In a move that may come as a surprise to iPhone and Android users, Apple on Tuesday confirmed to AppleInsider that it will begin rolling out the first major iOS 8 update to all iPhone and iPad owners on March 18.
Users will be able to download iOS 8 for free from the App Store and through the Mac App Store, and they will be asked to upgrade from iOS 7 to iOS 8 in order to get the update.
It’s unclear how many of those users will actually get the iOS 8 upgrade, but AppleInsiders is expecting many more.”iOS 8 is now available for all iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Apple TV models.
Users who have previously downloaded iOS 7 will be upgraded to iOS 7.0.4 on March 19, while those who have downloaded iOS 8 or later will be eligible for the iOS 7 upgrade at a later date,” Apple wrote in an announcement.
“If you are already running iOS 8, you should continue to use the app until we receive further updates.”
In addition to the iOS update, Apple is also rolling out iCloud Photo Library updates to all iOS devices.
The company says the new update will also include “a number of other enhancements and improvements” that include “improved reliability and performance” and “better support for the latest photo and video formats.”
The iCloud Photo library is one of the biggest new features in iOS 8 that lets users save photos and videos to iCloud without having to worry about deleting or syncing the files.
While it was initially designed to support iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, Apple added it to iOS last month as part of a broader upgrade to the iCloud photo and photo sharing service.
The update has been downloaded more than a billion times since it was first released.
Apple’s iOS 8 release is also expected to include several other new features, including improved security and privacy protections for users.
Apple has previously said it was planning to release updates to the company’s iOS operating system for Windows and Macs this year, as well as for iPhones.iOS 8 includes a number of security improvements that Apple says it hopes will make it more secure against hackers.
The latest version of the operating system includes the ability for apps to access information about your device, including your device’s location and your activity on social media.
In addition, iOS 8 is also the first version of iOS to include an enhanced version of Apple’s Secure Enclave, a new feature that lets apps use your device to encrypt data on your device.