What To Expect In iOS 8.1, Apple’s Next Big Update For iPhones And iPads

IPhone 6

Apple’s rollout of iOS 8 isn’t going so great.

After several complaints of bugs and general slowness — and a quick patch from Apple that actually made things worseadoption of Apple’s latest mobile operating system has slowed down to a crawl. Adoption has increased by just 1% in the last two weeks.

Perhaps adoption numbers will increase when the next update to iOS 8 rolls out. Reports say iOS 8.1 is coming this month, likely around Apple’s planned Oct. 16 event.

Apple released the second beta build of iOS 8.1 on Wednesday, which might hint at some of the forthcoming improvements. In case you still haven’t updated to iOS 8, or you’re just wondering how and when your iOS 8-enabled device is going to improve, check out this list.

SMS Handoff

Olympic relay race

One of the most promising features of iOS 8 is “Continuity,” which allows you to take calls and iMessages from your phone on any other Apple device, be it an iPad or Mac computer. But currently, SMS messages cannot be passed along. That’s said to change this month, as Apple on its website says SMS handoff is “coming in October.” It will likely coincide with the final version of OS X Yosemite, Apple’s next desktop operating system announced earlier this summer but expected to launch this month.

Improved performance

Iphone 5 vs 4S

The release of iOS 8.0.2 helped patch a lot of issues created by the first two versions of iOS 8, but iOS 8.1 should help take care of any outstanding bugs and lag issues with device performance, as well as glitches with certain applications and functions like summoning the Control Center, or using swipe gestures to navigate. Hopefully, many of these enhancements will make older iPhone models, like the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5, a bit faster, too.

Apple Pay

Apple Pay Walkthrough 4

Business Insider

Apple’s mobile payments platform was introduced last month, but promised for October. The beta code for iOS 8.1 makes multiple references to Apple Pay, which will allow iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users to pay for goods online and in physical stores using the iPhone’s Touch ID fingerprint scanner. Now that the new iPads will also likely be fitted with Touch ID sensors, perhaps Apple will enable those devices to handle the other end of Apple Pay — accepting payments — but we won’t know for sure until Oct. 16.

There will be plenty of other minor tweaks that we don’t know yet, especially since we’re expecting that some unannounced features will involve the yet-to-be-announced iPads, but the features listed above are almost certain.

Furthermore, iOS 8.1 should mean that it’s safe to use iCloud Drive, a feature that was initially included with the first rollout of iOS 8. Developers strongly discouraged users from activating iCloud Drive until OS X Yosemite arrived in October, since doing so would totally screw up other synchronisation services like Box, Dropbox, and others. So once iOS 8.1 arrives, iCloud Drive should be safe to use.