Apple has just seeded the highly-anticipated iOS 8 software update for compatible iPhone, iPad and iPod touch models, but the update is going to be a little less significant for early upgraders this afternoon because of four major features that are either missing, not fully functional or delayed: HealthKit, iCloud Drive, SMS Continuity and Apple Pay.
iOS 8 will come pre-installed on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, and is also available as an over-the-air update — requires 6.9 GB free space — for the following iOS devices: iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, iPhone 5s, iPad 2, iPad (third-generation), iPad (fourth-generation), iPad Air, iPad mini, iPad mini with Retina display and iPod touch (fifth-generation).
Just this morning, Apple was forced to pull HealthKit-compatible apps from the App Store due to a significant last-minute issue that was discovered. Brian Mueller, developer of the popular workout app CARROT Fit, confirmed that his app was removed from the App Store because Apple told him HealthKit is broken and unready to launch.
There is no word on how long it will take for Apple to fix the apparent HealthKit bug that it has discovered, but Mueller suspects that the service will be down for at least the remainder of this week. He was offered the chance to resubmit his app without HealthKit functionality for an expedited review process on the App Store.
iCloud Drive is available on iOS 8 right now, but several major tech publications have recommended that you refrain from enabling the feature after upgrading. And with good reason. If you opt to upgrade to iCloud Drive, you will not be able to access the documents currently stored in iCloud on any devices not running iOS 8 or OS X Yosemite.
iCloud Drive is the front-facing cloud storage system for sharing files across iPhone, iPad and Mac, but the feature is only compatible with OS X Yosemite. As the latest Mac operating system version remains pre-release software, likely until mid-October, iCloud Drive will prevent iOS apps from syncing with their Mac versions until it is released.
To put it simply: wait until OS X Yosemite is released.
Apple has confirmed that SMS Continuity on iOS 8 will be delayed until October. The feature allows users to send and receive SMS and MMS text messages from an iPad or Mac when an iPhone is within reach. The service relies on both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to function, and essentially expands cross-platform iMessaging to standard text messages.
You can also start a conversation from your iPad or Mac by clicking a phone number in Safari, Contacts, or Calendar. The feature was live in iOS 8 betas, but was later disabled in iOS 8 beta Golden Master. The ability to receive and make phone calls from iPad and Mac, another Continuity feature, appears to be unaffected.
The launch of Apple Pay on iPhone and Apple Watch is also not happening until October. Apple Pay is a new mobile payments platform powered by the NFC chip on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. When you want to make a payment, simply hold your iPhone near a point-of-sale system and verify you are the card holder with Touch ID.
The service is deeply integrated with Passbook, enabling one-touch checkout with no card number entry, typing an address or signing a receipt required. Forget about carrying credit and debit cards in your wallet and simply use your iPhone for payments at over 220,000 participating stores in the United States.
Apple Pay also supports the iPhone 5, iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s when paired with an Apple Watch.
Which features are you most disappointed not to be able to try in iOS 8 right now?