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OS X 10.10 Yosemite, iOS 8.1, and Apple Pay Have Arrived

After months of testing since its developer release at the World Wide Developer’s Conference in June 2014, Apple has now released OS X 10.10 Yosemite. (If you haven’t been paying attention, you can read about its major new features in our initial coverage in “Apple Unveils iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite at WWDC,” 2 June 2014). Yosemite is available for free in the Mac App Store as a 5.16 GB download. Refer to Apple’s system requirements to see if your Mac can run Yosemite (most will, and the base requirements are the same as Mavericks), and if it will support all of Yosemite’s new features (many older Macs won’t, partly due to Continuity’s need for Bluetooth 4.0).

The most noticeable change in Yosemite is a new visual design that takes its cues from iOS. It also brings compatibility with Apple’s new iCloud Drive service and offers a slew of Continuity features to make working between Apple devices easier.

As always, we recommend waiting a few days before updating to see if any major issues develop and then proceeding with caution according to the time-tested advice in Joe Kissell’s “Take Control of Upgrading to Yosemite.” For more on the new features, also check out Joe’s “Digital Sharing for Apple Users: A Take Control Crash Course” and Scholle McFarland’s “Yosemite: A Take Control Crash Course.”

After Yosemite’s release on 16 October 2014, Apple pushed out iOS 8.1 and Apple Pay on 20 October 2014. The iOS 8.1 update is much smaller than the 5 GB iOS 8.0, ranging from 70 to 127 MB, depending on the device being updated.

With iOS 8.1, Apple seeks to remedy common user complaints, most notably by bringing back the Camera Roll in the Photos app, but only when iCloud Photo Library is not enabled. The update also opens up the beta of iCloud Photo Library, enabling you to sync all your photos and videos between your Apple devices (as long as they’re running iOS 8.1, Yosemite, or Apple TV 7.0 or later). However, the Mac version of Photos, which will provide iCloud Photo Library support, won’t be available until early 2015, so access via the Mac will be limited to iCloud’s Web interface until then.

Another promised feature that arrives in iOS 8.1 is SMS Relay, which enables you to send and receive iPhone SMS (green bubble) messages via the Yosemite version of Messages.

iOS 8.1 also adds Apple Pay support to the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, although Apple Pay is currently limited to the United States (for details, see “Apple Pay Aims to Disrupt Payment Industry,” 9 September 2014). Since the initial announcement last month, Apple has signed up 500 more banks to the program, in addition to credit card companies American Express, MasterCard, and Visa. You will be able to use Apple Pay at a growing number of major retailers, such as American Eagle, Foot Locker, Macy’s, McDonald’s, Office Depot, Panera Bread, Subway, Walgreens, and Whole Foods.

Other improvements in iOS 8.1 include:

  • Low-space alerts before capturing Time Lapse videos

  • Fixes for Messages search, marking messages as read, and issues with group messaging

  • Resolution of Wi-Fi performance issues with some base stations

  • A fix for a bug that could prevent Bluetooth connections with some hands-free devices

  • A fix for a bug that could prevent screen rotation

  • The option to select between 2G, 3G, and LTE cellular networks

  • Fixes for a Safari issue that would prevent video playback

  • AirDrop sharing support for Passbook

  • The capability to enable keyboard dictation separate from Siri

  • HealthKit-enabled apps can now access data in the background

  • A number of improvements to accessibility

  • Fixes for an issue that prevented the use of OS X Caching Server for iOS updates

If you want help with iOS 8, we hope to have it soon, in the form of my “iOS 8: A Take Control Crash Course.” You can pre-order now, and we’re working hard to integrate details about features that weren’t fully operational before the release of Yosemite, along with the just-released changes in iOS 8.1.


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Comments about OS X 10.10 Yosemite, iOS 8.1, and Apple Pay Have Arrived
(Comments are closed.)

Since the first beta of Yosemite, Mail still corrupts the list view of messages with messages referencing the wrong e-mails, forcing users to rebuild the Inbox folder regularly (which sometimes doesn't help and sometimes messages are lost). This I can only confirm happens with a Google Apps account. It is not a huge problem, but scary enough. I have rebuilt the envelope index file also, but this still happens ... .
Hi. I am a bit concerned about upgrading to Yosemite, given I use Gmail as an IMAP server. -- What does "messages are lost" mean? Gone forever, or, needs to be "re-found"? -- Also, I am assuming Apple has been notified about this problem. -- Thanks.

Just looked at Apple Support Communities (for another issue), and discovered the thread "Yosemite OS 10.10 Mail Memory Leak", which seems to imply that Yosemite has a lot of Apple-Mail issues, yet to be resolved. I believe I will hold off for a bit, before upgrading to Yosemite.
Simon Fell  2014-10-22 06:36
i am having major issues with Mail 8 under Yosemite Disabled all accounts and if you open mail and do not look at any emails you can even send an email but the second I look at an email it crashes!
Simon Fell  2014-10-22 08:45
And the solution was - remove Home/Library/Application Support/AddressBook out and re-start Mail that worked so corrupted address book on transfer to Yosemite!
Michael E. Cohen  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2014-10-20 14:21
Chase Visa cards are supposed to be eligible for Apple Pay on the first day, but my iPhone tells me that my card is not eligible, though it is a Chase Visa. This gives me a big sad! 😦
Steve Werner  2014-10-21 00:47
It may be something specific to your card. My Chase VISA was accepted fine.
Devesh   2014-10-21 08:05
Dunno if this is relevant, but after running the iOS 8.1 update my 4s was stuck with a black screen and white Apple logo. Waiting (2hours after the update supposedly finished and the iPhone rebooted a few times) didn't help. Discovered recovery mode! Did that, reset and wiped, and am now hoping to get back to my life after restoring from my *fresh before starting* backup finishes. Hope yours was easier!
isaac31  2014-10-21 15:25
These upgrades have not "arrived".

Yosemite. Three downloads before I got one that was not damaged. I have a fast cable connection that has never had this problem before. Installed on 2011 MacBook Pro i7 which runs Mavericks quickly without issues. Yosemite would not boot! Fourth download worked, computer is sluggish!

iOS 8.1 Took 7 hours to download update for iPad, two hours for iPhone? Apple pay? Arrived? NOT available in Canada! U.S. only! Perhaps the U.S. should have gone to chip and pin credit cards like the rest of the world did many years ago.

Have used Apple devices since the Apple II. This is the worst experience ever! :-(
Duane Williams  2014-10-25 15:40
I think the best advice anyone could give in regard to Yosemite would be "Wait until Apple gets it right."

For example, there appears to be a bug in the application launch code that can have surprising results. I saw 1Password 5 (from the Mac App Store) launch an old version of its Mini app from an attached backup USB drive, rather than the new version in its own directory, even though the developer claims that a full path to the correct version was used.

Many people are complaining of massive memory leaks and I've seen evidence of it on my MacBook Pro. I had never seen the "Memory Pressure" gauge in Activity Monitor go into the red until I upgraded to Yosemite.

I recommend waiting for upgrades of iOS 8 also. Installing it on my phone completely disabled its ability to call out and to receive calls, while pretty much everything else works. How did that happen? Well the upgrade process got a fatal error (6) and told me to run recovery. When the so-called recovery was complete I found myself with iOS 8.1! Some "recovery"! More like a broken upgrade.

My phone is also sucking battery power faster than ever before, and so is my iPad Air, which upgraded to iOS 8 with no obvious errors.
Hank Roberts  2014-10-28 09:02
Jeffery Paul, a Berlin security researcher has a [1]complaint about the
latest OS X version:

"Fast forward to 10.10. Presumably to support Continuity, current
document state is no longer only saved locally - those in-progress
(not yet explicitly “saved”) documents live in iCloud Drive, so that
they can be opened on other devices without ever having to hit
“save”. This is useful, however, all of my previous open files have
now been synchronized to Apple servers.

Notice that all of my locally-stored, “unsaved” documents open in my
text editor have now been uploaded in full to a partner in NSA’s
PRISM program. This happens for all applications (think iA Writer,
Pixelmator, etc.) that had saved application state. Any open and
yet-unsaved document within an app is now silently and automatically
uploaded to iCloud Drive, and, by extension, the government.

Apple has taken local files on my computer not stored in iCloud and
silently and without my permission uploaded them to their servers -
across all applications, Apple and otherwise.

Discuss this story at:

Christian Marolt  2014-10-30 16:20
... if we wait until apple gets is right we might have to wait till retirement. I am afraid but they are moving more and more towards MS quality... :(

I had to switch to Postbox as their mail just don't work properly with my GoDaddy.
John Harrison  2014-11-14 23:20
I would like to upgrade to Mavericks now that Yosemite is out. Did the same going to Mtn Lion after Mavericks came out. TidBITS put a URL in one of their articles where I could download the Mtn Lion installer after it disappeared from the App Store. Is any such link known to exist for Mavericks now?
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2014-11-15 06:37
From what I can tell, Mavericks is not yet available separate from the Apple Store like other older versions of OS X are. I imagine it will become available at some point via this URL: