Last week, Apple released the first update to its iOS 7.1 update that was first released back in March. iOS 7.1.1 debuted for all devices on Apple’s iOS 7 operating system and it’s aimed at fixing a few of the iOS 7 problems that iPhone and iPad owners had been experiencing prior to its arrival. After spending a week with the iOS 7.1.1 on iPhone 5, we want to take a look at how it’s performing on Apple’s former flagship.
In March, after a lengthy waiting wait, Apple released the first major update to its iOS 7 operating system in the form of iOS 7.1. iOS 7.1 serves as a bridge between iOS 7 and Apple’s upcoming iOS update, iOS 8. It’s a bridge because it’s more than your standard incremental iOS update. Instead of just bug fixes, iOS 7.1 brought new features, design tweaks, performance enhancements, and more to iPhone and iPad owners.
As we noted in our iOS 7.1 reviews, iOS 7.1 greatly improved the performance on the iPhone 5 and we even saw some improvements on the iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina Display. While we found iOS 7.1 to be extremely stable, others encountered problems with Apple’s brand new software. And fortunately for them, Apple was working behind-the-scenes on a bug fix update to solve at least some of the issues that remained inside iOS 7.
At the beginning of last week, Apple pushed out iOS 7.1.1, an update with a short list of changes and one that serves as the company’s first update major update since iOS 7 back in September. Like all incremental iOS updates, iOS 7.1.1 comes with bug fixes. And while it has good intentions, there is always a chance that an update like iOS 7.1.1 could cause problems of its own.
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 are cautious about these updates when their device is working perfectly fine on the previous version.
That said, here, we take a look at iOS 7.1.1 on iPhone 5.
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 iPhone 5, here is what I’ve found.
While I watched the iOS 7.1.1 update install on my iPhone 5 last week, I couldn’t help to feel a little bit afraid about the potential consequences. iOS 7.1 treated my iPhone 5 well and as I noted in my review, the device felt like a new device thanks to the tweaks in transitions and animations. My iPhone 5 feels a lot faster than it did in iOS 7.1.
My hope was that iOS 7.1.1 wouldn’t bring any sluggishness or slowdown to a device that I am thinking about replacing later on this year when I come off contract. Fortunately, over the past week, my fears haven’t been realized.
iOS 7.1.1 feels as fast as iOS 7.1 did. Opening up a folder is fast and fluid, so is opening up various applications. I also haven’t experienced any general slowdown, something that occurred on occasion inside iOS 7. iOS 7.1.1 is fast and my iPhone 5 is better for it. While it may not convince me to keep it around, the improvements that Apple made in iOS 7.1 at least make it worthy of consideration.
After installing iOS 7.1 last week, I did not run into any issues with any of my applications. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Chrome, Spotify, Netflix, Dark Sky, and Soundcloud were working fine then and they are all working fine now. In my experience, applications will start acting up within the first week or so so this is a good sign going forward.
Those of you that are experiencing issues with an application should try restarting the iPhone 5. Often times, this will fix things. If that doesn’t work, it might be worth trying to contact the developer.
iOS 7.1.1 Battery Life
Typically, after an iOS update is released, iPhone and iPad owners take to social media and Apple’s discussion forums to complain about abnormal battery drain. It’s like clockwork. So we weren’t surprised to see the usual complaints after the release of iOS 7.1.1. And while there are some people that are likely dealing with iOS 7.1.1 battery drain issues, they don’t seem to be widespread.
Since installing iOS 7.1.1, I haven’t noticed anything out of the ordinary. While my iPhone’s battery life hasn’t seen the sharp increase that some owners are experiencing, it’s getting the same, solid battery life that I was getting before the arrival of iOS 7.1.1. I can get a full day of use provided that I’m not constantly streaming videos over 4G LTE. Days like those are rare.
Those hoping to dislodge any iOS 7.1.1 battery life problems have a few things that they can try. 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 device against a wall.
4G LTE, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity have all be extremely solid on iOS 7.1.1. I haven’t seen any issues with speeds and my device is able to hold down a solid connection. This was especially important this past weekend when I traveled up to the Bay Area and was without Wi-Fi for a good portion of the trip.
Believe it or not, I have yet to stumble upon any bugs inside iOS 7.1.1. That’s not to say that they aren’t any in there, I just haven’t been able to find any on my own. As I’ve noted before, bugs will often show themselves about a week or two after an update’s arrival so it’s a good sign that I haven’t stumbled into any since the release of iOS 7.1.1.
One thing that I noted last week was that my FaceTime Audio quality had improved after installing iOS 7.1.1. In iOS 7.1, it was almost always choppy and would often cut out, even when I was on a stable Wi-Fi or 4G LTE connection. The service has vastly improved inside iOS 7.1.1. Apple didn’t list a fix on the change log but I have seen a noticeable improvement after installing iOS 7.1.1 on my iPhone 5.
Is iOS 7.1.1 Worth Installing?
iOS 7.1.1 delivers a few bug fixes and doesn’t seem to break anything. In fact, some iPhone users are reporting that it actually improves battery life over iOS 7.1. Personally, I’ve seen an improvement with FaceTime Audio calls. Those two unannounced “fixes” alone make it worth considering.
It’s not clear what’s in store for iPhone 5 owners after iOS 7.1.1 and it could be that the update, given how stable it is, serves as the last update to iOS 7 before the arrival of iOS 8 later on this year. That’s how solid it is.