Apple’s event last Thursday was another milestone for the Cupertino firm as it was well attended and the company was able to present to media guest and other selected few the rest of their wares which will be eventually made available to their flock in the coming weeks/months. As proof of this, online pre-orders of the new iPad Air 2 and the iPad Mini 3 have started last Friday and as of this writing, sales of the new devices are going strong specially the more powerful iPad Air 2.
As an added bonus to would-be owners of the new iPad lines, Apple will pre-install the latest iteration of its mobile operating system, iOS 8.1, on these iDevices before they are shipped to customers. Apple also announced during the affair that starting Monday, users will be able to download iOS 8.1 and update their supported devices. What improvements or new features could users gain by updating to iOS 8.1?
First off and the most prominent feature of iOS 8.1 which will also be activated this Monday is Apple Pay. This is fruit firm’s first incursion into the mobile payment system – and with more than 500 retailers joining the fray and a slew of bank partners backing Apple up – it looks like Apple Pay may become another standard that other companies will follow. When activated, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users can now use their phones to make payments via NFC in any of Apple’s participating retailers/establishments.
Next in line is the new Continuity feature which will serve as a bridge to almost all Apple devices. With Continuity, users can link all their Apple iDevices running iOS 8.1 with their iMacs and MacBooks running OS X Yosemite and interact with them seamlessly. This feature allows users to send and receive phone calls with the iMacs and MacBooks connected to their iPhones. Handoff is a great feature which permits users to start work on one device and continue working on it on another device without waiting for the devices to sync. iOS 8.1 will also bring other superb Continuity features to Apple devices like SMS Relay and Instant Hotspot once the operating system is unleashed and users install it on their devices on Monday.
There are other minor updates and features that iOS 8.1 bring like the return of the Camera Roll which a lot of users were craving for. Another one is iCloud Photo Library which is connected to the user’s iCloud account and stores all photos and videos in the cloud to make them accessible to all devices. Right now, this service is limited to iDevices but with Apple working with a tie in with the Photo app for the Mac, users will eventually enjoy these benefits as well.
On a final note, iOS 8.1 is also expected to fix all other bugs that have cropped up, including the dreaded Bluetooth connectivity issue that a lot of users experienced when they updated to iOS 8.0.1 / 8.0.2.