Last week, Apple rolled out its brand new iOS 8.1.2 update for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The company’s new iOS 8 update is a bug fixer, aimed at squashing iOS 8 problems. Over the past six days, we’ve spent some quality time with Apple’s new software and today we want to share our full iPhone 5 iOS 8.1.2 review.
In September, Apple’s iOS 8 update pushed out with new features and enhancements. Almost immediately, iOS 8 problems started plaguing owners of the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. This is typical of a major iOS update and we, and many others, expected Apple to push out an iOS 8.0.1 update shortly after its arrival.
Sure enough, Apple pushed out an iOS 8.0.1 update with assorted bug fixes on board though it did not have the intended results. While it did deliver some fixes, it also broke cellular connectivity and Touch ID for some users. These issues forced Apple to quickly go back to the drawing board and a day later, the company conjured up an iOS 8.0.2 update that tackled those problems and delivered the rest of the fixes to those that did not upgrade to iOS 8.0.1.
Unsurprisingly, complaints about iOS 8 continued and over the couple of months, Apple’s worked hard to squash many iOS 8 problems. First, the company pushed out a massive iOS 8.1 bug fixer. Then, the company followed that up with an iOS 8.1.1 update that, unlike most smaller updates, went through the beta program. As we noted iOS 8.1.1 was the most stable iOS 8 yet, a sign that Apple finally started to get a grip on the issues plaguing its new software.
This past week, Apple pushed out an iOS 8.1.2 update with even more bug fixes on board. iOS 8.1.2 is a tiny update but as many of you know, even the tiniest iOS updates can make a huge impact on performance. In fact, we’ve been hearing about iOS 8.1.2 problems all week.
With those in mind, I’ve been taking a look at Apple’s iOS 8.1.2 update on a number of devices including the iPhone 5, Apple’s aging former flagship. And today, I want to offer some feedback to those that might be leery of the update and to those that are already on iOS 8.1.2. This is my full iOS 8.1.2 on iPhone 5 review and it will attempt to answer the question that we’ve received many times over in the past week: Is iOS 8.1.1 worth installing? Let’s find out.
iPhone 5 iOS 8.1.2 Review
From Tuesday up until today, I’ve spent a ton of time with iOS 8.1.2 on iPhone 5. For those that don’t know, I’ve owned the iPhone 5 since the day it came out back in the fall of 2012. 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 8.1.2 is worth installing on your iPhone 5.
I have around 50 or so applications installed on my iPhone 5. I regularly use about half of them but for the sake of this review, I’ve tried to use as many of them as possible, as frequently as possible, over the past week. So far, my third-party applications are all behaving after making the move up from Apple’s iOS 8.1.1 update. I’ve run into some sluggishness with Facebook and a few crashes in Chrome but that’s nothing new.
I won’t name them all but key apps like Instagram, Slack, Asana, Google Hangouts, Twitter, Dark Sky, Amazon, Netflix are all are functioning as advertised with iOS 8.1.2 on board the iPhone 5. App performance has been solid for several months now and I’m hopeful that app developers continue to work hard. I’m sure they will.
If you are having issues with applications right now, with iOS 8.1.2 or something else on board, my suggestion is to go ahead and install as many bug fix updates as you possibly can. Most of the time, they are going to help. You would also be wise to switch automatic updates on. In the past, I used to forget to install bug fixers. Now, I don’t even have to think about it.
iOS 8.1.2 Battery Life
I’ve owned the iPhone 5 for more than two years now and in those two years, I’ve never run into any abnormal battery drain after an iOS update. The iPhone 5 has been through a number of iOS updates so that’s a pretty incredible feat. I can’t say the same for many fellow iPhone 5 users. Over the years, I’ve gotten a ton of complaints about battery life and those complaints have continued after the arrival of iOS 8.1.2. I’m still not seeing any problems though.
My iPhone 5 is holding up well after the iOS 8.1.2 update. I’m not able to get the same kind of use that I get out of the iPhone 6 but when using a combination of Wi-Fi and LTE, I’m typically able to get a full day of use out of the aging device. That’s about where I was at in iOS 7 and iOS 6 which is pretty darn impressive. If there is a difference, it’s not noticeable.
I haven’t run into any abnormal battery drain nor have I encountered slow charging issues or problems with standby power. All of those check out after the iOS 8.1.2 update.
Remember, updates like iOS 8.1.2 aren’t supposed to bring battery life problems along with them. Typically, bad battery life is caused by third-party apps or by, well, you guys. I’ve outlined a number of strategies to get better battery life inside iOS 8 and the same advice applies to Apple’s latest iOS 8.1.2 update. Have a look at those if you install iOS 8.1.2 and you start noticing something suspicious.
There’s no guarantee that those fixes will work for you and your iPhone 5 but at the very least, you’ll want to start monitoring your applications to see if they’re the problem. Apps like Facebook have been known so burn a ton of battery life while in use and there’s a chance that a rogue app is causing problems on your device.
Wi-Fi, LTE & Bluetooth
Wi-Fi, LTE and Bluetooth continue to be pain points for many iOS 8 users. I’ve heard about various issues with these connections in the days after the iOS 8.1.2 update but so far, I haven’t experienced any myself.
My Wi-Fi connectivity is still fast and efficient. I’ve been able to connect the iPhone 5 to an assortment of Bluetooth accessories including speakers. And AT&T’s 4G LTE network continues to deliver solid upload and download speeds. Can’t ask for much more from an incremental update like iOS 8.1.2.
Just because I’m not running into iOS 8.1.2 problems doesn’t mean that others aren’t. That’s why I’ve put together a list of possible fixes for these problems. They’re a good starting point for those of you seeking fixes but again, there’s always a chance that you’ll need to look elsewhere for the fix that works for you. If all else fails, take the device to an Apple Store.
Bugs & Issues
iOS 8, at least for me, has been fairly stable. I ran into some initial issues on the iPhone 5 but with each subsequent bug fix update, the experience on the device has improved. iOS 8.1.2 was extremely stable and the iOS 8.1.2 is the exact same way. So far, I’ve yet to encounter any noticeable bugs or issues and I’ve been looking in as many nooks and crannies as humanly possible.
That’s the thing about iOS bugs though. Not everyone sees them and often times, they take a few weeks before they jump out. So while I’m not seeing any after a week, it’s possible that things will fall apart sometime in the next two weeks. You just never know.
I’m confident that there aren’t any major bugs lurking around. Those typically jump out right off the bat. There are definitely some isolated issues, I’ve heard from enough iPhone 5 users to confirm that, but I’m just not seeing anything myself. The update has been very stable.
This is an area that simply crumbled after the iOS 8.1 update. With iOS 8.0.2 on board, the iOS 8 was working decently. Animations and transitions aren’t as fast as they used to be but that’s a product of age. After installing iOS 8.1 though, the speed of my iPhone 5 became shot. Clunky, slow, sluggish, that describes the experience. Unfortunately, iOS 8.1.1 did nothing to fix the problem.
With iOS 8.1.2 on board, it’s still not back to where it used to be before iOS 8.1, but it’s a little better. I’m not locking up every time I use the phone and it feels a little lighter than it did with iOS 8.1.1. A little crisper. It still slows down and it still feels too clunky. The sad part is that I don’t know if this is ever going to improve.
My hope is that iOS 8.2 or another iOS update down the road acts like last year’s iOS 7.1 update. iOS 7.1.2 injected new life into the iPhone 5 and if iOS 8 didn’t come with so many useful features, I’d be feeling a ton of regret about making the move up from iOS 7.
Is iOS 8.1.2 for iPhone 5 Worth Installing?
If your performance took a hit after iOS 8.1 or iOS 8.1.1, iOS 8.1.2 is probably worth a download. It’s not back to iOS 7.1.2 levels of performance but it’s still much better than it was a few weeks ago. iOS 8.1.2 might also be worth it if you’re dealing with iOS 8 problems. It comes with bug fixes and there’s always a chance it will fix something that’s not listed on the change log.
If you’re on iOS 7 or another version of iOS 8, and you’re getting solid performance, I recommend holding off for the time being. iOS 8.1.2 might be small but there’s always a chance that it could have a negative impact on your iPhone 5. Poke around, gather as much feedback as you can, and then make a decision in the days ahead.