iOS 8.1 Released

IMG_0001Today Apple released iOS 8.1 bringing many bug fixes and a few new features:

  • SMS Relay. Previously you could iMessage from your Mac but if you were texting someone on another platform such as Blackberry or Android you had to pick up your phone. Now if you’re using iOS 8.1 and OS X Yosemite, your computer will be able to send plain old SMS messages through your phone using Bluetooth.
  • Instant Hotspot. If you have a supported plan from your carrier, you can now turn on the mobile hotspot feature using the WiFi icon on your Yosemite Mac. No need to touch your iPhone.
  • Apple Pay. Users with the iPhone 6/6 Plus and a credit card with a participating bank can now pay at NFC-enabled credit card readers using Apple’s new payment system which exchanges a single-use token instead of your account information. This ensures that if there is another big data breach the information stolen will be useless to the hacker. It is based on some of the technologies that power the EMV chip cards used in most countries, but taken to a new level of privacy and convenience.
  • iCloud Photo Library (beta). Next year Apple is discontinuing iPhoto in favor of a cloud-synced photo library. Currently photo syncing is partially cloud-based, but the way in which it is done is confusing, leading many people to not sync at all or end up with duplicate photos or missing photos. This system aims to end that problem by keeping all of your devices completely synchronized at all times. You can also save only thumbnails on devices with limited storage, downloading the full resolution copies on demand.

To update your iOS devices:

  1. Connect to WiFi
  2. Back up your device to iTunes or iCloud (Settings > iCloud > Backup)
  3. Visit Settings > General > Software Update

If you don’t have enough storage available to install the update read my article on the subject.