Earlier this week, Apple finally delivered its brand new iOS 8.1.1 update for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The company’s new iOS 8 update is a bug fixer, aimed at squashing iOS 8 problems and improving performance. Over the past week, we’ve spent some quality time with Apple’s new software and today we want to share our full iPhone 6 iOS 8.1.1 review.
Several months ago, Apple rolled out its revamped operating system for iPhone and iPad, an operating system it dubbed iOS 8.0. iOS 8 is not the overhaul that was last year’s iOS 7 update but it still brings some important new features to the table including improved notifications, Apple Pay, changes to iMessage and the Camera app, a new keyboard, and a whole lot more.
The update also delivered iOS 8 problems to iPhone and iPad users around the world and over the past few months, Apple’s slowly chipped away at the issues plaguing its new software. First, it rolled out iOS 8.0.1, an update that fixed some issues but left the company red faced after cellular data and Touch ID blunders. Next, it pushed out iOS 8.0.2, a bug fixer that fixed the problems from iOS 8.0.1.
After that, the company released the iOS 8.1 update, an update that arrived with a number of fixes and Apple Pay but one that also delivered some new problems to iPhone and iPad users. So, it was only a matter of time before the company pushed out another iOS 8.1 update and on Monday, that update arrived in the form of iOS 8.1.1.
iOS 8.1.1 is not a big update, it comes with fixes and enhancements, but as iPhone and iPad users know, small updates can have a huge impact on the overall performance of a device. That’s why we’ve been putting a tiny update through its paces over the past week and that’s why we want to offer up our thoughts on this update after extensive use.
Today, we offer up our iOS 8.1.1 review for iPhone 6, the company’s current 4.7-inch model and a device that’s currently in the hands of millions of people around the world. This review 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 6 iOS 8.1.1 Review
From Monday until today, I’ve spent a ton of time with iOS 8.1.1 on iPhone 6. The iPhone 6, after all, is my daily driver. 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 8.1.1 is worth installing on your iPhone 6.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, app developers deserve credit for the amount of work that they’ve put in to ensure a smooth transition from iOS 7 to iOS 8. Bug fixes and iOS 8 compatibility updates have rolled out like crazy over the past two and a half months and those updates have bestowed a solid app experience on my iPhones and iPads. I’ve had a few crashes here and there, mainly with Google Chrome, but for the most part key apps have behaved well.
iOS 8.1.1 is no different. After installing the update on Monday, I’ve yet to encounter anything but the occasional crash in Chrome. Every other application from Facebook to Twitter to Instagram works like a charm. I haven’t seen any weird crashes or lockups with any other applications either. And while I don’t have the same apps as you, I do have a pretty extensive list that includes many common applications.
As I’ve said before, it helps that the iOS 8.1.1 update spent several weeks inside the beta program. It gave Apple, and its developer partners, some time to prepare for its public release. Of course, app issues and other iOS issues have a funny habit of creeping up when you least expect it so I’m not in the clear just yet. Though, I will say, that being major issue free for a week is a pretty good sign.
If you do decide to install iOS 8.1.1 and you do encounter problems with third-party applications, you should consider installing the latest bug fix updates. They will almost certainly help deliver a better experience on your iPhone 6. I have auto update turned on so that I never have to remember to install them. You probably want to flip that on right now.
iOS 8.1.1 Battery Life
iPhone 6 battery life is excellent and has been since the device’s arrival back in September. None of the incremental iOS 8 bug fixers have had a major impact on my battery life and my hope is that this trend continues.
I’m still able to get a full day of use, or more, out of the iPhone 6 when using a combination of Wi-Fi and LTE. I am a heavy iPhone user and getting a full day is absolutely essential. iOS 8.1.1 has done nothing for me. I haven’t noticed any abnormal battery drain, I haven’t noticed any change in charging speed, and it still holds a solid standby charge. My only complaint is that it didn’t give me a battery life boost, something that I’ve seen iPhone 6 users reporting in the days after its release.
If you’re struggling with iOS battery life in any way, and there’s a chance that your experience in iOS 8.1.1 will differ from mine, I’ve cooked up some fixes that could help you overcome those struggles. If you decide to install iOS 8.1.1, it’d be wise to have those handy because there are a few things there that really will help you get the most out of your phone.
Wi-Fi, LTE & Bluetooth
For the most part, LTE, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi have been great. I did experience some Wi-Fi hiccups when I was on iOS 8.0.2 but iOS 8.1 eradicated those and I haven’t seen any issues since. iOS 8.1.1 is very solid when it comes to connectivity. I haven’t seen a Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or LTE connection drop when it wasn’t supposed to. LTE and Wi-Fi have both been fast as well.
I’ve heard from several iPhone users that are dealing with Wi-Fi problems, cellular data problems, and or Bluetooth problems. If you do encounter these, in iOS 8.1.1 or something else, be sure to check out our list of possible fixes before throwing the device against the wall. You also might want to consider upgrading your router if you’re consistently having problems with Wi-Fi. Newer devices and new iOS updates have been known to present difficulties for those with older routers.
Bugs & Issues
My issues with iOS 8 on iPhone 6 are well documented. I’ve experienced iMessage problems, landscape problems and more in the two or so months I’ve owned this phone. I expected some initial problems though. New software, larger screen, recipe for trouble. I did not expect Apple to have to roll out four updates in two and a half months though.
On iOS 8.1, I suffered from the occasional iMessage problem and those landscape issues that continued to drive me nuts. Other than that, iOS 8.1 was extremely solid. My hope was that iOS 8.1.1 would fix the landscape issues, at the very least, and thankfully someone at Apple listened.
While it’s not listed in the change log, I’ve yet to get stuck in landscape mode when shifting from portrait. This issue used to happen more than a few times a day. It hasn’t happened once since installing iOS 8.1.1. I also haven’t noticed any major issues with iMessage, at least not yet.
All in all, iOS 8.1.1 is a very stable update and I haven’t seen any major problems. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t bugs on board, it just means that none have jumped out at me on my device. After a week, that’s a good sign. If there are major bugs, I’m usually able to sniff them out after a few days or so.
iOS bugs do have a habit of showing up late so it’s possible that I’ll run into something a little later on this month. For the moment, iOS 8.1.1 appears to be a very stable update and that’s exactly what you want from an incremental iOS update. Again, if you’re dealing with iOS 8 problems, or if you upgrade and run into issues, have a look at our potential fixes.
I’ve never had a problem with speed. iOS 8 has always been extremely fast on the iPhone 6 and the iOS 8.1.1 update is no different. Animations and transitions are smooth and fluid and I’m able to zip around the home screens without any sluggishness or slowdown. That’s a big deal for me and speed is probably a big deal for many of you iPhone 6 users as well. iOS 8.1.1 is performing great in this regard.
Is iOS 8.1.1 for iPhone 6 Worth Installing?
If you’re dealing with iOS 8 problems, absolutely. There’s a good chance that the iOS 8.1.1 update could fix whatever issues you’re having. Apple didn’t list a fix for my landscape issues but they were fixed nonetheless. So, it’s worth a shot.
If you’re not dealing with iOS 8 problems on iOS 8.1 or below, you can take a wait and see approach if you’re nervous. iPhone and iPad users are complaining about iOS 8.1.1 issues but thus far, my experience has been very, very solid. This is the most stable iOS 8 update yet for iPhone 6.