If you see a line of people outside McDonald’s today, here’s why: Apple is launching iOS 8.1 today, an update to its mobile operating system that includes support for its new mobile payments service.
The service, known as Apple Pay, will allow people to use their new iPhone 6 or 6 Plus to check out at selected businesses and with particular apps. Here’s a partial list of retail companies participating at launch:
- Apple (duh)
- Office Depot
- Foot Locker (and all its associated other stores like Lady Foot Locker)
- Sports Basement
- Panera Bread
- Whole Foods
Apple has a page on its website with a list of participating retailers and apps that the company will keep up to date as more join the system. Over the coming months, more retailers annd apps are slated to join that list, especially since companies like Square will implement Apple Pay into their point-of-sale products.
As with any new system, it’s likely that the process of using Apple Pay on launch day will have its bumps. Users should expect delays in checking out, and be sure to bring an alternate form of payment with them in case something doesn’t work quite right.
People who don’t own an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus won’t be able to use the service, since older phones don’t include the Near-Field Communication chip and security architecture necessary to work with Apple Pay. However, Apple will expand that capability to older phones with the launch of the Apple Watch next year.