Apple hasn’t announced an iOS 8.4.1 release date and we expect the software to be released without warning after a stint in the company’s beta program. The iOS 8.4.1 release date for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch could come at any time and you’ll want to be sure that you’ve done most if not all of these things before it arrives.
On June 30th, Apple released its iOS 8.4 update for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The update was, and still is, a large update for iOS 8 devices because it includes more than just bug fixes. iOS 8.4 comes with some big changes to iBooks and it also delivers Apple’s brand new music platform inside the new Music app.
iOS 8.4 is probably going to be Apple’s last major iOS 8 update but it won’t be the company’s last iOS 8 update. That honor will likely go to the iOS 8.4.1 update that Apple confirmed without a release date earlier this month.
Apple’s iOS 8.4.1 update is confirmed though an iOS 8.4.1 release date remains out of reach at this time. Anything could happen but we don’t expect Apple to announce any details before it takes the update out of beta and releases it to the general public. We expect to be kept in the dark.
This means that there won’t be a bad time to start doing prep work for the iOS 8.4.1. iOS 8.4.1 is going to be a small update but as we’ve told you many times, small updates can have a big impact on the performance of an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. Sometimes that impact is positive, other times its negative. You can’t tell ahead of a release.
With that in mind and an iOS 8.4.1 update on the way, we want to outline some steps to take ahead of update’s inevitable release. These will help to ensure a smooth transition to iOS 8.4.1 from whatever you’re on be it iOS 7, iOS 8.3 or Apple’s current iOS 8.4 update.
Get Familiar with iOS 8.4
The first thing you’re going to want to do, if you haven’t installed it already, is get familiar with the iOS 8.4 update. If you’re lingering on iOS 8.3 or below, you’re going to get all of the changes that came with iOS 8.4 if and when you install the iOS 8.4.1 update.
What’s New in iOS 8.4
Apple Music Streaming
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The new Apple Music app includes the new Apple Music streaming service designed to take on Spotify, Pandora and other services. The iOS 8.4 update enables this new app and includes a free three-month trial of the Apple Music service.
With Apple Music you can pay $9.99 a month for an individual or $14.99 a month for a family of up to six members and enjoy full albums on demand and save music for offline playback.
Apple Music uses your musical tastes to pick new music that you might enjoy listening to in a new For You section of the music app that will help you find new music to listen to. The video above shows how this works.
This new app replaces the Music app from iOS 8 and earlier. Apple is not adding another app you cannot install from the iPhone or iPad, just updating one that is already on your device.
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We’ve put together a slideshow that outlines all of the key changes in the iOS 8.4 update. We’ve also taken a deep dive into the update’s performance in the weeks after its release. If you haven’t dug into the iOS 8.4 update yet now, ahead of the iOS 8.4.1 release, would be a great time to do that.
Use this time to do some summer cleaning on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.
Over the past few months, you probably downloaded apps or other files that you don’t use anymore. We always like to use a new iOS update as an excuse to clean up some of the clutter on our devices. It helps to keep your device organized and it will help to free up some space that could prove valuable if you’re moving to iOS 8 or iOS 8.4 for the first time.
If you don’t want to delete anything, use the time to make a mental checklist of the items that you’ll want or need to delete ahead of the iOS 9 update in the fall.
Apple’s new iOS 9 operating system will require over 1GB of free space to install which could be problematic for some 16GB iPhone and iPad users.
Make a Backup
iOS 8.4.1 is going to be a smaller update but again, there’s always a chance it could wreck havoc on your device. We’ve heard all sorts of horror stories over the years. Files going missing, performance taking a nosedive, things of that nature. We don’t anticipate any major iOS 8.4.1 problems but you’ll want to be safe rather than sorry. Again, here’s no way to predict if your device will encounter problems.
Before the iOS 8.4.1 release date arrives, you’ll want to dig into the backup process if you’re not familiar with it right now. Once you figure out what you’re doing, you’ll want to make a backup. This will ensure that your files are backed up properly before the iOS 8.4.1 update goes live.
To make a backup ahead of the iOS 8.4.1 release, you’ll want to first open up iTunes. Make sure you have the latest version of it. The backup process will begin after you plug your device into a computer. If it doesn’t happen automatically, you can force a backup to happen.
To force a backup, go into iTunes, right click on your device, and select Back Up. It’s going to take some time for the process to complete, especially if you have a lot of files on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.
If you’re using cloud storage to store your files, you’ll want to make sure everything is in order before you make your move to iOS 8.4.1. Look into iCloud, look into Dropbox, look into whatever needs looking into.
Gather Your Login Info
If you’re going to be installing iOS 8 for the first time with iOS 8.4.1, you’re going to need your Apple ID handy. Some of you might not have that readily available so you’ll want to track that information down right now so you’re ready for the update’s release.
If you’re coming from another version of iOS 8, you might have to enter your passcode. If you’re installing on your own device, you probably have that information. But if you’re installing for someone else, a co-worker or family member, you might not.
Charge Your Device
You’ll need at least 50% charge if you want to install the iOS 8.4.1 update without a wired connection. If you’re in the car or out at a game, you’re probably not going to have access to a power source so you’ll want to make sure that your device is charged and ready to go. If you don’t have 50% or a power source, you’re going to have to wait.
We expect the iOS 8.4.1 update to arrive in and around 9AM-10AM PST so make sure that you have a charged device or a cord handy around that time.
Update Your Applications
While you have some time, it would be wise to update your applications with the latest bug fix updates. App issues can occur after iOS releases and we expect to hear and see complaints after the iOS 8.4.1 release.
The only thing you can really do is read reviews and update your apps if reviews of the latest version are good. We always see complaints about apps after iOS releases and typically it’s from people that, for whatever reason, haven’t updated their applications in awhile.
We keep our apps updated with the latest fixes and enhancements and we typically come out of Apple’s iOS release dates without any scratches. Look into your apps right now.
Speak with IT
If you use your iPhone or iPad for work, you’re going to want to speak to your IT department (if you have one) before the iOS 8.4.1 release date.
There’s a chance that the guys and gals in IT are using the iOS 8.4.1 beta to test key software features and they might be able to provide you with some insight and tell you if the iOS 8.4.1 is safe to install.
If you don’t have an IT department, see if you have a co-worker using the iOS 8.4.1 beta. They should be able to help ahead of the release.
Look Into Fixes for Common Problems
Now is a great time to look into fixes for common iOS problems. The iOS 8.4.1 update is small but there’s a very good chance it will come with its own set of problems. We expect most of them to be common iOS issues that pop up after every single Apple update.
Dig into our list of fixes and fixes from other sources and commit them to memory. That way, you’ll be prepared if you happen to stumble into problems after the iOS 8.4.1 release.
Research the Downgrade Process
You might not know this but you should be able to trial the iOS 8.4.1 update. What we mean by that is, you should be able to use the iOS 8.4.1 update and drop back down to iOS 8.4 if it’s not to your liking. It’s a process that you’ll want to look into before the release just in case.
Don't expect the iOS 8.4.1 beta to last very long. With an iOS 9 release looming on the horizon and the iOS 8.4.1 seemingly nothing more than a bug fixer, we'd be surprised if this beta process dragged on.
We'd expect this to be similar to the iOS 8.1.1 beta that Apple unleashed earlier this year. That update only went through one beta release before it was released to the public.
One iOS 8.4.1 beta wouldn't shock us, neither would two. Three iOS 8.4.1 beta releases before a public roll out would be surprising though. And we'd expect no more than one beta release for the public if there is even one at all.