Announced during the Apple event last week, the latest and greatest update to iOS is now available. The “big" features of iOS 8.1 is the launch of Apple Pay, which if you’ve got an iPhone 6 (or 6 Plus) you’ll be able to use your phone to pay for things at what seems like a shockingly vast array of retailers in the USA. It seems like basically any credit card terminal that can do contactless credit cards should also be able to take Apple Pay… But expect some hiccups as everything gets up and running. If nothing else, I’m excited to start using things like this for security alone, as it seems like you can hardly go a week now without reading about some massive financial data security leak. *glares at Home Depot*
As pointed out by our sister site MacRumors, Apple expects most of the early uses of Apple Pay to be related to in-app purchase, which seems right to me. I feel like we’ve got more than a few hurdles ahead before Apple Pay works as well as Apple demos, if only because it’s going to take a while for cashiers to get used to how the whole process works. I imagine using it day one is going to invoke some eye rolls until it becomes “normal".
A lot of the iOS 8 Continuity features were held back for the release of OSX Yosemite, and all that stuff will be active once you update as well. So, you’ll be taking calls on your Mac, responding to non-iMessage SMS messages straight inside of the Messages app on your Mac or iPad, and more. Instant hot spot sounds pretty rad, as toggling your WiFi connection sharing on and off always was a little awkward. I’m most excited for iCloud Photo Library though, as managing photos has gotten pretty annoying. Allegedly, it’s going to sync everything, which I’m cautiously optimistic for given how well iCloud syncing has worked in the past with game saves.
Oh, speaking of photos, the Camera Roll is coming back along with a bunch of bug fixes. As always, it might not be a bad idea to hold off on updating at least for a few hours to see what the general vibe is regarding what kind of things iOS 8.1 is breaking. After the iOS 8.0.1 fiasco, I’m less than excited to mash that “update" button the second it’s available.
But, if you are brave enough to do that and you’re stoked for Apple Pay, get to updating and let us know how it goes.