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Apple’s iOS 8.1 for iPhone and iPad is available to download now

Apple has made its eagerly-anticipated iOS 8.1 update available to download, bringing a host of new features into play.

The update, announced during the iPad launch event last week, sees Apple Pay functionality introduced for those in the United States, allowing iPhone owners to pay for goods at a large array of retailers using their handsets.

Alongside Apple Pay is the return of the popular Camera Roll section of the Photos app. It had been mysteriously axed in the first version of iOS 8, replaced by a Recently Added section.

Speaking of photos, iOS 8.1 also introduces the iCloud Photo Library tool which automatically saves photos and videos for iCloud and syncs them up with other devices.

There’s also the introduction of some new features that improve the relationship between iOS 8 and Mac OS X Yosemite.

The Continuity feature enables users to take calls on their iPhone, iPad and Mac, while SMS on Mac means iPhone owners will now be able to receive and reply to text messages on their Mac, even from those on Android devices.

Handoff is a another Continuity feature, enabling iPhoners to begin, for example, an email on their handset but complete it on their Mac.

Perhaps the neatest new cross-compatibility feature in iOS 8.1 is the Instant Hotspot tool. This allows Mac and iPad users to remotely switch on their iPhone’s internet hotspot feature when the devices are in each other’s vicinity.

The new version also fixes some bugs with Bluetooth pairing, and introduces an alert when there is not enough space left on the phone for Time Lapse videos.

iOS 8.1 can be downloaded now from Settings > General > Software Update over the air or by plugging in via iTunes. Happy downloading.

Read more:
What is Apple Pay? A guide for mobile payments

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