iOS 7.1 on iPad 3: Performance & First Impressions

The iPad 3 iOS 7.1 performance offers an improved user experience thanks to faster animations and other enhancements. We installed the iOS 7.1 update on the iPad 3 to see how it performs and what users can expect from Apple’s new version of iOS 7.

The iOS 7.1 update is the first major iOS 7 update for the aging iPad and users are nervous about what it might do to the iPad 3 performance. In this early impressions post we will look at the iPad 3 performance on iOS 7.1 and any potential issues.

Unlike previous iOS 7 updates that fixed one or two specific issues the iOS 7.1 update delivers a collection of enhancements to the user experience with a new Siri feature, enhancements to iTunes Radio, better syncing of answered FaceTime calls and fixes for iOS 7 crashes.

In this early iOS 7.1 on iPad 3 impressions we will look at what Apple fixed in this update and how it performs on the iPad 3. We will share a longer iPad 3 iOS 7.1 review after spending more time with the update. There is no rush to install iOS 7.1 on the iPad 3, so if you have worries you can wait for the final review later this week.

iPad 3 iOS 7.1 Video

The two minute video below shows the iPad 3 iOS 7.1 performance compared to the same iPad running iOS 7.0.5. The iOS 7.1 update for the iPad 3 is not a game-changer in terms of performance, but the device feels smoother and animations are faster.

iPad 3 – iOS 7.1 Performance

After using the iPad 3 running iOS 7.1 for an hour and a half it is clear that the update delivers small, but welcome boosts in performance. Users should not expect to feel like they traded in for an iPad Air, but at the same time the day-t0-day tasks of switching apps, opening and closing apps and navigating the iPad are faster.

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Apps

After testing the apps commonly used on the iPad 3 we cannot find any that don’t run on the most recent update. This is not a surprise given the focus of this update on fixing bugs and improving performance.

Developers tested their apps on iOS 7.1 for several months, so if you have any issues make sure your apps are up to date. We may see a push of new apps coming out that will fix any iOS 7.1 app issues.

Connectivity

iOS updates come with the potential to cripple the device by knocking out WiFi connectivity. The iOS 7.1 update on the iPad 3 did not change our ability to connect to WiFi in any way. This may vary from one device to another, but we also are not seeing widespread reports of grayed out or non-working WiFi on the iPad 3 running iOS 7.1.

Speed

As we mentioned, the iPad 3 performance on iOS 7.1 is an improvement. While Apple’s iOS 7 release notes only focus on iPhone 4 performance enhancements, but as we use the iPad 3 it is clear that there are some speed enhancements for this device as well. Users will notice faster animations which means the device feels faster.

Here is an early iOS 7.1 on iPad 3 review of performance.

Here is an early iOS 7.1 on iPad 3 review of performance.

Should I Install iOS 7.1 on the iPad 3?

The iOS 7.1 iPad 3 update is one that is worth installing for most users. We suggest users that are worried about the performance of the iPad 3 on iOS 7.1 wait for a full review later this week.

So far there are no show-stopping iOS 7.1 issues with the update on the iPad 3, and the small performance gains are enough of a bump that we recommend most users upgrade.

  

Comments

  1. Don Leslie says

    No problems with the download and upgrade. When iPad Mini restarted it would NOT connect to my ARRIS cable modem. I restarted the iPad, restarted the modem, etc etc. No luck. I got our my previous Buffalo router and it connected fine – but no where near the 40 to 60 mbit download speed I got with the ARRIS before the upgrade.

    Clearly the problem was created by the changes so Apple, get working on a fix ASAP.

  2. Don Leslie says

    Swapped the Buffalo out for an Airport router and it was just as slow. BUT what it did was allow the ARRIS to work and speeds are back to normal – thank goodness.

  3. Dave says

    Thanks for testing, I’ll keep an eye out for the full review after you’ve lived with it for a while. I have an iPad 3 and I’m still running iOS 6 with no issues. I’m tempted to upgrade but if an upgrade makes my device seem slow or suffers in any other way I’ll skip it and live in iOS6 forever.

  4. PolarB says

    Guys, it is definitely an improvement, but not up to par with devices like the first gen iPad mini. The specs are very similar (A5X with retina, and A5 without retina), but iPad 3 has 1GB RAM, compared to iPad mini’s 512MB. However, it seems like iPad mini manages memory better than iPad 3 in my tests. iPad 3 still has Safari tab loading problem (not always, but time to time). Also, it does feel smoother than 7.0.6, but definitely not as smooth as iPad mini 1st gen. Especially when multitasking, switching between apps, it’s not as fluid, fast and smooth on iPad 3 as iPad mini. I can definitely see it. Also, there is a performance bug on iPad 3 (not on iPad mini), where if you double tap the home button to go into multitasking, and if you press the home button once again to get back to the same app (OR just choose the left most thumbnail, which is the app you were just in), the animation going back to that app is very stuttery. It happens with every single app. Try it for yourself on iPad 3. I’m not completely satisfied with this update. It does bring performance improvements, but I just can’t stand that iPad mini is smoother than iPad 3.

  5. Mika says

    I am still using iOS 5.1.1 with my ipad3. Everything works nice and smooth. I just keep hearing those horror story’s about iOS7 and ipad3. Some keep telling that battery run empty one day etc. What I do with device that charge battery 6 hours if it empty one day? I wish I could update to iOS6 but I can’t. Only problem that can’t update all apps and many apps need atleast iOS 6. So what happens if update? Is my iPad trash after it? You should also compare to older iOS versions.

  6. Wayne Hayes says

    Tiny barely noticeable improvement to my iPad 3. Although it has introduced something horrible and that is lousy performance trying to use the iTunes store app. Now it is prone to getting quite sluggish and on occasion freezing up unless I force quit the app and go back in. Try going in it a few times in a row and switching between the music, tv and film tabs and you’ll see what I mean. Also in the iTunes store app if you go into the ‘purchased’ section it just won’t load your music, spinny circle forever and this eventually freezes the app necessitating another force quit. The app store on the other hand runs beautifully. So tiny, tiny improvement but the introduction of something very annoying which is so typical of apple. Unfortunately I hate the constant upgrades and potential to create problems but you feel compelled to stay updated – if it ain’t broke don’t fix it apple. I guess when apple eventually get ios 7 running nicely is when we will get hit with ios 8 and the whole bug saga will start again. Would be nice is they actually stuck with an ios for a couple of years at least rather than hitting us with one every summer/autumn.

  7. Fábio says

    Hi, can you please clarify wether or not you’ll post a full review for iPad 3 running on IOS 7.1?!
    I’m still on 6.1.3 so I’m holding for a confirmation that I should update but I can’t find any definitive review on the web…
    I’m also with a thought that maybe Apple is making IOS 6.1.3 slower somehow in order to make people change…I’m not absolutely sure but the fact is my iPad 3 downloaded with no order the 7.1 and since that my iPad crashes a lot more. Sometimes using Safari on Behance for example, with few pages opened it crashes…I mean a crash each 15 minutes…and that didn’t happen before.
    Anyway, please confirm that I post a review, I find your reviews pretty usefull!
    Thanks.

  8. Mika says

    Updated from 5.1.1 to 7.1. Ipad3 works great after update. I haven’t noticed any speed problems. I have charge battery only one time after update. Now charge again. Stand by time 10 days 11 hours and use time +9 hours. I am perfectly Happy that finally ipdated iOS5.

  9. David says

    Hi. I’m about to update my iPad 3 WiFi variant from iOS 5.1.1 to iOS 7.1. Is the WiFi still working after the update?

  10. Mika says

    Atleast my wifi is working everything ok. If not maybe it’s compatibility problem with router.

  11. Mika says

    There isn’t any reason not to update iPad 3. All you will ask yourself is why you didn’t do it before :).

  12. Mike says

    I just got rid of my i4S (this week) in favor of a new Galaxy S5, due (primarily) to iOS7 killing the WiFi on my phone. I could temporarily restore it by triggering the temperature sensor with a hair dryer and rebooting. This obviously rebooted whatever the offending line of code was to line 0, but only worked for a week or so at a time. Apple told me to pound sand as it was slightly over a year old and out of warranty. Too bad for them. I actually bought two new phones (one for the wife).

    I will not upgrade with iPad3. Apple would just tell me I’m out of war and I can buy a new one. Nyet.

  13. Stefan says

    I have updated from 7.0.4 and it made a world of difference in terms of speed and how it feels and handles. 7.0.4 made my iPad 3 so sluggish that it became hardly useable. 7.1 brought it back. Not entirely back to 6.0 speed, but close enough.

  14. Yvon says

    Maybe I’ll update my iPad 3 from 5.1.1 to 7.1, before the release of iOS 8. @@
    I’m afraid iOS 8 will make my ipad more laggy. What do you guys think?

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