Apple seeds iOS 8.1 beta to devs, hints at iPad Touch ID

With the iOS 8.0.1 misfire behind it, Apple’s looking forward to what’s next for its mobile platform. Yesterday we saw some evidence suggesting it wasn’t just prepping iOS 8.1, but also early at work on iOS 8.2 and 8.3. Just what features would all these releases deliver? We’re already getting answers, as Apple makes the first beta of iOS 8.1 available to its developer community.

On the surface, there aren’t yet a ton of new features; we see some finer-grained control arrive for certain phone options, the presence of updated icons, and changes to how certain elements are named. But really, not a lot of big shake-ups, especially none along the lines of what cropped up in our speculation yesterday. Then again, this is just the first beta, and we expect to see plenty of changes before its final release.

But peeling back the layers a little, there is some notable stuff here. One of the more interesting finds to come to our attention concerns Apple’s plans for its next generation of iPads. The jury’s still out on which models might be present at Apple’s next launch event, but whatever does arrive, it’s looking increasingly likely that the hardware will feature Touch ID fingerprint scanning.

We’d been expecting such functionality anyway, but iOS 8.1 beta 1 adds new confirmation, reportedly including text strings describing how users might “pay with iPad using Touch ID” when using Apple Pay.

Source: 9to5 Mac, MacRumors

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Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bits Read more about Stephen Schenck!