Apple has released iOS 8.1, and with it comes a slew of new features for users of iOS devices. The biggest addition is Apple Pay, which works with the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air 2, and iPad mini 3. Apple Pay allows you to securly store your credit cards in Passbook, and pay for items wirelessly and quickly in stores with your iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus, and online in apps with any of the supported devices. Apple Pay isn't all that's included in iOS 8.1, though. The return of the Camera Roll and My Photo Stream libraries in the Photos app when not using iCloud Photo Library is featured, as is the new iCloud Photo Library Beta, which allows you to store your entire photo library in iCloud. iOS 8.1 also unlocks the ability to have your SMS and MMS text messages appear on your iPad and Mac, using your iPhone as a conduit. We've got a full list of all the changes that come with iOS 8.1 for you, after the break.
During this morning’s Apple iPad Event, the company announced that its game-changing mobile payment service, Apple Pay, will launch on Monday, October 20th. Since being announced during last month’s iPhone event, Apple has signed up an additional 500 banks and financial institutions as well as a multitude of additional retail stores. The service will work with VISA, MAsterCard, and American Express at the start. Apple Pay is compatible with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, and will be enabled by the iOS 8.1 update. The service takes advantage of Touch ID and NFC to make mobile payments both secure and and quick.
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Apple has officially unveiled the iPad Air 2. iPad Air 2 is just 6.1mm thin, making it 18% thinner than the original iPad Air (and that was already 20% thinner then the iPad that preceded it.) Display components are now laminated together, reducing internal reflection, paired with an anti-reflection coating on the outside that reduced reflection by 56%, making it nicer to use when out and about. The iPad Air 2 is powered by the A8X processor, a 64-bit processor with 3 billion transistors that results in 40% faster CPU and 2.5x faster GPU (that’s 180x faster than the original iPad.)
About a month ago, Apple took the stage at the Flint Center to unveil the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Later this week, the company will hold another special event, then time to reveal this years iPad lineup, and if reports are correct, updated iMacs (including one with a Retina display.) We’ve heard conflicting reports as to whether the iPad mini will see an update at the event, or if that’ll come early next year, but we do know that the iPad Air will get an update that will make it lighter, slimmer, and more powerful.
Vietnamese leak site Tinhte.vn has already showed what’s purported to be the iPad Air 2 frame, which is thinner and sees the volume buttons recessed into the frame, and the inclusion of a Touch ID sensor, bringing the iPhone feature over to the Apple tablet family.
Meanwhile, fans of Apple’s desktop hardware have been waiting for a couple of years for the Retina display technology to make the jump from iOS devices and Apple notebooks over to the iMac. It appears that a 27-inch model that sports a 5K resolution may be prepped for Thursday as well, alongside a possible Mac mini refresh. OS X Yosemite may also launch on Thursday, as Apple has released three Golden Master candidates to developers so far.
We’ll have all the news here on Gear Live as it happens, and Apple will also have a live stream of the event as well.
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If today's leaked photos are to be believed, the next iPad Air will feature a front panel with an integrated display. This design change would allow for the iPad Air to be even thinner than it already is. Originally popping up on the One More Thing Web site, citing a "trusted Dutch source with connections in China." Interestingly enough, this photo come just a couple of days after the alleged leaked iPhone 6 front panel image appeared.
Of course, there's no way to confirm the validity of the photos or the parts featured in them. They could certainly be cloned parts, although One More Thing seems confident in their source, and has been correct on similar leaks in the past.