As detailed earlier today, Apple Pay is the biggest feature in today’s release of iOS 8.1. Along with Apple Pay and a variety of bug fixes, here are three more things you’ll see in iOS 8.1:
Instant Hotspot is another facet of Continuity that will be enabled with iOS 8.1. This feature lets a Mac remotely activate the Personal Hotspot capabilities of an iPhone when the two devices are near each other. The Mac can automatically detect an iPhone with Hotspot and users can connect to a Hotspot via the Mac’s Wi-Fi menu without needing to remove the iPhone from their pocket.
iCloud Photo Library:
iCloud Photo Library is designed to store all of a user’s photos and videos, making them accessible on all of their iOS devices. iCloud Photo Library is tied to a user’s iCloud account, using the storage space of their iCloud plans. With iCloud Photo Library, photos are kept in the cloud with a smaller version available on iOS devices, taking up less storage space. iCloud Photo Library will also tie in to the upcoming Photos app for the Mac, but until that is available, iCloud Photo Library will only be available on iOS devices.
And my absolute favorite, SMS Relay:
With SMS relay, both Macs (running Yosemite) and iOS devices like iPads are able to receive SMS messages that have been routed through a user’s iPhone. Currently, while iPads and Macs can receive iMessages, SMS messages are limited to iPhones. When SMS relay is functional, an SMS message that has been received will be forwarded to iPads and Macs, and users will be able to answer all of their messages on any device. It’s also possible to start SMS-based conversations directly on a Mac or iPad.
I do the vast majority of my writing on my Mac and I love the fact that I can respond to iMessages on my Mac. I can type faster on my Mac and, if my current workflow is on my Mac, I can copy and paste links and other content into a message. When I get an SMS message, I have to pull out my phone, my typing is slower, and I don’t have access to the data in my workflow. With SMS Relay, I’ll have seamless access to SMS. Fantastic.