumored to be producing the 14-nanometer chips that will be used in future iOS devices next year, indicating that Apple has plans to continue having both TSMC and Samsung create chips for its devices.

According to Apple, the A8 chip in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus offers a 25 percent faster CPU and 50 percent better graphics performance compared to the A7 in the iPhone 5s.


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iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus Successfully Survive Second Drop Test
The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus were subjected to their first drop test yesterday after the two devices went on sale in Australia. While the 6 and 6 Plus fared well when dropped on their backs, the screens did see significant shattering when dropped face down on the concrete.

A second drop test conducted today saw somewhat different results. Android Authority dropped the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus in several different ways, including face down, and the two devices saw little damage aside from scuffs. Even when dropped on their faces with a decent amount of force from waist high, the screens remained intact.


A similar result was seen after a genuine accidental drop. The first person to receive an iPhone 6 in Australia opened up the package on camera and immediately dropped the phone on the hard ground, where it miraculously came away unscathed.


It's impossible to determine the overall durability of the screen in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus based on a limited number of drop tests that were conducted under different conditions, but this additional data does serve to reassure users that the devices do have the potential to survive a fall.

Still, given the increased size of the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus, it may be advisable for users to purchase a case. In fact, several reviews of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus conducted by tech sites suggested the devices "need" a case, and described them as slippery. The Verge, for example, said the iPhone 6 Plus "works better in a case" because it makes the phone easier to hold, hides the camera bump, and covers "the weird lines on the back."

Apple's iPhone 6 and 6 Plus went on sale today, and the devices are now in the hands of millions of customers around the world as customers pick up phones from the Apple Store and receive their pre-orders. New orders for the devices from the Apple Store will ship in 7 to 10 days for the iPhone 6 and 3 to 4 weeks for the iPhone 6 Plus.


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Tim Cook Helps Kick Off iPhone 6 Sales at Palo Alto Retail Store
With Apple's retail stores beginning sales of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus today, customers have been lining up to either pick up their pre-ordered devices or take their chances on launch-day supplies without reservations. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster conducted his annual line count at Apple's flagship Fifth Avenue store in Manhattan and found a record 1,880 people in line at 8:00 AM, an increase of 33% over last year's line.

cook_iphone_6_palo_alto
Tim Cook at final employee meeting before opening doors of Palo Alto store (via @CNBCnow)

Apple executives are also getting into the spirit of the iPhone launch, with CEO Tim Cook making his traditional visit to the Palo Alto store to greet customers. Cook walked the line and posed for photos with customers before heading into the store to meet with staff and open the door to welcome customers.

Several other executives are also out and about, with new retail chief Angela Ahrendts presiding over her first iPhone launch by visiting the flagship store in Sydney, Australia, and Internet software and services chief Eddy Cue making an appearance at the Stanford store.
Nearly all Apple retail stores in launch countries have now opened for business today, with only the three stores in Honolulu, Hawaii yet to begin sales of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.


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First Impressions of iPhone 6 and 6 Plus: Sleek Look, Great Display, Unoptimized Apps Blurry, Loud Vibration
While the official reviews of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus were published several days ago, with the devices now making their way into customers' hands we are starting to see broader first impressions of the larger iPhones.

iphone_6_mr_case
Case from MacRumors giveaway, based on rumored design specs (Photo by @adam_moreno)

Several posters in our forums have highlighted the high-quality "Retina HD" displays on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, but have observed that apps yet to be optimized for the larger displays appear "quite blurry" or "'big' and disgusting" due to scaling issues.

iphone_6_gold_front
Photo by jchiou

Another aspect being noticed by users is the much louder vibration on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, something highlighted by John Gruber in his review earlier this week.
The iPhone 6 has a noticeably stronger vibrator to me, and with the iPhone 6 Plus, it’s so powerful it’s actually a bit noisy — the sound made by the 6 Plus vibrator is so strong, I wonder if there are going to be complaints that it’s not “silent” at all.

As someone who runs his iPhone in silent mode much of the time, I definitely appreciate the stronger vibrator.
Customers are also generally praising the overall look of the new iPhones, calling them "sleek and beautifully made" and "glorious". Those opting for the gold model may notice that it is "a bit more yellow golden" than the gold iPhone 5s.

gold_iphone_6_5s
Gold iPhone 6 (left) vs. gold iPhone 5s (Photo by @horwitz)

As for size, some customers have been concerned about placing orders for the iPhone 6 Plus without having a good idea of just how big the device really is. Reactions now that users are getting their hands on them seem to be mixed, with some saying they "love every inch" of the 5.5-inch display while others have found it too big for their tastes. Some in-store customers were able to compare the two sizes before purchasing, helping make the decision easier.

For ongoing coverage of photos and first impressions, readers are welcome to follow our consolidated thread stickied in our iPhone forum.


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iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Go On Sale in U.S. and Canada to Huge Lines
Following launches in a number of other countries around the world earlier today, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have now begun going on sale in the U.S. and Canada, with 8:00 AM Apple launch times in the eastern and central portions of the countries having already occurred.

As expected, supplies of the iPhone 6 Plus have been tight in some cases, although perhaps not as low as originally thought. Apple's own stores appear to have the strongest supplies of the iPhone 6 Plus, with carrier stores in some cases having barely a handful of units to distribute.

eaton_centre_iphone_6_line
iPhone 6 line at Toronto's Eaton Centre Apple store snaking through multiple levels (via @KristinaParts)

Lines at most stores, particularly Apple's own locations, are long in most cases, despite the company having offered pre-orders for delivery this year. As of 6:00 AM, the line at Apple's flagship Fifth Avenue store in Manhattan stretched for twelve city blocks, according to Business Insider. Other locations are obviously seeing shorter lines, but many customers are reporting lines numbering in the hundreds at their stores.

Some MacRumors forum members are updating their statuses in our iPhone 6 Launch Meetups forum while others are sharing their thoughts in our general iPhone forum as the launch continues.

For those with pre-orders going out for delivery today, our forums remain busy as users track their orders minute-by-minute. MacRumors forum members in the U.S. are generally organizing in one of a number of threads depending on where they ordered from.

- The "I just bought/ordered/shipped/received my new iPhone 6/6 Plus" thread
- iPhone 6 & 6 Plus Sprint Pre-Order Thread!
- T-Mobile.com preorder thread
- ATT Pre-order status
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- Apple.com Pre-order thread

Those who already received their iPhones can post first impressions in our forums of their iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus.


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iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus Get Cracked in First Drop Test
With the launch of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus already underway in several countries, many companies have begun performing tests and benchmarks on the device. PhoneBuff has taken the two devices and put them through a drop test, dropping each on its back, side and front.


The iPhone 6 did well when dropped on the side and back, but unsurprisingly suffered when dropped on its face. The 6 Plus, on the other hand, cracked when it landed on the side. However, it sustained little further damage when falling on its face.

Based on this one test, both phones may have performed worse than the iPhone 5 design which was described as "very durable" and survived similar drops in a previous drop tests. Without standardized testing, it's hard to draw definitive conclusions.


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iPhone 6 Plus Teardown: Twice as Big a Battery as iPhone 5s [Update: 1 GB RAM Confirmed]
iFixIt is in the process of taking apart the new iPhone 6 Plus, currently on sale in Australia. Surprisingly, the team points out that the internal layout of the device is extremely similar to that of the iPhone 5s, except at a larger scale and with a bigger battery. The teardown's findings reveal the battery capacity of the device and some internal reorganization.

ifixitiphone6plusteardown
In removing the front panel from the rest of the device, the iFixIt team notes that there are "no noticeable booby traps", referring to the iPhone 5s' cable that ran from the Touch ID sensor to the Lightning port. The battery in the device is listed at 2915mAh at 3.82 volts, in line with the previously leaked battery prototype for the device and giving the 6 Plus double the battery capacity of the iPhone 5s' 1560mAh and much larger than the iPhone 6's 1810mAh battery.

The teardown also revealed that the vibrator is now located under the logic board and to the right of the battery.

iFixIt's teardown is still in progress and this post will be updated if anything significant is revealed.

Update 7:45 PM: iFixit has exposed Apple's new A8 processor in their teardown, which reveals the F8164A3PM inscribed on the chip. The second digit in that sequence, 8, corresponds to 8 Gigabits (1 GB) of RAM in Micron's catalog.

Update 11:38 PM: iFixit has assigned the iPhone 6 Plus a repairability score of 7 out of 10, which is an improvement over the iPhone 5s' score of 6 out of 10. The largest difference being the absence of the cable connecting the Touch ID Home button to the Lightning port, which resulted in the cable being torn if one is not careful opening the phone.


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iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus Launch Day: What to Expect
Apple's iPhone 6 and 6 Plus will launch in the United States tomorrow, with Apple retail stores, carrier stores, and several major retailers offering the two devices for sale.

We've gathered up a list of U.S. locations that will be selling the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, listed below, along with general opening times. Customers hoping for an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus are encouraged to call their local stores for specific information on opening times and potential stock.

- Apple retail stores - 8 a.m local time
- Verizon Wireless - 8 a.m. local time (Not all stores are accepting walk-up purchases, and opening times will vary)
- AT&T - 8 a.m. local time
- T-Mobile - 9 a.m. - 10 a.m local time, but opening times vary
- Sprint - 8.a.m local time
- RadioShack - 9 a.m. - 10 a.m. local time, but opening times vary
- Best Buy - 8 a.m. local time
- Sam's Club - 8 a.m. local time
- Target - Availability will vary
- Walmart - Availability will vary
- Staples - Availability will vary

At Apple Store locations, procedure will be slightly different than it has in past years as Apple will also be handing out iPhone 6 and 6 Plus units to customers who opted for Personal Pickup when pre-ordering online last week.

All customers will be directed to wait in one line until approximately 5 a.m, at which point they will be split into two lines: one for Personal Pickup and one for customers hoping to purchase a device on launch day.

Apple will hand out refreshments like coffee and water, as it does every year, and ahead of the store's opening, customers in the walk-in line (who did not pre-order) will be given a digital Reservation Pass (sent via email or SMS) to guarantee them an iPhone. This year's Reservation Passes replace the paper cards that have been handed out in past years.

Walk-in customers planning to wait in line should aim to arrive as early as possible. Many people hoping to get their hands on an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus are already waiting in line across the United States, and will wait through the night. According to multiple sources, supplies of the iPhone are expected to be low, with the iPhone 6 Plus being in extremely short supply.

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Line at 14th Street Store in New York City, as of 2:30 PT.

The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are already on sale in Australia, and initial reports have suggested that supplies of the iPhone 6 Plus are indeed constrained. According to one MacRumors reader, many stores in Melbourne, Australia received only one iPhone 6 Plus unit.

iphoneaustralia
Apple employees in Australia giving an iPhone to the first customer in line

As for customers who pre-ordered and plan to do Personal Pickup, arriving early is also generally recommended as the pickup line can get long as well.

Customers who pre-ordered early and selected at home shipping will also begin receiving their devices on Friday, September 19, with most shipments listing guaranteed delivery by the end of the day. MacRumors readers who are expecting shipments can join in on several threads in our forums, where readers are tracking their shipments and order statuses:

- The "I just bought/ordered/shipped/received my new iPhone 6/6 Plus" thread
- iPhone 6 & 6 Plus Sprint Pre-Order Thread!
- T-Mobile.com preorder thread
- ATT Pre-order status
- VZW Order Status Thread
- UK iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus Thread
- Apple.com Pre-order thread
- iPhone 6 Launch Meetups


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Photographer Tests iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in Iceland, Demos Focus Pixels, Other Camera Improvements
With every iteration of the iPhone, Apple aims to bring significant improvements to the device's camera. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are no exception, packing in several new features like Focus Pixels, Exposure Control, Panorama improvements, Slo-Mo video enhancements, and Optical Image Stabilization for the iPhone 6 Plus.

Professional photographer Austin Mann partnered with The Verge to test the cameras in both the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus in Iceland and came away with some impressive results.

iphone6plusaustinmann
One of the major new features in the new devices is Focus Pixels, which is the result of a new image signal processor. As described by Apple, Focus Pixels provides the sensor with more information about an image, which results in faster autofocusing.

In a video, Mann demonstrated Focus Pixels, showing much faster autofocusing on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. As seen in the still below, taken from the video, the iPhone 6 Plus is able to refocus on a scene much more quickly after an object placed in front of the camera causes the lens to refocus.

focuspixels
According to Mann, Focus Pixels keeps objects in focus in photographs, but it really shines when capturing video because it vastly speeds up refocusing. Focus Pixels are also highly useful in low-light situations -- where previous iPhones might have had trouble focusing in low light, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus work well, even better than some DSLRs.

Combined with optical image stabilization in the iPhone 6 Plus, the results are impressive. A comparison of an image shot with Phone 5s (top) and the iPhone 6 Plus (bottom) in low light is below.

iphone5svs6plus
Another improvement made to iOS 8 and thus the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus is Exposure Control, which allows for manual control over exposure and thus more control over the way photos turn out. Two shots, one with exposure control (left) and one with no exposure control (right) are shown off below.

exposurecontrol
Also new to the iPhone 6/6 Plus and iOS 8 is time-lapse video and improved Slo-Mo video. In iOS 7, Slo-Mo allowed users to capture up to 120 frames per second (fps) at 720p, but in iOS 8, that's been improved to 240fps, allowing for much improved slow motion video capabilities. Both the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are also capable of shooting 1080p video at up to 60fps.

While Mann doesn't spend too much time focusing on comparisons between the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 6/6 Plus, he does have a few shots that show much improved picture taking capabilities. Mann also doesn't make comparisons between the 6 and the 6 Plus, the latter of which has optical image stabilization, but photos taken with the two devices are equally impressive.
The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus pack in new innovations that make the camera experience better and more fun. What I love most about these innovations is they focus on enabling iPhone users to better capture and share life rather than just beefing up tech specs. The Apple team clearly understands their user base very well and incessantly strives to create devices that solve technical challenges and simplify experiences and they've done that yet again with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

Photographers are really going to enjoy this upgrade... with way better low light, a massive viewfinder and new tools like timelapse that work flawlessly I really couldn't ask for much more out of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus camera.
Austin Mann's complete overview of the camera in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus is well worth reading, as it contains a multitude of gorgeous images he was able to capture with the devices.


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FlightAware Offers Tool For Tracking iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Pre-Order Shipment Flights
Apple began shipping out early iPhone 6 and 6 Plus pre-orders on Thursday morning, and FlightAware, a site that offers live flight tracking, has created a tool that allows users to track the flights carrying their iPhones after receiving a tracking number.

flighttracker
According to FlightAware, users can check the "departure scan" in their UPS tracking information which may match a departure time and flight listed on the tracking page. Currently, the page is tracking UPS flights from Shenzhen, China to Anchorage, Alaska and Anchorage to Louisville, Kentucky, all of which are standard flight rounds for shipping companies.

Currently, many iPhones that will be shipping out to customers overnight and in the morning are aggregated in Kentucky, a worldwide UPS air hub known as Worldport. Apple appears to have shipped the majority of iPhone units using Next Day Air.

kentucky
The first iPhone 6 and 6 Plus shipments are expected to arrive on Friday, September 19, but oftentimes, some lucky customers receive their shipments early due to shipping company errors. Apple will also begin selling the devices in stores on Friday, but supplies are expected to be tight, especially for the iPhone 6 Plus.

MacRumors readers who are waiting for an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus may also want to join in on the dedicated Apple pre-order thread on the forums, where users share tracking information and socialize while waiting for their devices to arrive.


Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories
Apple Watch Likely Uses BCM4334 Broadcom Wi-Fi Chip
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iPhone 6 Plus Reportedly in Very Short Supply for In-Store Launch
Ahead of tomorrow's launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in a number of countries, customers who didn't place pre-orders for delivery have been lining up at Apple's retail stores and those of its carrier and retail partners hoping to obtain one first thing in the morning.

iphone6_6plus_laying_down
A new report from BGR claims, however, that those looking for an iPhone 6 Plus are likely to be disappointed, as the units are in extremely short supply.
We are told that stores have been receiving shipments all throughout the day, and out of all the new iPhone 6 models received, typically only about 2-3% are iPhone 6 Plus units, and in only one color.

There is "no chance" of finding an iPhone 6 Plus unit to purchase tomorrow, we were told. Sources also said there are no 16GB iPhone 6 Plus devices to be found.
The report notes that stores are seeing decent supplies of iPhone 6 units, with all colors and capacities available, but much like with the gold iPhone 5s last year, it appears that only a handful of customers at the very front of store lines will be able to purchase an iPhone 6 Plus at many locations.

Update: Multiple carriers have confirmed that supplies of the iPhone 6 Plus will be constrained, reports Re/code, with a Sprint representative saying the company's inventory is "extremely limited."


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SwiftKey's iOS 8 Keyboard Hits One Million Downloads in Under 24 Hours
Earlier today, we highlighted how a number of new third-party systemwide keyboard for iOS 8 are topping the App Store charts, with SwiftKey Keyboard [Direct Link] displacing Facebook Messenger from the top spot on the free iPhone app chart in the United States.

Moving beyond the charts to look at raw download numbers, the success of these new keyboards is even more clear, with SwiftKey telling MacRumors that its iOS 8 keyboard has just passed one million downloads in less than 24 hours.

swiftkey_one_million
SwiftKey saw a brief launch delay yesterday due to App Store processing, and thus it did not go live until around noon Pacific Time, meaning that it has reached the milestone in roughly 22 hours.

SwiftKey is certainly benefiting from its positioning as a free app compared to competitors such as Swype and Fleksy, but it offers users a good opportunity to try out an alternative to Apple's default keyboard. SwiftKey will continue to upgrade its keyboard over time, no doubt at some point adding in premium features to generate income for the company.


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iOS 8 Keyboards Climb to Top of App Store Charts
With yesterday's launch of iOS 8, devices running the new operating system are now able to install third-party keyboards that work on a systemwide basis. Most of the major keyboard makers were ready for the launch, introducing iOS 8 versions of their keyboards into the iOS App Store. One day after launch, three of these keyboards, including Fleksy, SwiftKey and Swype, are now at the top of the top iOS paid and free charts in the U.S. and other countries.

Within 24 hours of their debut, paid keyboards Swype and Fleksy climbed to the top two spots in the U.S. paid iOS app chart, displacing popular games such as Minecraft Pocket Edition and Five Nights at Freddy's. On the free app chart, Swiftkey jumped to the number one spot, beating out the now freemium and very popular 1Password password manager and the newly launched Amazing Thief game. Perhaps most impressively, SwiftKey has even displaced longtime number one Facebook Messenger from its spot atop the rankings.

paid-free-apps-keyboards
The new keyboards are of course benefiting from launch-day momentum of the iOS 8 debut, and it remains to be seen where they will settle in the charts following the initial surge of interest. Still, it is clear that many users are interested in at least trying out alternatives to Apple's default keyboard, even with its new QuickType suggestions implemented in iOS 8.

These three keyboards and more are available to all iPhone, iPad and iPod touch owners running iOS 8. SwiftKey [Direct Link] is available for free from the iOS App Store, while Fleksy [Direct Link] costs $1.99 and Swype [Direct Link] is 99 cents.


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iOS 8 Downloads Cause Spike in Web Traffic as Adoption Rate Climbs Slowly
Apple yesterday released iOS 8 to the public, opening the doors for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch owners to download and install Apple's latest version of iOS on their devices. According to The Guardian, this release caused internet traffic to surge in the UK by as much as 60 percent compared to the same time the previous day as millions of iOS users rushed to update their devices.

lonap-ios8
LONAP web traffic data from iOS launch timeframe (blue) vs. previous day (red)

MacRumors
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