Just as promised, Apple is now pushing the iOS 8.1 update to iPhone, iPad and iPod touch owners.
The iOS 8.1 update brings with it support for Apple Pay, the Cupertino firm’s new mobile payment solution. Apple Pay uses NFC and Touch ID to make payments at wireless terminals in stores. Your credit card info is stored in the Passbook app, but Apple says that it keeps your data secure by keeping it encrypted on the device and utilizing both a dynamic security code and a one-time account number rather than your actual credit card number when you make a payment. Your payments will require your Touch ID fingerprint to authenticate a purchase.
Apple Pay will support three major credit card companies — American Express, MasterCard and Visa — out of the gate. A number of retailers have announced their plans to support Apple Pay, including McDonald’s, Whole Foods, Walgreens and Macy’s. Many banks have said that they’ll support Apple Pay as well.
In addition to paying for things in stores, you’ll be able to use Apple Pay to pay for goods in apps. Apps like Target, Uber, Open Table and the Apple Store app will allow you to make payments using Touch ID.
Apple Pay will work with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus initially. It’ll also be supported by the Apple Watch when it launches in early 2015, which will allow wears to use their iPhone 5, 5s and 5c with Apple Pay as well.
Along with Apple Pay, the update to iOS 8.1 includes the public beta of iCloud Photo Library, which lets users keep all of their photos easily accessible on all of their iCloud-connected devices. iOS 8.1 will also bring back the Camera Roll, allowing users to easily access all of their images in their Photos app.
iOS 8.1 is available to the iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad 2, iPad 3, iPad 4, iPad Air, iPad mini, iPad mini with Retina display and iPod touch fifth generation. You can check for the over the air update by going into Settings > General > Software Update.
Once you get iOS 8.1 downloaded on your iOS device, be sure to share your first impressions with us!
UPDATE: I’ve added the Apple's official iOS 8.1 changelog for those of you that prefer text to images.