iOS 8.1 was just released, to the relief of those disappointed with the features of iOS 8. It comes with a host of changes that make it a more user-friendly operating system for iPads and iPhones, particularly the newly released iPhone 6 and iPad Air 2. The new features definitely increase their effectiveness.
So let’s take a look at these new features:
- Apple Pay
With the 8.1 update comes Apple’s long awaited payment platform.
Uses add your credit card to Apple Pay by taking a picture of it. It adds your card to Passbook for you to use for future purchases using the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus. Tap your phone at NFC payment terminals. Touching your finger to the Touch ID sensor on the terminal verifies that you have bought the item.
Among retailers that already have NFC terminals and software ready are Nike, Whole Foods, Petco and Bloomingdale’s. iPhone 6 users may also complete in-app purchases using Apple Pay.
- Beta iCloud Photo Library
The Beta iCloud Photo Library is available with the iOS 8.1 operating system. It functions like the photo applications that run using earlier iOS systems, except that Apple has now made it available via iCloud.
iOS 8.1 users can use it by navigating to the device’s settings. They can then access iCloud and Photos.
While the Cloud-based photo storage of earlier iOS systems only stored 1000 photos for a month, the iOS 8.1 photo library accommodates any number of photos, provided iCloud has space available for them. Storage upgrade prices are available, ranging from $0.99 for 20GB of storage to $20 for 1TB of storage.
- Camera Roll/Video
For those who are still uncomfortable using iCloud storage, Apple re-introduces the Camera Roll feature with the 8.1 update. They removed it from iOS 8 in favor of a new photo album.
Users were unhappy with the photo album as it did not show every photo. The camera roll now returns, behaving as it did in earlier iOS versions and showing every picture taken.
In addition, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus allow users to capture photos at 240 fps in slow motion. Users may also record videos at 60 fps.
You may also change the focus of your shots using the AE/AF lock. iOS 8.1 allows you to change exposure by pressing the sun icon and swiping up or downwards.
Apple has introduced a timer function, represented by a small stopwatch icon. You can activate it for as long as 10 seconds. Activate it and run in front of the camera so that the photo will include you.
- Making Calls and receiving messages on the Mac
With iOS 8.1 and Apple’s new OS X Yosemite feature, you can make calls and send texts using your Mac.
Once installed, Yosemite detects that your iPhone is near. You may then connect it to relay messages and make phone calls with your Mac. A boon of Yosemite is that it works each time devices are within range. They do not need pairing.
Using the SMS Relay feature, you may also sends messages on both Mac and iOS devices.
- Home and Lock Screen
The adaptations to the Home and Lock screens of iOS 8 and 8.1 will please users.
In lock screen mode, the phone shows the icon representing the application you were accessing before the phone automatically locked the screen.
Perhaps you were using the Camera Roll before the screen went into lock mode. Tapping on the camera icon at the bottom of the screen as it is in lock mode and swiping upwards will allow you to navigate the camera roll again.
- New Message and Mail Features
Apple has added new message features with the iOS 8.1 update. If someone is constantly messaging you, mute him by going to a message from the person, selecting the Details function and then the Do Not Disturb button. This works for SMS and iMessages as well.
- iCloud Tips
iOS 8.1 gives you more flexibility with iCloud. From the iCloud drive, you can decide which applications have access to iCloud.
It also allows you to share photos with up to five people using the Family Sharing function.
iCloud is also more secure. Use the Keychain Access function to protect your passwords more securely.
- iOS 8.1 Notifications
Using the Quick Reply function, you can reply to notifications without opening the specific application. Reply to Facebook messages or iMessages there and then.
- The iOS 8.1 Control Center
Those using iPad Air 2 will find that Apple has added separate mute and rotation buttons to the iOS 8.1 Control Center. Apple has removed the side switch from iPad Air 2 and simply added controls to the Control Center for you to mute your device and rotate its screen.
- Personal Hotspot
The Personal Hotspot feature allows users to share their internet connections. Just access the Settings feature to turn it on or off.
- New Keyboard Functions
With iOS 8.1, you may now add the Emoji keyboard with all your favorite message stickers. Access the Settings feature, navigating to General and then Keyboards. You may also add third-party keyboards.
You can install more than three keyboards. If you do, a globe icon will appear next to your space bar.
The 8.1 keyboard has QuickType functions. You may click on the words suggested after typing a few letters. There is no need for you to type the word.
- Mail For iOS 8.1
Swiping from right to left allows you to deal with mail quickly. You may remove messages, mark them as unread or ask for notifications of future messages instantly.
You can also drag the email message that you are composing to the bottom of the screen while accessing your inbox. Click on the title of the mail and drag it to the bottom.
Reviews and Recommendations
In general, many users found that installing iOS 8 was not a hassle. It is also easy to use. Applications are also more accessible than before.
Users report that Apple has addressed the problem with the landscape feature that was present in iOS 8. It also fixed the bug in iOS 8 that left some messages listed as unread when they already were.
With the iOS 8.1 being more usable, it is definitely worth installing.