Its been a little over took weeks since the release of Apple’s iPad iOS 8.4 update. And in those two weeks, we’ve been using the update on several tablets including the iPad Air and iPad mini 2. With two weeks down, we want to take a look at some of the most important things we’ve learned about iOS 8.4 for iPad.
In late June, Apple finally deployed the iOS 8.4 update it had promised to iPad and iPhone users for several months. The update arrived on June 30th alongside Apple’s new Music platform and it delivered a handful of new features to owners of iOS 8 powered devices.
iOS 8.4 is bigger than standard incremental iOS updates and comes with some important features including the designed Music application, enhancements to iBooks, and bug fixes for some annoying iOS 8 problems. It’s an update that we, and many others, installed right when it came out.
Over the past two weeks, we’ve been taking a deep dive into iOS 8.4, its features and its performance. There’s a lot to know and we want to make sure that iPad and iPhone users are prepared not just for iOS 8.4 but for the future as well.
There are tons of different iPads out there but we’ve focused on the iPad Air and the iPad mini 2, two of Apple’s most popular models. We’ve also taken a look at the iOS 8.4 update on several other devices including the iPad 2.
With an iOS 8.4.1 update looming and iOS 9 on the horizon, we want to take a look back at some of the things we’ve learned in our time with the iOS 8.4 update.
iPad iOS 8.4 Performance is Top Notch
We’ve been using iOS 8 on several different iPads including the iPad Air 2, iPad Air, iPad mini 2, and iPad 3. And in the months since the iOS 8.0 release in September, we haven’t run into any problems with performance. iOS 8 has been holding up well and that standard of excellence continues on with iOS 8.4.
For two weeks we’ve poked and prodded the update looking for issues but we haven’t run into any major bugs or problems with performance. Battery life is holding up, connectivity (Wi-Fi, LTE, Bluetooth) is still strong and consistent, apps are still working fine, and we haven’t encountered any problems with the UI. It’s still fast and fluid.
We don’t expect this to change between now and the release of Apple’s next update. While iOS 8 has been up and down on the iPhone, it has been very consistent on the iPad.
Now, it’s also worth mentioning that the problems iOS 8.4 did fix have yet to return. The iOS 8.4 update comes with fixes for some iBooks problems, a fix for a Unicode issue in Messages, and a fix for accuracy when using GPS-related accessories. Sometimes, problems can come back in the days or weeks after an update’s release. This isn’t the case with iOS 8.4. These problems have been squashed.
Is is worth installing? That depends on your device and your situation. If you want to try Apple Music or you’re an avid iBooks user, you might want to give it a go. We also recommend it if you’re dealing with unfixable iOS 8 problems.
If you own an older iPad like the iPad 2 or original iPad mini you’re going to want to be very careful, especially if you’re still on iOS 7. We’ve learned that iOS 8.4 is extremely stable but there’s always a risk for problems.
iPad iOS 8.4 Problems Exist But…
iPad iOS 8.4 problems exist. We’ve pointed a number of them out in the past two weeks. And while there are some iPad users struggling with issues, those issues appear to be isolated. We haven’t seen widespread complaints nor have we see any problem rise above the rest. In that regard, we’ve learned that iOS 8.4 is like any other iOS update.
Problems always appear after iOS updates. Sometimes, these problems are widespread and affect thousands and thousands of people. Most of the time though, they’re limited to a few devices and a few people. Such is the case with iOS 8.4. Yes, there are problems. No, there don’t appear to be any game-changing bugs or issues affecting millions of iPad users.
iOS 8.4 Kills Home Sharing for Music in iOS
We’ve pointed this out before but it’s worth pointing out again.
iOS 8.4 kills home sharing for music for iOS. What this means is that you no longer have the ability to share your iTunes Library over Wi-Fi from your iOS-powered devices. It’s a feature that many iOS users rely on to play music and it’s one that you’ll simply have to live without as Apple works to bring it back.
If this is a feature that you use a lot, you might want to avoid iOS 8.4 for the time being.
We’ve learned that there is a new iOS 8.4.1 update on the way for iPad and that it has the potential to fix some of the problems plaguing the iOS 8.4 update.
We don’t know when the iOS 8.4.1 update will be out nor do we have an official change log. What we do know is that the update is small and appears to be a maintenance update. That could mean a few things for your iPad users.
One, it could mean bug fixes. Incremental updates almost always bring fixes and we imagine that iOS 8.4.1 will tie up some loose ends before the release of iOS 9. And two, it could break the iOS 8.4 jailbreak. That’s not confirmed but it’s something to keep in mind as push towards Apple’s next iOS 8.4 update.
iOS 8.4.1 is in beta right now so if you’re a paid developer, you can download it on your iPad ahead of the unknown public release date.
Get Excited About iOS 9
With iOS 8.4 as stable as it is on iPad and an iOS 8.4.1 set to deliver additional enhancements, we’re now at the beginning of the end of Apple’s iOS 8 era. And boy, are we excited.
iOS 9 is going to come with some enhancements that should help with performance on all iPads including aging former flagships like the iPad 2 and iPad mini. It’s also going to come with some impressive multitasking tools that we’ve been fortunate enough to use in our time with the iOS 9 beta. iOS 9 beta is an option if you’re not liking iOS 8.4 or if you want to get a head start ahead of the iOS 9 release.
We’ll probably install the iOS 9 update right when it comes out but just remember, like iOS 8.4, it could cause problems on your iPad so take your time. Do the same with iOS 8.4 if you haven’t installed already.
10 Things to Know About the iPad iOS 8.4 Update
iPad Air iOS 8.4 Review: One Week Later
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We've been using the iOS 8.4 update on various versions of the iPad for over a week now in an effort to relay thoughts about its performance. iOS updates can fix bugs and iron out issues with performance but they can also destroy performance, particuarly on older devices.
We've been using the iOS 8.4 update on the first-gen iPad Air looking at key areas like battery life, connectivity, apps, UI speed, and more. So far, the update has been holding up well and we haven't encountered any serious issues. We can't speak for all iPad Air users but our experience with iOS 8.4 has been solid.
There are some reasons to avoid the update right now (you're traveling, you need your apps for a project this week, you're not prepared for iOS 8.4 and its changes) but there are also some reasons why you should at least consider the upgrade for your iPad Air (security updates, Apple Music, bug fixes).
We don't anticipate any drops in performance. Across the board, iOS 8 has been very solid on the iPad Air and we typically see major widespread problems show their ugly faces in the week after an update's release.