Its been a month and some change since Apple rolled out its brand new iOS 8.3 update for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Over the last month, I’ve been using update on a number of different devices including the iPhone 6, Apple’s 4.7-inch model. Today, I want to take an updated look at the iPhone 6 iOS 8.3 update’s performance and share some thoughts about iOS 8.4 and the future.
In September, I decided to replace my iPhone 5, a device that I bought two years prior. Apple made my decision pretty easy. While I enjoyed my two years with the iPhone 5, I knew it was the right time to make a change, just like I knew it was the right time to switch from an iPhone 3GS to an iPhone 5.
The iPhone 5 delivered on all of my needs. 4G LTE data. A larger display. A design that didn’t include glass. The iPhone 6 did the same but with a large 4.7-inch display, improved camera, and many other quality features. I bought the iPhone 6 the second it went on sale and I haven’t looked back.
My experience with the iPhone 6 has mostly been good and the only real negatives I’ve experienced have had to do with the software powering the phone. iOS 8 has been a bit of a roller coaster ride for me and for many other iPhone 6 users though it has started to even out as we’ve pushed deeper into the year.
For a month, I’ve been using iOS 8.3, an update that delivered a new emoji keyboard, new emojis, and tons and tons of bug fixes for iOS 8 problems.
I’ve taken a number of looks at the iOS 8.3 update for iPhone 6. I thought I was done but questions from readers, friends and family have prompted me to take another look at the software as we speed into June towards an iOS 8.4 release and the arrival of iOS 9.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve continued to get questions about the iOS 8.3 update on iPhone 6. Some people want feedback, others just want someone to complain to. I’ll try and satisfy as many of you as I possibly can with this updated look at the iPhone 6 iOS 8.3 update.
You Cannot Downgrade to iOS 8.2
I think the first thing I need to point out before I point out anything else is the fact that you can no longer downgrade to Apple’s previous version of iOS 8, iOS 8.2.
Apple always leaves a loophole open that allows iPhone and iPad users to drop back down to the previous version of iOS. Apple left the iOS 8.2 downgrade open for a number of weeks though the loophole is now closed. What this means is that if you decide to make the move to iOS 8.3, you’re going to be stuck there until Apple rolls out its next update.
So, if you’re experiencing iOS 8.3 problems, you’ll need to rely on third-party fixes until the next update arrives. I’ve got you covered.
If you still haven’t made the move to iOS 8.3, well, that’s probably one the reasons why you’re here. You want some more feedback about the iPhone 6 iOS 8.3 update. And that’s exactly what I am offering, friend.
iOS 8.3 on iPhone 6: One Month Later
I’ve been using the iPhone 6 iOS 8.3 update for a little over a month. I’ve been using the device every single day, all day, because it’s my daily driver. The phone never leaves my side, for better or worse. And after a month of use I can say, without hesitation, that iOS 8.3 is the most stable version of iOS 8 for my iPhone 6. Again, my iPhone 6. Mileage always varies.
First, some background. In the months leading up to the iOS 8.3 release, I’d been experiencing a number of issues on my iPhone 6. The two biggest problems I noticed were landscape problems where the device failed to return to portrait mode and Wi-Fi issues where the device would disconnect from a Wi-Fi network for no reason. I knew I wasn’t crazy because some of my colleagues saw the same bugs.
I’m now a month in with iOS 8.3 and the issues haven’t returned. The iPhone 6 keeps a stable Wi-Fi connection and it switches back to portrait when I rotate the phone from landscape. Apple listed fixes for both problems in the iOS 8.3 change log and I’m happy that they stuck.
So what about everything else? Well, LTE and Bluetooth are both holding up. I haven’t run into any noticeable bugs. The iPhone 6 is as fast as ever. And I haven’t encountered abnormal battery drain. No problems, at all.
I’ve seen and heard complaints about the iPhone 6 iOS 8.3 update and I continue to see isolated problems emerge. Battery life problems are a big one though I don’t think they’re necessarily related to iOS 8.3.
If you start noticing weird battery drain, the first thing to do is to reset your network settings. After that, I recommend uninstalling any and all recent applications. While it’s easy to blame Apple, it’s typically a rogue service or connection that’s causing the problems.
Here’s the deal. I’m one man with one iPhone 6. I can’t predict how the update is going to impact your device. For me, the iOS 8.3 update has been a godsend and the most stable version of iOS 8 that I’ve used on the device. And while I’ve seen problems, I haven’t seen any widespread issues with iOS 8.3.
iPhone 6 iOS 8.4 Update
If you’re experiencing iOS 8.3 problems and you can’t find a fix or if you’re not convinced that you want or need iOS 8.3, you only have a few weeks to go before Apple’s next iOS 8 update arrives.
Apple hasn’t announced an iOS 8.4 release date but it’s looking like it will arrive with its new features and bug fixes sometime in late June after an arrival at WWDC. Point is, you shouldn’t feel any pressure to download iOS 8.3 if you haven’t already. Take your time and if you’re still unsure after gathering feedback, wait for iOS 8.4. It should be Apple’s last major iOS 8 update before iOS 9.
If you’re not familiar with iOS 8.4 for iPhone, you can check out the slideshow below. It will catch you up to speed with what’s important.
7 Exciting iOS 8.4 Update Details
iOS 8.4 All but Confirmed for June 8th
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Apple's WWDC 2015 press release didn't outline any specifics but it sure looks like June 8th will be an extremely busy day for Tim Cook and his cohorts.
WWDC has historically been reserved for major updates like iOS 8 and iOS 7 but it looks like iOS 8.4 will steal some of the spotlight during the keynote. iOS 8.4 launch rumors put the software's announcement at WWDC in San Francisco.
This is exciting for a few reasons. One, it means that a full iOS 8.4 reveal is only a few weeks away. And two, it means that we might get a concrete iOS 8.4 release window from Apple. It doesn't look like the company will release it straightaway.
All the more reason to tune in on June 8th and follow along as the company addresses the developers in attendence and the thousands watching the live stream.
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Some Final Thoughts
For me, the road to iOS 8.3 was a long one. I’m used to dealing with bugs and issues but not for that amount of time. After a month with iOS 8.3, my experience has improved tremendously, so much so that I’m now worried about iOS 8.4 and what’s next for the iPhone 6.
iOS 8.3 is so stable that I’m nervous about making a change. My hope is that the iOS 8.4 beta process wipes out most if not all of the problems though as many of you know, there are always bugs and problems. You always take a risk installing new software.
I don’t say or do this often but there is definitely a chance that I will hold off on installing iOS 8.4 the day it comes out and gather feedback in the aftermath. iOS 8.3 is just that good.