iOS 8.1 Now Available

This release includes new features, improvements and bug fixes, including:
Apple Pay support for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus (U.S. only)
Photos includes new features, improvements and fixes
Adds iCloud Photo Library as a beta service
Adds Camera Roll album in Photos app and My Photo Stream album when iCloud Photo Library is not enabled
Provides alerts when running low on space before capturing Time Lapse videos
Messages includes new features, improvements and fixes
Adds the ability for iPhone users to send and receive SMS and MMS text messages from their iPad and Mac
Resolves an issue where search would sometimes not display results
Fixes a bug that caused read messages to not be marked as read
Fixes issues with group messaging
Resolves issues with Wi-Fi performance that could occur when connected to some base stations
Fixes an issue that could prevent connections to Bluetooth hands-free devices
Fixes bugs that could cause screen rotation to stop working
Adds an option to select between 2G, 3G or LTE networks for cellular data
Fixes an issue in Safari where videos would sometimes not play
Adds AirDrop support for Passbook passes
Adds an option to enable Dictation in Settings for Keyboards, separate from Siri
Enables HealthKit apps to access data in the background
Accessibility improvements and fixes
Fixes an issue that prevented Guided Access from working properly
Fixes a bug where VoiceOver would not work with 3rd party keyboards
Improves stability and audio quality when using MFi Hearing Aids with iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus
Fixes an issue with VoiceOver where tone dialing would get stuck on a tone until dialing another number
Improves reliability when using handwriting, Bluetooth keyboards and Braille displays with VoiceOver
Fixes an issue that was preventing the use of OS X Caching Server for iOS updates

Apple Pay Launches Tomorrow – Are You Ready?

Apple’s payment system, Apple Pay, will launch tomorrow alongside iOS 8.1, the first major update to iOS 8. Apple Pay has the ability to forever change how payments are made. With incredibly advanced levels of encryption and data security, Apple Pay is set to go live at McDonalds, Macy’s, Panera, Office Depot, Subway, Wegmans, Toys R Us, Walgreens, 140909-apple-pay-1353_2a1830b9830f65b7f9d1f2b5a1a321b2Disney, among others.

If you have a shiny new iPhone 6, be sure to try it out, starting tomorrow!

Apple Pay setup detailed & retailers begin training as service launches at Apple HQ

Originally posted on 9to5Mac:

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The launch of Apple Pay, Apple’s NFC and Touch ID-based mobile payment solution, is upon us. Apple has begun preparing for the launch by kicking off Apple Pay training programs for its own group of retail store employees and by working with retailers to prepare for the debut later this month. The training materials for the Apple Pay launch at Apple retail stores have also detailed some new specifics regarding the Apple Pay setup and transaction processes both on customer iPhones and in Apple retail stores…

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iOS 8: A Review

With the launch of Apple’s latest and greatest mobile operating system, iOS 8, there’s never a better time to download it. But what’s in store and how will it affect you as a user?

Apple touts iOS 8 as its biggest software update for iOS devices. But wait, what does that really mean? Well, iOS 8 sports hundreds of new features, refined updates and totally new possibilities.

First off, Apple has updated the messages app, allowing you to send texts easier and more efficiently. No longer do you need to open the messages app, but rather you can swipe to respond. After many years, Apple has finally allowed third-party keyboards. Currently, the App Store sports several new and enhanced keyboards for your iPhone or iPad that add features such as swiping, gestures, different designs, etc., and allow for quicker typing. The new operating system also touts an updated photos app with new filters, enhancements and better organization.

The new Family Sharing feature in iOS 8 allows families to share content between multiple iTunes accounts. Gone are the days where you’d have only one iTunes account for your entire family. Also, Apple debuted iCloud Drive, a service that aims to sync all data in the cloud. Developers can now optimize their apps to support iCloud Drive so apps can access iCloud data much like Apple’s Pages and iBooks apps do. However, perhaps the coolest of all features introduced in iOS 8 is Continuity. Continuity allows iOS users to connect their devices like never before. You can receive an incoming call on your iPad via your iPhone or begin writing an email on your iPad and pick up right where you left off on your Mac. Apple’s strategy with Continuity will make iOS devices even more tightly integrated and work seamlessly together.

Perhaps even more incredible is what Apple has done for its developers. Even if you’re not involved in the development of an app, iOS developers’ work is all around us. With iOS 8, developers can now create “extensions,” or new ways of integrating their apps into the system. For instance, the new Tumblr app lets users share content without ever having to open the Tumblr app. You’ll also see new “widgets” in Notification Center – and there have been several incredible ones already released. Yahoo!’s Weather app is a fully fledged service and looks great. Additionally, you’ll be able to say goodbye to the days of manually typing passwords with Touch ID (Apple’s fingerprint sensor) integration. There’s also a new health app that syncs with other apps from the App Store to provide an actual representation of your daily activities. Further, new games built with a service Apple calls Metal will provide 3-D graphics for iOS devices. Finally, Apple released a new programming language for developers, Swift, that will make apps quicker and more efficient.

Overall, iOS 8 is defiantly a worthy upgrade. While it isn’t as major a design change as iOS 7, its internal features are really fantastic and well worth the upgrade. However, iPhone 4S might find the new system will create some (not terrible) lag on their device.

So, what are you waiting for? Download the free iOS 8 update for your iPhone or iPad now.