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October 23, 2014

Tech Review: Yosemite and iOS 8.1

By Jeremiah Wright

Over the past several weeks, Apple has released two major software updates: iOS 8.1 and OSX 10.10 Yosemite. Are you sitting on the fence, wondering if you should update? Let me walk you through some of the more significant aspects these updates have to offer.

If you have both a Mac and an iOS Device, you’re going to love the seamless “Handoff” between computer and mobile.

-- I carried on a lengthy text message conversation on my computer with a friend who doesn’t have an iPhone using my personal favorite feature: SMS Relay.
-- I wrote a “Notes” document on my phone and continued it from my desktop.
-- My phone rang, and I actually answered it on my computer.
-- I took a picture on my phone and rather than email it to myself, I transferred it to my computer with AirDrop.




Apple Pay
Apple Pay rolled out for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus with the 8.1 update. Using NFC, it allows you to wave your iPhone over an NFC enabled terminal to pay for your purchase. NFC is in its infancy in the U.S., but I expect it to grow significantly over the next few years.]

iOS Bug Fixes
Synergy with Yosemite isn’t the only thing that came with iOS 8. Apple fixed several significant bugs from iOS 8.0.2: Bluetooth connectivity is significantly better (my Ford Fusion likes my phone again) and the Camera Roll is back (WOOT!).

OSX Improvements
Dark Mode seems like such a basic improvement I’m genuinely surprised it’s taken 10 iterations of OSX for it to arrive. iCloud Drive also rolled out with Yosemite; It remains to be seen if it will become a serious competitor in the cloud storage arena. My test drive has been very positive. Collaboration and sharing is missing, so I don’t see this as an Enterprise solution at the moment.


As far as a personal solution is concerned I can summarize it with just two words: “Goodbye Dropbox.”

I encountered zero installation issues with Yosemite, including a computer almost 6 years old. While the older machines are missing some features (Handoff requires Bluetooth 4.0, which began appearing around 2012), I see no reason not to upgrade -- its free after all.

A small word of warning though: do not upgrade to iCloud Drive until all of your machines are on Yosemite. But don’t worry, you can still upgrade to Yosemite without iCloud Drive (it will ask you during the installation process if you want to).

iOS 8, on the other hand, is a mixed bag. Older devices should stay on 7.1.2, which the newest devices have no reason not to. In terms of apps, I’ve yet to encounter an app that doesn’t work.

Copy of John's blog featured image

Both Yosemite and iOS 8.1 offer powerful features, and based on my real life experience the answer to question “Should I upgrade” for most people is going to be “Yes.”

Integrating technology tools into your workflow is a great way to increase productivity. 

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