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Yosemite updaters will need to wait for Monday's iOS 8.1 launch for SMS relay & Instant Hotspot

Users who have updated to Apple's newly launched OS X Yosemite Mac operating system won't be able to use the highly anticipated SMS relay or Instant Hotspot features for a few more days, as support can be found in the forthcoming iOS 8.1 update for iPhone.




Two of the most anticipated features of OS X Yosemite are Instant Hotspot and SMS relay, which fall under the "Continuity" banner of additions to the update. When paired with the upcoming iOS 8.1, users will be able to send and receive standard SMS text messages or MMS picture and video messages on their Mac when connected to a nearby iPhone, or automatically connect to their iPhone for data but preserve battery life and data use.

Apple revealed this week that iOS 8.1 is set to launch on Monday, marking the debut of Apple Pay for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. OS X Yosemite launched on the Mac App Store for free on Thursday.

Once iOS 8.1 is available, users looking to use the SMS relay feature will need to have iMessage enabled on both their Mac and iPhone. Then on the iPhone, open Settings, choose Messages, and turn on Text Message Forwarding.

After this feature is switched on, a user's Mac will display a code that must be entered on the iPhone to verify the SMS and MMS function.

SMS relay isn't just limited to Yosemite either— after updating their devices to iOS 8.1, users will be able to send and receive standard text messages on a nearby, connected iPad or iPod touch.




As for Instant Hotspot, a nearby iPhone with tethering enabled through a carrier plan must be logged into the same Apple ID account. Simply select the Wi-Fi logo in the Mac taskbar and choose the iPhone to connect, with no need to access the phone and turn on Personal Hotspot.

While connected, the Mac will display the signal strength and battery life of the paired iPhone at the top of the Wi-Fi menu. And Apple's system attempts to conserve battery life and data use by automatically deactivating once a user stops accessing the Web.

Instant Hotspot is also smart enough to automatically ask users if they want to connect to their iPhone when there is no Wi-Fi available.




In addition to Yosemite, iOS 8.1 and a carrier tethering plan, Instant Hotspot will require an iPhone 5 or newer; a mid-2012 or newer MacBook Air or MacBook Pro; an iMac or Mac mini made since late 2012; or a late 2013 Mac Pro. Instant Hotspot can also be shared from an iPhone with a fourth-generation iPad or newer, any iPad mini model, or a fifth-generation iPod touch.

iOS 8.1 is currently available to developers for testing as a beta. The Instant Hotspot and SMS relay features currently work in the latest build, but the option to toggle text forwarding on and off is not present.