Forget minor updates like iOS 8.01 and 8.02. We were waiting for 8.1, which is packed with major features like Apple Pay, iCloud Photo Library, and support for Continuity so your phone and your Mac will work in perfect harmony. Now it’s ready to install.
So far, there have been no reports of major issues downloading 8.1, but it’s always safe to wait before upgrading (especially if you haven’t backed up your device).
What you can expect: If you have an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus, Apple Pay will function as your wallet at participating retail stores. Simply store your credit or debit card information in Passbook and wave your iPhone near a near-field communications reader at a store that accepts Apple Pay. Authenticate your fingerprint with Touch ID and your transaction is complete. Check out our guide on how and where to use Apple Pay before getting started.
The iCloud Photo Library we saw at June’s Worldwide Developers Conference is now in public beta with iOS 8.1, so you can store and access your photos in iCloud across all of your iOS devices.
If you’re not using iCloud Photo Library, you’ll get the Camera Roll back (thankfully!). iOS 8 messed with the categorization of photos stored to your phone, and people were not happy about it. Today’s iOS update brings back the classic Camera Roll for easier viewing.
Another neat feature included in 8.1 is SMS Relay, or the ability to see and respond to texts sent to your iOS device on your Mac. The update is part of Continuity, which Apple introduced with OS X Yosemite as a way to make all of your Apple devices work seamlessly together.
Let us know if you have any issues installing the upgrade, and make sure to tell us what you think after you use the new features in iOS 8.1.