iOS 8.1 release date lining up with iPad mini 3 and iPad Air 2

Those looking for the iOS 8.1 release date need only keep an eye on Apple’s forthcoming event to unveil the iPad mini 3 and iPad Air 2 – and that in turn should bring about the rise of some other Apple goodies as well. Apple Pay, introduced as part of iOS 8 last month but not yet launched, is a prime contender to debut with the iOS 8.1 update. Car Play, which has been around for some time but is just now on the verge of becoming a reality, could also see its time fully arrive. But about those new iPads…

The iPad Air 2, following in line with Apple’s custom of issuing major redesigns to its mobile hardware lines every other year, should simply be a subtle revamp of the original iPad Air. The iPad mini 3, however, is a wild card thanks to the fact that the first two iPad mini models were largely the same thing from the outside. While neither Apple Pay nor CarPlay are as prime of a fit for iPad tablets as they are for the more mobile iPhone, iOS 8.1 represents an opportunity to push these features forward on a big stage and also to create a secondary surge in iPhone 6 sales with the debut.

Apple will all but certainly give the iPad mini 3 and iPad Air 2 a release date (or at least a debut event) before the end of October, so the new products are fully integrated into the retail ranks before the start of the holiday shopping season. Whether iOS 8.1 is released alongside them depends on how swiftly Apple’s software engineers are making progress – something which, thanks to Apple’s tight lipped secrecy on unannounced products, is difficult to gauge as always.

Phil Moore

Phil Moore

Phil covers tech for Stabley Times.