Connect with us


iOS 8.1 Update: 11 New Features & Fixes



The iOS 8.1 update is finally here with a lot of changes and fixes. Here’s a look at what’s new in iOS 8.1 on the iPhone and iPad, and why you’ll want this if you installed OS X Yosemite or own an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus.

Apple’s free iOS 8.1 update arrived for all devices running iOS 8 as a small update full of bug fixes. It is also available to users still waiting on iOS 7.1.2, but as a larger update that still requires almost 5GB of space to install.

Some of these features worked sporadically on iOS 8, but the iOS 8.1 release officially unlocks the new and improved connectivity to your Mac.

Here's whats new in the iOS 8.1 release.

Here’s whats new in the iOS 8.1 update.

iOS 8.1 Update Details

Here’s a closer look at the iOS 8.1 update, including what’s new in iOS 8.1 for your devices. iOS 8.1 takes about 30 minutes to download and install and is available on the iPad 2 and newer, iPhone 4s and newer and the iPod touch 5th generation.

Apple Pay for iPhone 6 & iPhone 6 Plus

The iOS 8.1 release delivers Apple Pay to the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Apple Pay lets users scan a card from supported banks into PassBook and then make payments by tapping the iPhone at a credit card terminal with support for NFC. This only works at specific retailers and with specific banks, but it is finally here.

Users can also access Apple Pay inside apps like Uber and others to make payments using the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus. Apple Pay support is also available for the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 and will arrive on the Apple Watch as well.

Texts on Your Mac

Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 4.20.56 PM copy

Send texts from your Mac with iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite.

With iOS 8.1 on your iPhone and OS X Yosemite on your Mac you can now see and respond to text messages on your Mac. Until this update you could only do this for iMessages, but now you can respond to the green text messages just like you would on your phone. Learn how to set up text messaging on your Mac.

Instant Hotspot

OS X Yosemite Features - Instant Hotspot

Use an instant Hotspot better in iOS 8.1.

Any iPhone or iPad with LTE on iOS 8.1 will now show up as an instant hotspot on Apple computers running OS X Yosemite and on other Apple devices. This appeared on iOS 8, but after the iOS 8.1 update the Instant Hotspot feature works much better.

Camera Roll is Back

Apple removed the Camera Roll in iOS 8, but it is back with the iOS 8.1 release. This is bigger news than Apple Pay for some users.

iOS 8.1 brings back the camera roll.

iOS 8.1 brings back the camera roll.

You’ll see the biggest change when using apps like Facebook and Instagram where it is still listed as Camera Roll and offers access to all of the photos on your iPhone. You can see it listed as All Photos in the Photos App.

iCloud Photo Library

Use iCloud Photo Library to keep your iPhone photos in sync across all devices.

Use iCloud Photo Library to keep your iPhone photos in sync across all devices.

You can use iCloud Photo Library on iOS 8.1. This is a beta, so not everyone will want to use this just yet, but if you do you can see photos across all of your devices and online at iCloud.

Although this was available on iOS 8, Apple is finally ready to offer this option as a beta to all now and includes it in the iOS 8.1 release notes. To turn this on go to Settings -> iCloud -> Photo Library -> On. 

AirDrop to Mac

AirDrop from iPhone to Mac more reliably.

AirDrop from iPhone to Mac more reliably.

With iOS 8.1 we can finally use AirDrop from iPhone to a Mac on OS X Yosemite. This is another feature that worked occasionally on iOS 8, that now works better with iOS 8.1. When need to share a photo or link you can now use AirDrop in the sharing menu to share with a Mac instead of just iPhone to iPad or iPhone.

iOS 8.1 Fixes & Features

Apple delivers a lot of bug fixes with the iOS 8.1 release that make the overall experience on an iPhone or iPad much better. Here are a few of the fixes Apple mentions and that we observed.

  • Better Landscape Switching – No more getting stuck on landscape while using the iPhone.
  • WiFi Fixes – Better WiFi performance when connected to some routers.
  • Bluetooth Connectivity in Your Car – On iOS 8.0.2 many car hands-free systems couldn’t work with the iPhone. This fixes many of these problems.
  • Better Accessibility for iPhone – Apple fixes Voice Over on iOS 8.1 and fixes a hearing aid issue with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
  • Better Performance – The iPad 3 runs better with iOS 8.1 installed.

You can install iOS 8.1 now by going to Settings -> General -> Software Update -> Download and Install. Make sure you have a backup of your iPhone or iPad before installing. You can see the new iOS 8 features below, including some of those that finally arrived with iOS 8.1.



  1. karen

    10/21/2014 at 8:16 pm

    My iphone 5C’s ios version is 7.1.2 and trying to update my software to ios8.1 but it says “an error ocuured in downloading ios8.1”.. what im goin to do now? I’ve backup my phone thru icloud and i have lot of spaces to install this 8.1 version.. my phone battery get easily drain even im not using it.. i have no 3g connection though my cellular data was already turned ON.. all my apps were crashed.

  2. Well

    10/21/2014 at 9:14 pm

    Do it via iTunes since ur old iOS its too old. Back it up first.

  3. Lamm2003

    10/23/2014 at 3:12 am

    When updating via your phone you must have 6.9GB of free space. If you use iTunes you only need 1GB.
    So it will fail w/o the correct amount of free space.
    And it is ALWAYS a GõōD practice to back your phone up every so often.

  4. James

    10/23/2014 at 8:42 am

    Hmm. I’ve been using Messages on my iMac running OS X 10.9.5 (Maverick) for quite some time now. This isn’t “new,” is it?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.