Last week, Apple pushed out its first update to the iOS 7.1 update that rolled out back in March. The update arrived in the form of iOS 7.1.1 and it brings iOS 7 users several bug fixes. After spending a week with Apple’s brand new iOS 7.1.1 update, we want to take a look at how it’s performing on Apple’s current 9.7-inch iPad, the iPad Air.
In March, after a lengthy stay inside Apple’s beta program, iOS 7.1 was released to the public. All iPhones and iPads running iOS 7 were eligible to upgrade to Apple’s latest version of iOS 7. The update delivered not only bug fixes but it also introduced some design changes and performance enhancements for owners of Apple’s mobile devices.
As we noted in our iOS 7.1 reviews, iOS 7.1 greatly improved iOS 7′s performance on the iPhone 5. We also saw some improvements on the iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina Display, Apple’s flagship iPad models. While we found iOS 7.1 to be extremely stable, some iPhone and iPad owners encountered problems with Apple’s brand new software. Fortunately, Apple was working behind-the-scenes on a bug fix update to solve at least some of those problems.
Last Tuesday, Apple pushed out iOS 7.1.1, an update with a short list of changes which includes several bug fixes. And while it has good intentions, there is always a chance that an update like iOS 7.1.1 could cause some problems of its own. That’s the reason why we always take a look at these incremental upgrades. We want to make sure that the upgrade is worth it.
Last week, after taking an initial look at iOS 7.1.1, we promised that we would deliver an updated review about the software for those iPhone and iPad owners who were on the fence about installing it. Many people take a cautious approach to these incremental updates, especially when their device is working perfectly fine on the previous version.
iOS 7.1.1 Performance
When it comes to the performance of incremental updates like iOS 7.1.1, I like to look at five different areas in particular. Those areas include applications and how they’re performing post update, battery life and whether there is abnormal drain, bugs or hiccups, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and cellular performance, and overall speed. After spending a week with the iOS 7.1.1 update for iPad Air, here is what I’ve found.
In the past, incremental iOS updates have caused third-party applications to go haywire. Random crashes and general instability have plagued applications in the past. After spending a week with iOS 7.1.1, I’m happy to say that I haven’t experienced any issues with the applications that I use the most.
Apps Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Chrome, Spotify, Netflix, and Soundcloud were working fine last week after installing the software and a week later, they’re still working properly. As I’ve noted several times, in my experience with iOS, applications will start acting up within the first week. The fact that I haven’t run into anything suspicious is a good sign moving forward.
Keep in mind, I likely have a different set of applications and it’s possible that there are apps out there that aren’t agreeing with Apple’s update. I just listed off some of the more popular ones. Those of you who are experiencing issues with apps on the iPad Air after installing iOS 7.1.1 would be wise to restart the device. A quick restart will often dislodge issues.
iOS 7.1.1 Battery Life
One of the reasons people avoid these incremental iOS updates is because they hear about the battery life issues that often plague users after installing them. While there are always complaints after iOS updates, very rarely is the issue widespread. The last major battery life problem arrived inside of an iOS 6.1 update last year. Apple’s updates since then, including iOS 7.1.1, has been consistently good.
The battery life on my iPad Air remains solid after the arrival of iOS 7.1.1. I can still get more than a day of use out of one charge. While I haven’t seen a noticeable improvement like some people have after installing iOS 7.1.1, I haven’t seen any abnormal drain or anything out of the ordinary. It’s par for the course which is great because the iPad possesses some of the best battery life in the business.
No fix is guaranteed to work but there are some that are worth trying if iOS 7.1.1 battery life is acting up. One trick in particular should dislodge any potential bugs and there are some tips and tricks that we suggest taking a look at before throwing the iPad Air out the window or taking a hammer to its metal back.
After using iOS 7.1.1 for a week, I have yet to encounter any bugs. I’m talking about random glitches and hero level bugs that require an immediate fix from Apple. I’m hearing that there are still VPN issues inside of iOS 7.1.1 but I have not been able to replicate them myself.
I’ve said this many times and I’ll say it again. Bugs lurking inside iOS software typically show their face within the first week. I’ve seen bugs show their ugly face weeks after a release but it’s rare. Point is, it’s looking like iOS 7.1.1 for the iPad Air is an extremely stable piece of software that is void of major issues.
I don’t own the LTE version of the iPad Air so I can’t speak for 4G LTE data. However, I can speak to the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity that I regularly rely on. Both are working well after the iOS 7.1.1 update and I’ve been able to stream content from ESPN, Netflix and a few other places with relative ease.
Bluetooth connectivity is strong as well. My iPad Air is able to flawlessly connect with my Bose SoundLink Mini. Bluetooth connectivity is often a problem for iPhone and iPad owners but it doesn’t look like iOS 7.1.1 broke anything because it has been working fine for a week straight.
iOS 7.1.1 is as fast as iOS 7.1. The transitions and animations that were improved inside of Apple’s iOS 7.1 update are still solid inside the brand new update and I haven’t encountered any significant slowdown or lag after installing iOS 7.1.1. Everything just feels extremely snappy, especially when opening new apps or opening and closing a folder.
Is iOS 7.1.1 Worth Installing?
An update to iOS 7.1.1 isn’t required, especially if you’re looking to jailbreak, but at this point it doesn’t seem like an upgrade to the latest software is going to hurt. Not only does the software come with bug fixes, it performs as well as iOS 7.1 did on my iPad Air. Battery life is solid, apps are working fine and battery life is as good as its ever been. It’s worthy of your consideration.
It’s not clear when or if Apple will release another update to iOS 7.1. iOS 7.1.1 is an extremely stable piece of software though there is a chance that Apple will continue to refine the software as we head deeper into the year and closer to the rumored iOS 8 update. iOS 8 is expected to debut at WWDC in early June but may not arrive until after a beta period that extends into the fall.