When Apple announced its new iPads and the impressive iMac with Retina 5K display it was also wise enough to be candid about the problems that iOS 8 has faced so far, with bugs galore having apparently managed to squeak their way through Apple’s in-house quality assurance. The new iOS 8.1 update has been in beta testing for a little while now, and while developers have been able to work with the software already, mere mortals will be able to install the important update from this coming Monday.

With bug fixes arguably some of the most important additions to iOS 8.1, it’s also going to be bringing some notable additions to iOS 8’s feature set and some of those are actually pretty awesome. Here we’ll take a look at the most interesting while counting down the hours until the update goes live.

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Instant Hotspot

Instant Hotspot

If you use your iPhone to tether regularly, then you’re going to enjoy what iOS 8.1 and OS X Yosemite have to offer, because following installation of the two new versions of Apple’s big software updates will be able to remotely activate an iPhone’s Personal Hotspot feature whenever their handset is within range. Excellent stuff.

SMS Relay

SMS relay

A great Continuity feature which we’ve been waiting for since iOS 8 made the headlines back in June, SMS Relay will finally let users send and receive SMS from their Macs running Yosemite, iPads and iPod touches.

iCloud Photo Library

iCloud photo library

Apple’s supposed answer to the problem of keeping all of our photos and videos safe, iCloud Photo Library will go live as a public beta come Monday’s release of iOS 8.1. The idea is that iCloud will keep all of the media that people generate and then seamlessly make it available on any device that’s signed into that account. That means iOS devices, Macs and the iCloud website.

We’re waiting for the OS X Photos app to arrive before we throw all our eggs into that particular basket, but the promise is there already. Let’s hope iCloud is up to the job.

Apple Pay

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Launching in the U.S. initially, Apple Pay is Apple’s answer to mobile payments. Using NFC and Touch ID, Apple’s smartphones will be able to initiate Apple Pay transactions once iOS 8.1 has been released – assuming a customer’s retailer of choice supports it.

Camera Roll

The Camera Roll will be making a dramatic entry with the release of iOS 8.1, and has been something that has left many users on the sore side of the fence.

These are the main new features arriving in iOS 8.1, but the addition of bug fixes should not be underestimated. Apple has suffered a black eye with iOS 8 already, and 8.1 needs to do the business with as little fuss as possible.

So no bricked phones this time around, please.

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