iOS 8.1 Now Available, Apple Pay, iCloud Photo Library, and the Return of Camera Roll

iCloud Photo Library 1

At 10:00 a.m. PT, Apple rolled out the next big update for its mobile operating system. After downloading iOS 8.1, users will be able to access iCloud Photo Library as a public beta, continuity features will allow users to send and receive text messages from non-iOS devices on their iPad and Mac, and Apple Pay is officially available on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

Apple announced last Thursday that iOS 8.1 would launch today with Apple Pay availability. A few other features were also mentioned. For example, Apple says it has heard consumer complaints about the way iPhoto is set up. So, the Camera Roll and My Photo Stream albums are back for users that do not enable iCloud Photo Library.

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Apple to Reveal Fourth-Quarter Earnings Today, Analysts Predict Stagnation in iPad Sales

Apple 4Q14 Analyst Predictions

Today at 2:00 p.m. PT, Apple will hold its quarterly earnings meeting with investors and analysts. Traditionally, the company lays out the numbers for iPhone, iPad, and Mac computer sales, offers a rundown of profits for the quarter, and gives guidance for what to expect in the coming year (finance-wise, not new products). Ahead of today’s meeting, which we will be listening to and provide you with a summary of, Fortune has gathered predictions from professionals and amateurs alike on what Apple will announce later today.

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Apple Has Plans to Drop Beats Subscription Music Service to $5 per Month

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The music industry is in flux right now. For decades, the music-buying world was easy to please. The only way to get you favorite tunes was to buy an album or single. Whether it was vinyl, tape, or CD, record labels were in control. With the advent of downloadable music, things have changed and record companies are having a difficult time figuring out how to make money off of what consumers want.

Subscription-based streaming services are definitely on-track to becoming the new medium for monetizing music. Companies like Spotify, Pandora, and Rdio are successfully solidifying their place in the industry. Apple’s recent acquisition of Beats put the company in the running, as well. However, Apple doesn’t want to keep the status quo.

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Why you Shouldn’t Upgrade to the iPad Air 2

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Now that Apple’s new tablet has been introduced, it is time to decide whether one should upgrade or stick with the current tablet. Of course, your decision to upgrade must be your own. However, for those of you looking for advice on whether to upgrade or not, we’ve got some opinions on the matter.

The main reason to upgrade or not upgrade has a lot to do with which model tablet you are using right now. Basically, if you are still using anything but an iPad Air or iPad mini with Retina (now called iPad mini 2) you should buy a new one. For those who purchased a new tablet last October and are thinking about spending the money on the newest model, don’t.

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This Week’s App Store Editor’s Choice: Angry Birds Transformers

Angry Birds Transformers Banner

Believe it or not, Rovio is at it again with another Angry Birds mash-up. This time, the famous bird and pig duo is outfitted with giant robot gear. With a bit of a throwback theme, the Angry Birds have been redesigned with a 1980s vibe. Step back in time as Autobirds join forces with Deceptihogs to stop the evil Eggbots from destroying Piggie Island.

Angry Birds Transformers is quite a bit different than previous licensed Angry Bird games. Instead of a new skin on an old game, Rovio has turned Angry Birds into a side-scrolling shooter.

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PadGadget’s Sound Stage: Fiddlewax Pro – One App To Rule Them All

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There are hundreds of different types of music instruments in the App Store. You can pretend to strum a guitar, tap out the beat on a virtual drum kit, and even recreate the sounds of the traditional Indian Shehnai. There are apps for synthesizers, keyboards, and samplers. You can record performances, connect multiple apps to play at once, and plug into MIDI compatible instruments. Why not throw all of those out the window and have one app that does everything?

Fiddlewax Pro is an all-in-one music app that lets you play keyboard, guitar, drums, and nine other instruments. It also lets you create your own custom loops, record M4A files, upload files directly to SoundCloud, and connect with other apps via Audiobus and Apple’s Inter-App Audio.

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Cable Cutter Rejoice – CBS is the Latest to offer Web Streaming Subscriptions

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In the midst of the big news from Apple this week there was a smaller announcement which made me even more happy! CBS has long resisted joining popular services such as Netflix and Hulu+, which means you are at the mercy of their website to view some of the most popular content on television after the fact, at least of if you have gotten rid of your cable subscription like I have. Now CBS is foraging forward with an online service which provides access to live content and archives of older and classic content.

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Apple Adds New SIM Card to iPad Air 2 that Could be the Great Disruptor of the Cellular Industry

Apple SIM

With all of Apple’s big updates to the iPad Air, the company conspicuously left off a new feature that, if used correctly (or with evil intent, depending on the side you take) could make switching carriers as simple as changing your shoes. Apple added something called an “Apple SIM” to the new line of tablets.

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iPad Air 2’s Anti-Reflective Coating Causing Yield Rate Issues

iPad Air 2 Screen

At yesterday’s media event, Apple announced a small, but awesome update to the iPad Air 2’s screen. The Retina display will be coated with an anti-reflective process that will make sun glare much less of an issue. Today, reports coming from the supply chain claim that the anti-reflective coating is causing yield rate issues that may affect supplies of the availability of the tablet.

According to DigiTimes, Apple’s display screen touch module maker TPK expects orders to be limited for the fourth quarter due to changes in the supply chain combined with “yield rate issues with the production of the new iPad’s screens with anti-reflective coating.”

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The iPad Air 2 is Here and You Should Definitely Buy It

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Apple announced the new iPad Air 2 yesterday and it is another large jump forward for tablet technology. It has all of the obvious improvements such as being thinner, more powerful, and having a better camera, none of which by themselves justify trading in your current iPad Air. The features which make this new product worth the investment, however, include specialty features such as Apple Touch and the new anti-glare screen coating.

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