Re: questions about windows 8
Did you install the drivers for GoPro prior to connecting to your system? If so, can you check under the Control Panel>System>Device Manager, and locate the corresponding tree for USBs. From there, you should see some sort of indicator distinguishing the GoPro device. When you open the properties for that selection, do you notice anything out of the ordinary?
It does not appear that there are any conflicts with GoPro and Windows 8 compatibility, so my first assumption for a communication error of this nature would be a drivers/software issue. If the unit is charging, we can assume the unit functions properly, and the USB port is in good standing. Did the unit include any sort of setup instructions/disk?
As far as the Iphone question, It is always good practice to install the software for a device prior to connecting the device to the system. Give Itunes a quick install and let us know how it worked for you.