Apple rolled out Yosemite last week to some pretty rave reviews and I have to say, I was pretty impressed. The new flat design and simplified icons made for a more enjoyable and contemporary aesthetic experience. It was easy to use and it made my 2010 Macbook Pro feel like it was a brand new computer (although that may have had to do with me performing a clean install of Yosemite).

As impressed as I was, I have to say not all of Apple’s recent products have been as pleasing. Downloading iOS8 was a nightmare, the new iPhone seemed like more of the same and the new iPad was not much better. But, with a recent update to iOS8 and with the launch of Apple Pay, Apple is looking to make up for its’ failure from two weeks ago. Here are the new iOS8 update features that you need to know.

New iOS8 Update Features Overview

Apple Pay is Finally Here

So, we have known about this for a while now and it is not the first of its’ kind (see Google Wallet) but it seems to be generating some excitement. The idea of being able to pay for products and services with your phone sounds both liberating and terrifying. On a positive note you can get rid of your big bulky wallet but there are concerns about how safe the technology is (it is brand new after all and Apple’s iCloud is still being viewed with scrutiny). Still, it is kind of cool that you can take a picture of your debit or credit card (verify it with your bank) and then pay for things by tapping your phone at an NFC payment terminal. Apple pay will be compatible with iPhone 5s and above.

Store Your Photo’s on the iCloud

I tried this one the other day and when it did not work I was confused. I later figured out that it was a beta program that would launch later in the week (it is active today). Seeing as you only have to pay $20 for 1TB of iCloud storage storing your photo’s on the iCloud may become the new normal. You get to save space on your computer and will be able to access your pictures from your computer and iPhone. Just be sure to back up your phone before you turn on the photo library in Settings>iCloud>Photos.

Get a Hotspot Anywhere

Nothing is more aggravating than a weak Wi-Fi connection when you have some work to do. Apple has changed that through Hotspot which allows your Mac to remotely access your iPhone and turns your iPhone into a network. Just connect your Mac to your phone in the Wi-Fi menu and you will be all set and ready to go. Just be warned, not all carriers have picked up this feature so be sure to check with your provider.

The verdict is still out on iOS8, and maybe these features will save it, but we are just going to enjoy the beauty of Yosemite for now. Apple Pay can wait.

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