The iOS 7.1.1 update is finally available for the iPhone 5s and other Apple devices as a free over the air download that promises to fix an important security issue, improve Touch ID and several other bugs. After spending a day using iOS 7.1.1 on the iPhone 5s here is an early look at the performance and my first impressions.
This is a small update to iOS 7 that does not bring the visual changes and features that iOS 7.1 did earlier this year and that Apple delivered to all users with the iOS 7 release last September. This is the first update to the iOS 7.1 software that Apple delivered in March, and it is one that many users should look at installing.
When the iOS 7.1 update arrived it fixed many lingering iPhone 5s bugs including random restarts, Touch ID problems and some other issues, but it didn’t fix every iPhone 5s problem. iOS 7.1 is a very stable update, but users with Touch ID problems and who need the latest security fixes should consider updating to iOS 7.1.1.
As there was no iOS 7.1.1 beta for developers this release and the various fixes are new to all users. Apple ramped up testing of iOS 7.1.1 internally before offering the software to the public, and after a week of rumors delivered the iOS 7.1.1 update to users.
The iOS 7.1.1 update for the iPhone 5s is a small update, that is only about 26MB in size and with targeted fixes, but it is a good idea for many users to wait a few days before updating in case the update brings any bugs that can impact connectivity or battery life.
In this early iOS 7.1.1 review we’ll look at how this small, but important update runs on the iPhone 5s that Apple released in September 2013.
iOS 7.1.1 Installation on iPhone 5s
It takes about 15 to 20 minutes to install iOS 7.1.1 on the iPhone 5s. The update downloaded very fast over a WiFi connection, but after the download the iPhone needs to verify that update file before rebooting the iPhone to install iOS 7.1.1. I did not experience any timeouts or long waits like many users did with iOS 7 last fall and due to the small size it did not matter that my iPhone is nearly full. You will need to enter your iPhone passcode to complete the update.
I performed the iOS 7.1.1 update over the air, or OTA. This downloads the update directly to the iPhone and installs it without the need to plug into iTunes. It is a good idea to backup before doing this just in case anything goes wrong. Users can also plug into iTunes on any computer and perform an update.
iOS 7.1.1 Performance
The iOS 7.1.1 performance is a big deal for many users. The speed part of performance is not usually an issue for the newest iPhone, but there is always a chance of battery life problems, bugs or connectivity issues that can sneak into even a small update. After installing iOS 7.1.1 on the iPhone 5s i checked a variety of applications, ran through several test calls and checked connectivity on multiple WiFi networks and over LTE in various places to see if any problems are evident. Below I break out the iOS 7.1.1 performance on the iPhone 5s.
After using Touch ID over the last 24 hours there is not a major difference in when the system will read fingerprints. I am now setting up Touch ID again to make sure that any previous issues do not carry over, so I will be able to judge if performance degrades over time on the latest software.
Right after installing iOS 7.1.1 on the iPhone 5s I had to leave my home office for a busy afternoon of appointments which meant I needed to rely on the iPhone 5s more than on a typical day.
Throughout the last 24 hours I tested several of Apple’s built-in apps like the camera, FaceTime, iMessage and Safari on iOS 7.1.1 and did not experience any issues with these first party apps.
I also used a variety of third-party apps like Convo, Trials Frontier, Alien Blue, YouTube, Facebook, Hangouts, Gmail, Tweetbot, Nest, Facebook Messenger and many others without an issue.
It’s not surprising that there are no iOS 7.1.1 app compatibility issues considering this is a small update, but it is something I tested to be sure.
iOS 7.1.1 Battery Life
So far the iOS 7.1.1 battery life on the iPhone 5s is as good, if not better than on iOS 7.1 on the iPhone 5s for me. With a similar amount of phone calls and WiFi or LTE usage my iPhone 5s battery is delivering longer life than on iOS 7.1.
After being off the charger for about six hours I still have 76% battery life on iOS 7.1.1 and normally I would be in the 60% battery life left at this time.
Obviously battery life will vary from user to user depending on calls and apps, but so far the iOS 7.1.1 update is
iOS 7.1.1 Bugs and Problems
Even small updates like iOS 7.1.1 can bring problems for some users. At this point I am not experiencing any iOS 7.1.1 problems or bugs, but it is still early.
Is anyone else having a problem with Siri and dictation after updating to iOS 7.1.1?
— Joe Moreno (@JoeMoreno) April 22, 2014
After updating to iOS 7.1.1 on the iPhone 5s I tested the phone on 4G LTE, 3G and WiFi. The phone performed well in most locations. The only place I experience issue is at my house where it is apparent that there is an issue with Verizon coverage that results in a lot of dropped calls.
Overall iOS 7.1.1 did not appear to change my ability to connect the iPhone 5s to cellular and WiFi networks.
After installing iOS 7.1.1 the iPhone 5s performance is the same as it was on iOS 7.1. I did not notice an improvement or any slowness after installing the update, which is to be expected on a small bug fix update on the latest Apple iPhone hardware.
Should You Install iOS 7.1.1 on the iPhone 5s?
For most users it is a good idea to install the iOS 7.1.1 update today. There are no iOS 7.1.1 problems evident at this time and there is a promise of improved Touch ID performance as well as an important security update.
Users that are jailbroken should avoid this update, just like the iOS 7.1 update before it as there is no iOS 7.1.1 jailbreak at this time and there may not be one in the works.
For other users that are concerned about iOS 7.1.1 battery life problems or other bugs, it is OK to wait for a full iOS 7.1.1 review to see if any problems pop up for myself or for large groups of early updaters.