iOS 7.1.2 on iPad Air Review

A week ago, Apple released its latest iOS 7 update in the form of iOS 7.1.2, a small fix update aimed at fixing iOS 7.1 problems. While small, these bug fix updates often bring more trouble than they’re worth. After spending a week with the new iOS 7.1.2 update, we want to take a look at how its performing and whether its worth installing on the iPad Air.

In March, Apple rolled out a brand new iOS 7 update in the form of iOS 7.1. Apple’s iOS x.1 updates are always bigger than your typical incremental iOS update and iOS 7.1 was no different. The update delivered a number of bug fixes for iOS 7 problems but it also brought design tweaks, new features, and performance enhancements along for the ride. As we’ve noted, iOS 7.1 dramatically altered the experience on older devices like the iPhone 5 thanks to improved animations and transitions.

However, while Apple’s x.1 updates tend to fix problems, they also typically bring some problems of their own. Last year’s iOS 6.1 update, for example, brought a number of issues to iPhone and iPad owners. Unfortunately, the same can be said for iOS 7.1. While it delivered fixes, it also brought some problems along with it.

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In an effort to contain these issues, Apple has rolled out two iOS 7.1 updates in the forms of iOS 7.1.1 and iOS 7.1.2. iOS 7.1.1 rolled out in April while the iOS 7.1.2 update pushed out last week and has been the focus of iPhone and iPad owners attention in July.

iOS 7.1.2 brings several bug fixes to iPhone and iPad users including a fix for a mail encryption problem affecting attachments. It’s a small update but an important one nonetheless.

The purpose of iOS 7.1.2 is to solve issues but again, these smaller updates can occasionally wreck havoc on devices. We don’t want that to happen to anybody and that’s why we want to take a look at how iOS 7.1.2 is performing on the iPad Air, a week after its release by Apple.

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iOS 7.1.2 Installation Issues

A week ago, I installed iOS 7.1.2 on the iPad Air. As I noted back then, I didn’t run into any installation issues when installing the 20MB update Over-the-Air. It was a smooth process that took around 1o to 15 minutes to complete. However, it does appear as though some iPad owners had and might still be having issues installing iOS 7.1.2.

iPhone and iPad users are complaining about installation issues that all lead down the same road: The iOS 7.1.2 update process won’t complete and the device is stuck in a holding pattern. Luckily, as we’ve pointed out, there is an easy way to circumvent these problems. If you’re dealing with iOS 7.1.2 installation problems, simply perform a hard reset on the device.

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To do that, hold down the power button and the home button at the same time. That should help to get the iOS 7.1.2 installation process moving again should it lock up.

This is a fix to keep handy for the future because there is always a chance that this could happen again. I had it happen with an earlier iOS 7 update and a hard reset did the trick.

iOS 7.1.2 Performance

Remember, when it comes to the performance of incremental iOS updates like iOS 7.1.2, 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 and Bluetooth performance, and overall speed. After spending a full week with the iOS 7.1.2 update for iPad Air, here is what I’ve found.

Apps

Throughout the week, I’ve put various applications through a gauntlet of testing. I realize that our applications are going to differ from one another so I’ll focus on a few apps that are common amongst iPad owners.

Facebook, Spotify, Soundcloud, Twitter, Instagram, Dark Sky, Weather Channel, Google Hangouts, and Google Chrome are all performing well after the iOS 7.1.2 update. As for the other apps I use, I haven’t stumbled on any sluggishness or any crashes since installing the update. Apps like Kingdom Rush and Yelp are performing fine as well.

iPad Air

I should note that I did did experience one crash with Google Hangouts though that seems to be an isolated incident because the application has been performing beautifully since then.

iOS 7.1.2 Battery Life

So far, I haven’t noticed any abnormal iOS 7.1.2 battery drain, any charging problems, or any issues with the battery when in standby mode. The iPad Air is still holding a fantastic charge.

I’ve heard the complaints about iOS 7.1.2 battery life on the iPhone and iPad but to be honest, they aren’t as loud as past iOS updates. So, I get the feeling that iOS 7.1.2 is stable for a majority of iPhone and iPad users.

Those that are experiencing poor battery life after the upgrade to iOS 7.1.2 have a few options available though none are guaranteed to work. Nailing down the battery life issue, if there is one, is a difficult process and ultimately, you might simply want to opt for a factory reset. Often times, this will kill off lingering iOS issues.

Bugs

After using the iOS 7.1.2 update on the iPad Air, I have yet to run into any significant bugs that hamper the overall experience on the device. The experience is still extremely stable and I haven’t seen random reboots or any other problems that often pop up after these smaller updates.

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As I noted in my iOS 7.1.2 for iPhone review, I have run into some iMessage problems with iOS 7.1.2 but for whatever reason, those remain limited to my iPhone and have not plagued the iPad Air.

Connectivity

Bluetooth connectivity and Wi-Fi connectivity are still solid with iOS 7.1.2 on board. I’ve heard about problems with grayed out Wi-Fi, something that has been plaguing iPad and iPhone users since the arrival of iOS 6 but as I’ve said many times before, that problem still hasn’t impacted any of my devices. My connections are solid, fast and reliable.

Speed

iOS 7 has always been fast on the iPad Air and while I did see a little bit of a boost with the arrival of iOS 7.1.2, it wasn’t as significant as it was on the iPhone 5. The iPad Air’s 64-bit A7 processor can handle virtually anything I throw at it and I have yet to see the device experience abormal lag or slow down. This is a very fluid update for the iPad Air.

Should You Install iOS 7.1.2?

At this point, given how stable iOS 7.1.2 is on the iPad Air and given that it fixes a serious issue with Mail attachments, this is an update that iPad Air users should consider. This is an update that has performed extremely well over the last week.

iPad Air 2014 Design

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If you’re worried about potential issues, my advice is to wait it out. Keep in mind, you might be waiting awhile. iOS 7.1.3 isn’t guaranteed and the next update for the iPad Air could very well be the iOS 8 update this fall.

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