iOS 7.1 on iPad mini with Retina Display: Impressions and Performance

The iOS 7.1 update is finally here for the iPhone and iPad and it delivers a number of big time changes including UI tweaks, new features and fixes. And after spending some time with the iOS 7.1 update for iPad mini with Retina Display, it’s time to take a close look at how its performing on Apple’s newest tablet.

In November, Apple released the iOS 7.1 update into the wild though it did not release it to the public. Instead, as expected, the iOS 7.1 update was released into the company’s beta program. The beta program allows Apple to work out major kinks and it lets app developers ensure a smooth transition from one update to another.

For almost four months, the iOS 7.1 update stayed in the beta program. Each subsequent beta release revealed a little more about the contents of the first big iOS 7 update since iOS 7 itself and the sheer number of fixes and enhancements had iPhone and iPad owners chomping at the bit.

iPad mini with Retina display

The iOS 7.1 update that arrived earlier this week did not disappoint. The update arrived for iPhone and iPad and brought a lengthy change log along with it. The iOS 7.1 update not only delivers performance enhancements, bug fixes and changes to the look of iOS 7.1 but it also delivers the all new CarPlay feature that debuted alongside iOS 7 back at WWDC 2013.

Needless to say, it’s an important update for the iPhone and iPad and one that should serve as a bridge between iOS 7 and the next iOS update, rumored to be iOS 8.

New software updates like the iOS 7.1 update can bring un-intended problems along with all the fixes and features and that’s why we spend time combing through updates, looking for potential problems. We’ve offered impressions for the iPhone 5s, iPhone 5, iPad 3, and iPad Air. Today, we want to take a look at how the iOS 7.1 update is performing on the iPad mini with Retina Display, the newest tablet in Apple’s arsenal.

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This is an early review of iOS 7.1 on the iPad mini with Retina Display. I will share a full review of the iOS 7.1 performance and features after spending more time with the update, but this will help users figure out if it is worth installing iOS 7.1 on the new iPad mini.

iOS 7.1 Installation

I always go into an iOS update expecting the worst when it comes to actually installing the update. I’ve had a couple of horrible experiences that have helped to put me on high alert every time Apple releases a new software update. Larger iOS updates like iOS 7.1 have a tendency to cause mayhem but fortunately, my experience installing iOS 7.1 on the iPad mini with Retina was flawless.

The update, which is well over 200MB in size, didn’t take very long to download and install. In fact, it was much faster than the process on my iPad Air and iPhone 5. In total, the process took about 15 to 20 minutes from start to finish and I didn’t encounter any errors during that time.

I’ve heard horror stories and I’ve experienced installation problems in the past. And while iOS 7.1 was cooperative, it may not be cooperative for you. I highly suggest taking a look at some of the steps that we recommend taking before installing iOS 7.1 It will ensure a smoother experience and it will prevent fall out if something does go wrong.

iOS 7.1 Performance

ipad-mini-retina

iOS 7.1 promises to deliver big time fixes and enhancements for iPhone and iPad. Like I do with all iOS updates, I want to focus on five things when it comes to performance on the iPad mini with Retina.

First, I take a look at how apps are running after the update. Next, I observe overall battery life. I take a look for any initial hero level bugs. I play around with 4G LTE and Wi-Fi to ensure that everything is working. And finally, I take a peek at the overall speed of the phone after the new update.

Apps

There is always a chance that third-party applications will go haywire after a major iOS update. I had some problems with applications after installing the original iOS 7 update so I was a little nervous about the iOS 7.1 update. Yes, it was in the beta program for four months but so was the iOS 7 update.

Obviously, I don’t have every single application on my iPad mini with Retina Display. So here, I’ll focus on some of the core applications that many of you probably have on your device. My most used apps include Google Chrome, Netflix, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Hangouts, YouTube, SoundCloud, and Spotify. All of these applications are working fine after iOS 7.1.

The same goes for Apple’s stock applications. Camera, calendar, photos, and more are all operating properly after the iOS 7.1 update.

Battery Life

One of my favorite things about Apple’s iPad mini with Retina Display is the high quality battery life that it offers on a daily basis. The iPad mini with Retina never seems to run out of juice and that’s extremely crucial for the work week, for trips and for casual use on the weekends.

After installing iOS 7.1, I haven’t noticed any abnormal battery drain. I’ve heard the complaints about iOS 7.1 battery life but personally, it’s par for the course. Those who are experiencing battery life issues probably want to check out our iOS 7 battery life tips as they might help iron out some the kinks on board your device.

Bugs

I have literally scoured my iPad mini with Retina Display in search of bugs. Thus far, I haven’t found any annoying issues or any hero level issues that impact my overall experience with my iPad.

As I’ve noted, bugs tend to reveal themselves in the days and weeks after an install and not on the day of an install so it’s possible that I’ll run into some problems in the future.

Connectivity

My iPad mini’s Wi-Fi connection was strong before the iOS 7.1 update and it’s strong with the iOS 7.1 update on board. That goes for both public and private connections. Same goes for AT&T’s 4G LTE service. LTE is still extremely fast on the iPad mini wtih Retina Display and I don’t anticipate having any problems going forward.

Speed

Speed is an essential piece of the iPad puzzle. When things are slow, it’s hard to play games, watch shows or be productive. Thankfully, my experience in iOS 7.0 on the iPad mini was extremely fast and my hope was that iOS 7.1 would not be a regression.

iOS 7.1 is performing beautifully on my iPad mini with Retina Display. I might even dare to say that it’s faster than iOS 7 was. Animations have improved with Apple’s new update and that seems to have contributed to a little bit of a boost in speed on my iPad mini with Retina.

It’s not the night and day experience I described on my iPhone 5 but it’s still a noticeable when opening folders and applications.

Should You Install iOS 7.1?

Thus far, the iOS 7.1 update is performing well on the iPad mini with Retina Display. I haven’t noticed any major issues, battery life is solid, connectivity is good, and applications are working fine. I’ve even seen a slight boost in the speed of the UI which appears to be more fluid than ever before.

Gelaskins iPad mini Retina Skins

iPad mini with Retina Display users who have been experiencing random reboots will certainly want to consider installing the update. Even those who aren’t dealing with problems in iOS 7.0 should think about installing it, given some of the changes it provides. I for one like the new iOS 7 keyboard.

Users who are concerned about issues can simply wait until the smoke settles in the days and weeks ahead before installing. Any major issues on board the update will surely have made themselves known by then.

Comments

  1. erin, maker of chimes says

    since getting the 7.1 update on my ipdad this morning, I can no longer press home twice to see apps running (in order to swipe up and close them)… seen anything about that issue?

  2. Otis says

    My iPad mini retina drains the battery from 100% to 0% in less than 8 hours after installation of IOS 7.1. And that is turned off, with All apps manually closed, push and location services turned off, fetch turned off and set to manual for all accounts, auto-lock set to 2min, and the magnetic protector cover closed. If you pick it up at about 4 hours it is HOT. Before installing 7.1 I got 3-4 days between charges with normal use, dozens of apps open in the background, iCloud on push, and location services on. THERE IS OBVIOUSLY A SERIOUS PROBLEM WITH IOS 7.1!! WE NEED A RESPONSE AND A FIX FROM APPLE, not “tips” on how to extend battery life by disabling features designed into the phone!!

  3. Bud says

    It seems the changes to Calendar didn’t take on my iPad Air, but they did on my iPhone 5. Anyone else experiencing this?

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