Last Tuesday, Apple debuted its brand new iOS 8.1.3 update for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. This all new iOS 8 update is a bug fix update that tackles lingering iOS 8 problems. Over the past five days, we’ve spent some quality time with Apple’s new software and today we want to share our full iPad mini 2 iOS 8.1.3 review.
Back in September, Apple released the iOS 8.1.3 update that it had promised to iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users around the world. The iOS 8.0 update delivered tons of changes including new features, enhancements and fixes. The update also delivered a series of iOS 8 problems for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, problems that Apple’s been trying to fix since the update’s arrival.
Since September, Apple’s released six iOS 8 bug fix updates aimed at squashing iOS 8 problems. Last week, Apple rolled out the iOS 8.1.3 update, its sixth bug fixer and an update that offers a number of solutions for iPhone and iPad users struggling on older versions of the company’s mobile OS.
iOS 8.1.3 is an incremental update though, as many iPhone and iPad users know, even the smallest iOS updates can have a huge impact on the performance of a device. Often, that impact is positive. Other times it’s negative. iOS 8.1.3 appears to offer a bit of both to iPhone and iPad users. We’ve gotten a ton of positive feedback but we’ve also heard about iOS 8.1.3 problems as well.
With those in mind, I’ve been taking a look at Apple’s iOS 8.1.3 update on a number of devices including the second-gen iPad mini also known as the iPad mini 2. Today, I want to offer some feedback to those that might be leery of the update and to those that are already on iOS 8.1.3. This is my full iOS 8.1.3 on iPad mini 2 review and it will attempt to answer the question that we’ve received many times over in the past week: Is iOS 8.1.3 worth installing on the iPad mini? Let’s find out.
iPad mini 2 iOS 8.1.3 Review
From Tuesday until today, I’ve spent a ton of time with iOS 8.1.3 on iPad mini 2. I’ve owned the iPad mini 2 since it debuted in the fall of 2013 and it serves as a smaller alternative to my iPad Air. Before getting into this detailed review and my impressions, I should note that mileage is going to vary from device to device, person to person.
That is to say, I probably don’t have the same apps installed and there’s a chance that I use Google Chrome, play more games, and use my home screen more than you do. So, consider this a general guide as you try to decide whether iOS 8.1.3 is worth installing on your iPad mini 2.
I have around 60 or so applications on the iPad mini 2. I typically don’t use them all on a regular basis but for the sake of this review, I’ve been using all of them throughout the last week in an effort to report feedback to you and to developers. Thus far, my experience has been similar to the experience on the iPad Air. I haven’t noticed much in terms of problems.
Other than a few Google Chrome crashes and one odd hangup with Netflix, I haven’t experienced anything crazy. Asana, Slack, Dark Sky, Google Hangouts, Instagram, Google Maps, 80 Days, Tiny Wings, and more are all performing well after the shift to iOS 8.1.3. It’s worth noting that these apps were all performing well on iOS 8.1.2 as well.
The issues that have seen are sporadic and random. Google Chrome crashes are commonplace on the iPhone and iPad and I can deal with the occasional Netflix stumble. These aren’t game-changing app issues.
If you’ve already moved to iOS 8.1.3 and you are experiencing problems with an application, try updating it with the latest bug fixes. I keep my apps up to date and I have automatic updates on so I don’t even have to think about updating.
If that doesn’t work, try reinstalling the application that’s giving you issues. This has worked for me in the past and it’s definitely something worth trying if one or more of your apps don’t agree with iOS 8.1.3. If that doesn’t work, contact the developer.
iOS 8.1.3 Battery Life
I’ve never had any serious problems with iPad mini 2 battery life and the iOS 8.1.3 continues to offer solid battery life both on Wi-Fi and when using AT&T’s 4G LTE network.
Thus far, I haven’t run into any abnormal battery drain, either when the device is in use or when it’s in standby mode, and I’m still able to get a full day of use out of it when using a mixture of Wi-Fi and LTE. That’s precisely what I was able to get out of iOS 8.1.2. iOS 8.1.3 doesn’t appear to bring any battery life enhancements with it either.
As I’ve pointed out many times, there are a lot of factors that play into iPad battery life. Habits, apps, settings. If you’re experiencing battery troubles on iOS 8.1.3 or below, my guess is that one of those things is responsible for the drain, not the iOS update itself. My advice is to take a look at our iOS 8.1.3 battery life tips and to really start monitoring your usage on a daily basis.
LTE, Wi-Fi & Bluetooth
I’ve been hearing and seeing complaints about Wi-Fi and Bluetooth after the arrival of iOS 8.1.3 but I still haven’t experienced any of these issues myself. Connectivity is still very strong on the iPad mini 2.
I’ve connected the iPad mini 2 to a number of different routers and to several different Bluetooth devices including multiple Bluetooth speakers and I haven’t seen any dip in performance. The device is still able to effectively latch onto routers (even older ones) and various Bluetooth devices. I expect this kind of performance to hold.
AT&T’s LTE network is still very reliable when I opt to pull down cellular data and I haven’t seen any issues with it over the past week. It’s holding up well for the moment.
I didn’t run into any major, or minor, issues with the iOS 8.1.2 update and thus far, iOS 8.1.3 has followed its lead. I’ve been poking and prodding this update for a number of days now and nothing has stood out. There don’t seem to be any major problems plaguing this software (I’ve heard about the GMT calendar bug) and I haven’t noticed any smaller issues either.
That doesn’t mean that the update is bug free, it just means that I haven’t noticed any bugs. Bugs have a tendency to jump out in the weeks after a release so there’s a good chance I’ll run into something down the road. I just haven’t seen anything yet.
If you’re already on iOS 8.1.3 and you’re dealing with problems, take a look at our list of fixes. They will probably help. If you’re still not on iOS 8.1.3 and you’re thinking about making the move, commit those fixes to memory just in case something does go wrong. And there’s always a chance that it will.
The iPad mini 2 is still fast with iOS 8.1.3 on board. Folders open up quickly, so do apps, and I haven’t seen any abnormal slowdown or sluggishness in the days since iOS 8.1.3’s release. It’s as fast as it was with iOS 8.1.2 on board and I don’t expect a major drop in performance any time soon. This tablet still flies more than a year after its release.
Is the iOS 8.1.3 Update for iPad mini 2 Worth Installing?
So far, I haven’t run into any catastrophic bugs or problems with iOS 8.1.3 which means that the software is probably worth the risk for those who are dealing with iOS 8 problems that can’t be fixed. iOS 8.1.3 comes with bug fixes and iOS updates always have a chance to solve issues that aren’t listed on the official change log.
If you aren’t dealing with any iOS 8 problems, it’s entirely up to you. Yes, it has bug fixes and yes it has solid performance on my iPad Air 2 but there’s always a chance that it could cause issues on your version. Gather a ton of feedback and then come to a decision. There’s no pressure to install the iOS 8.1.3 update on Apple’s 7.9-inch slate.
Also, it’s worth remembering that Apple’s set to release an iOS 8.2 update in the future and some of you might just want to wait for that update to arrive.