Upgrading to iOS 8.1 (Or Later)
- By: Jason R. Rich
Less than two months after Apple released iOS 8 for its iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch mobile devices in September 2014, the company boasted that more than 56 percent of all compatible iOS mobile device users had already upgraded from iOS 7 (or an earlier version of the iOS) to iOS 8. As it has in the past, Apple has since followed up iOS 8 with releases of smaller updates designed to introduce even more new features, as well as fix bugs.
As a result, even if you purchased a new iOS mobile device in recent months with iOS 8 pre-installed, or you manually upgraded to iOS 8 yourself, it’s important to insure your device is running the absolute latest version of iOS 8 in order to take full advantage of the operating system’s newest features, like Apple Pay, Handoff, and iCloud Photo Library.
Determine Which Version of iOS Your Device is Currently Running
To quickly determine which version of iOS your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch is currently running, launch Settings, tap on the General option, and then tap on the About option. Listed about halfway down on the About screen will be the Version heading, and to the right of that, the iOS version number will be displayed.
In late October 2014, iOS 8.1 was released. In addition to fixing bugs, on the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air 2, and iPad mini 3, this update turned on Apple Pay functionality and offered users the ability to begin experimenting with a beta version of the iCloud Photo Library feature, which will be formally launched in early 2015.
Apple Pay allows users to store credit or debit card information securely within their compatible mobile device and then make in-store or online purchases directly from their device. iCloud Photo Library replaces My Photo Stream and Shared Photo Streams, and offers a centralized online solution for storing, managing, and sharing your digital image library.
iOS 8.1 also improved upon the previously released Handoff functionality built into iOS 8, allowing for SMS and MMS text messages to be sent and received from an iPad or Mac, using an iPhone’s 3G/4G/LTE cellular data connection as a conduit. To see a listing of all bug fixes and improvements offered within iOS 8.1, visit http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1758.
Currently, Apple is preparing to release iOS 8.1.1, yet another update to the iOS operating system that will fix additional bugs, and perhaps introduce small additional features and functions to compatible mobile devices. This update is expected to be released in mid-to-late November 2014. In coming months, it’s expected that iOS 8.2 and iOS 8.3 will introduce more significant features and functions, including full iCloud Photo Library functionality.