iOS 7.0.6 on iPad Air: Impressions and Performance

With all of the attention on iOS 7.1 for iPhone and iPad, no one saw Apple’s iOS 7.0.6 update coming. iOS 7.0.6, an incremental update that promises to fix a critical bug, replaces iOS 7.0.5 and iOS 7.0.4 and here, we take a look at how its performing on Apple’s new 9.7-inch tablet, the iPad Air.

Since November, the eyes of iPhone and iPad owners around the world have been fixated on one update, the iOS 7.1 update that currently sits in the beta process. Shortly after the release of iOS 7.0.4, Apple released the first version of the iOS 7.1 beta to developers and it sent iPhone and iPad users into a frenzy. Why? Two reasons.

First, iOS x.1 updates are typically larger than your standard iOS update. They bring more bug fixes, they bring enhancements and often times, they’ll bring new features as well. They serve as the bridge between two major updates. In this case, it’s iOS 7 and perhaps, iOS 8. They’re exciting updates, even if they sit inside the beta process for several months.

The second reason is because iOS 7 brought some problems along with it. Some of those problems were remedied with iOS 7.0.2, iOS 7.0.3 and iOS 7.0.4 and iOS 7.0.5 updates but problems remain. iOS 7.1 figures to fix at least some of these issues.

Rumors have pegged the iOS 7.1 release sometime within the next four weeks so iPhone and iPad owners have been gearing up for its arrival. So, many users, myself included, were caught off guard by Apple’s surprise iOS 7.0.6 update release on Friday.

iOS 7.0.6 is important in its own right as it aims to fix a serious security flaw. It is not, however, iOS 7.1.

iPad Air

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That said, these incremental iOS updates sometimes have a way of fixing problems that aren’t listed in the change log. They also tend to present new problems to iPhone and iPad owners. And that’s why we like taking a look at them.

Here, we take a look at how the iOS 7.0.6 update is running on the iPad Air, Apple’s newest 9.7-inch tablet and a device that has reportedly seen some of the random reboot problems that Apple’s other 64-bit devices have seen.

Seamless Installation

Sometimes, the iOS update installation process can cause headaches. Installing iOS 7 on my iPhone 5 was an absolute nightmare and I’ve even had trouble installing a few incremental iOS updates. So I’m always a little leery when a new update arrives.

Fortunately, iOS 7.0.6 didn’t cause me any problems when I downloaded and installed it on my iPad Air. The update is extremely small, smaller than the update for my iPhone, and it took around 10 minutes or so to download and emerge on my tablet. I installed the update Over-the-Air like I always do so I can’t speak for the installation process through iTunes.

I always tend to have problems with iTunes and iOS updates so my advice is to stay away if you can.

iOS 7.0.6 Performance

When it comes to the performance of incremental updates like iOS 7.0.6, I like to look at five different areas in particular. Those areas include applications and how they’re performing, battery life and whether there is abnormal drain, bugs or hiccups, Wi-Fi and cellular performance, and overall speed. After spending a great deal of time with iOS 7.0.6 in the past 24 hours, here’s what I’ve found.

Apps

You’re not going to have the same set of applications that I do so I’ll just focus on some of the major applications that many iPad Air owners likely have on board their tablet. Apps like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Chrome, Spotify, Netflix, and Apple’s own collection of applications including Calendar and Camera.

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I’ve had the iPad Air for a few months now and I haven’t had any issues with any of those applications before, or after the arrival of iOS 7.0.6. Developers have done a fantastic job of keeping their applications updated and bug free and it shows. Applications work as advertised and I haven’t run into any bizarre crashing, something that can occur after an iOS update.

As I noted in my iOS 7 reviews for the iPad 3, I encountered problems with Netflix and Google Chrome. I just haven’t seen the same issues on the iPad Air.

Battery Life

Battery life is important for any mobile device and I consider it to be an important piece of my tablet experience. I’ll admit, I am not a heavy tablet user but I do use it during the week to enhance my work day and I do use it to watch movies and content while in bed or while lounging on the couch.

For the past 24 hours though I have used the iPad Air extensively and I have found no sign of abnormal battery drain. The device is still holding a charge and it’s still charging as fast as it did when it was on iOS 7. These problems typically don’t show their face until a few days after release so it could be that I’m singing a different tune in the days ahead. Right now though, the battery life on my iPad Air is fantastic.

Bugs

Another thing I tend to scour for after installing an iOS update are bugs. iOS updates can often bring bugs along with them that hamper the overall experience. Since I picked up the iPad Air, I haven’t encountered any major problems that impacted my overall use with the device. In fact, I haven’t even run into any minor bugs in my time with the new slate.

I’ve heard plenty of iPad Air owners complain about the springboard issue, the problem wherein the device randomly reboots itself, but I still haven’t seen that happen with my iPad Air. Those that are experiencing that problem should get the fix they are looking for with iOS 7.1. Apple promised a fix inside that update.

Apple has done a good job of shoring up many of the well known iOS 7 problems and iOS 7.0.6 appears to be one of the most stable versions of iOS 7 yet. Again, bugs sometimes take a few days, or even weeks to emerge, but for now, things are good.

Connectivity

I don’t have a 4G LTE version of the iPad Air because it usually stays inside of my home. So I can’t speak to 4G LTE connectivity after the arrival of iOS 7.0.6. However, I can speak to Wi-Fi speeds and all is well for me after the latest update.

Yes, I’ve heard the complaints about the broken Wi-Fi inside of iOS 7. iPhone and iPad owners have been complaining about Wi-Fi issues for as long as I can remember and I have no doubt that they’re real. I just haven’t seen them since I encountered some connection problems in the early days of iOS 6 on my iPhone 5.

Speeds are normal on my iPad Air and video is streaming as well as it normally does on my home Wi-Fi network.

Speed

iOS 7 on the iPad 3 is not fast at all. iOS 7 made the user interface extremely sluggish and slow and it was one of the reasons why I opted to replace the iPad 3 with the iPad Air. The experience on the iPad Air is night and day. Since I bought it, iOS 7 has been nothing but fast and efficient, thanks to the device’s 64-bit processor. iOS 7 flies.

iPad Air Outdoors

Same goes for iOS 7.0.6. The user interface is smooth, animations are quick and fluid, and there isn’t the same overwhelming sense of slowness that I encountered on the iPad 3. I have encountered the occasional slow down with the keyboard but it’s not something that happens every single time that I use it.

Should You Install iOS 7.0.6?

iOS 7.0.6 has had no apparent effect on my iPad Air. Apps runs as they should, battery life is normal, I haven’t discovered any catastrophic bugs, connectivity is superb, and the software is still as far as it was in iOS 7.0.4.

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If that’s not convincing enough, know that the update plugs up a very serious security flaw that Apple discovered lurking about. I recommend installing the update, if only for that.

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Those who are thinking about jailbreaking should wait until the developer team gives the go ahead. MuscleNerd should give the all clear once the iOS 7.0.6 update is deemed safe and an iOS 7 jailbreak for iOS 7.0.6 is released.

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