Apple iOS 8.1 now available for download

Apple iOS 8.1

After a couple of betas, Apple has released iOS 8.1 to all compatible iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices. The newest version of Apple's mobile OS brings a few new features and improvements including Apple Pay, iCloud Photo Library,  SMS support for iPads and Macs and, as promised, the old Camera Roll, which was replaced with "Recently Added" on iOS 8.0.

The update will be pushed to compatible iOS devices OTA and can be downloaded and installed under Settings > General > Software Update. You can alternately download the update through iTunes or manually download the IPSW files from the links below and install it using iTunes.

Once you have downloaded the IPSW file, Start iTunes. On your Mac, hold the Alt key (on Windows PC, this will be the Shift key), and click on the Restore iPhone… button. iTunes will then allow you to select the .IPSW you downloaded. Select it and wait for the installation to complete.

Apple Pay

Starting today, users of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus can take advantage of Apple Pay by visiting one of the 220,000 enabled stored scattered across the US, and simply waving their mobile device next to the terminal for contactless payments, and then putting their finger on the Touch ID sensor to authorize a purchase. There are many chains and stores supporting Apple's new payment service, with some of the more notable ones being Mc Donalds, Nike, Subway, Macy's, Disney stores, and more. In order to use Apple Pay, though, users will first have to register a debit or a credit card in their iPhone's Passbook application.

While the iPhone 5s also has a TouchID, it doesn't have the required NFC chip to make contactless payments. Fortunately once the Apple Watch is made available, iPhone 5 users will be able to use the NFC chip inside Apple's wearable device to make payments through payment terminals. However the Touch ID can be used without NFC to make payments directly on your device through supported websites and third-party apps like Uber, Target and Panera Bread.

iCloud Photo Library

Another enhancement on iOS 8.1 is iCloud Photo Library, which allows you to store your photos in iCloud. You can then access your photos on your other iOS devices or by heading to Plus, any changes you make to an iCloud Photo Library photo on one device will be immediately visible on all other connected devices.

Another welcome feature on the Photos app is the return of the Camera Roll. The Camera Roll makes it easier for users to browse all of their photos, not just their most recent ones.


The Continuity feature introduced on iOS 8 allows a user's iPhone, iPad, and Mac all work together. With iOS 8.1, it'll now be possible to work with SMS messages directly from an iPad or a Mac, saving you the need to reach for your iPhone. In addition, the new Instant Hotspot feature will make enabling the use of internet tethering a piece of cake. Actually, once they set it up, users won't have to do anything - internet tethering between their iPhone and iPad or Mac will work instantaneously, whenever a Wi-Fi network isn't available.

Besides these changes, we expect iOS 8.1 to also bring several bug fixes and performance improvements, as the platform continues to grow in maturity. Those who are on iOS 8.0 are advised to download the latest version to ensure that they have the most secure and up-to-date iOS available.

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