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Apple has released iOS 8.1, encompassing support for a number of new features, including its much anticipated Apple Pay payments service.In addition to Apple Pay, iOS 8.1 also includes support for a number of Continuity features designed to work in conjunction with Apple’s new OS X Yosemite desktop operating system, launched last week.

Apple states its Continuity
features are designed to make “Mac and iOS devices perfect companions”, encompassing such features as the sharing of SMS messages – which previously only appeared on iPhones – with users’ Macs and other iOS devices.

iOS 8.1 also sees the return of Camera Roll, and provides support for the iCloud Photo Library beta, making photos accessible across multiple devices.

Apple Pay is rolling out in the US this week, transforming the latest generation iPhones into e-wallets.

Employing NFC and Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint screening technology, Apple Pay will allow iPhone 6 and 6 Plus owners to make payments in participating stores by holding their iPhone near a contactless reader with their finger on Touch ID.

Apple Pay will also be available on Apple’s recently unveiled iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3, with users able to make purchases within apps.

Apple has not yet confirmed whether the service will launch in Australia.

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