iOS 8.1 Release Date: What Not to Expect

With iPhone and iPad users struggling with iOS 8 problems, many are looking for an iOS 8.1 release for help. With an iOS 8.1 release date reportedly on the horizon, we want to take a look at what we expect from Apple’s update that’s expected to come a whole lot earlier than last year’s iOS 7.1 update.

In September, Apple rolled out its brand new iOS 8 update, an update that delivered a number of brand new features to iPhone and iPad users around the world. In addition to these new features, Apple’s new update delivered iOS 8 problems, problems that have plagued iPhone and iPad users for a number of weeks and continue to plague users after two iOS 8 bug fix updates.


In response to iOS 8 problems, Apple rolled out two incremental iOS 8 updates. The first, iOS 8.0.1, delivered a number of bug fixes but it also delivered a number of new problems to iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users including Touch ID problems and cellular reception issues that wiped out cell service for many iPhone 6 users around the world.

iPhone 6 Plus vs iPhone 5sThickness

The second, iOS 8.0.2, tackled a number of iOS 8 issues including the problems that were introduced by the company’s iOS 8.0.1 update. As we’ve pointed out though, iOS 8.0.2 problems are still prevalent and they continue to mount in the minutes, hours and days after the iOS 8.0.2 release. Unsurprisingly, those problems have left iOS 8 users looking for answers.


A short time ago, Apple released the iOS 8.1 beta 1 update to developers ahead of the iOS 8.1 release to the public. Earlier this month, Apple pushed out another iOS 8.1 beta update in the form of iOS 8.1 beta 2, a sign that the update is making progress behind the scenes. And while a release date remains out of sight, iPhone and iPad users are both hopeful and antsy.


With iOS 8.1 release brewing and iOS 8 problems frustrating iPhone and iPad users, we want to take a look at what we do not expect from Apple’s iOS 8.1 release date and its overall release for iPhone and iPad.

iOS 8.1 Release Date Far Off from Oct. 16th Event

Apple still hasn’t announced the iOS 8.1 release date which means that an exact date is extremely hard to nail down at this point. It never reveals iOS release date information ahead of time and we’re not expect to know the iOS 8.1 release ahead of its arrival. So that leaves us with Apple’s iOS release history, rumors and our gut.

At this point, everything but Apple’s iOS release history points to an arrival sometime in the near future. Apple’s iOS x.1 updates typically spend months in the beta process before they’re released. For instance, iOS 7.1 was in beta from November until March. iOS 8.1 though appears to be much different than iOS 7.1 and given the presence of Apple Pay in the beta, we have a good feeling iOS 8.1’s release is much closer than March.

iPhone 6 privacy


Rumors point to October 20th, four days after the October 16th iPad event, and that could be spot on. Even if it isn’t, we doubt that the iOS 8.1 release will be far off in the distance. Apple’s promised an iOS 8 update with Apple Pay and other features for October and if that update isn’t iOS 8.1, we’d be extremely surprised.

It may not arrive on October 16th but we’re not expecting a release date in late November or December or 2015. Look for iOS 8.1 to arrive at some point in the near future to deliver Apple Pay and bug fixes to iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users.

Perfect iOS 8.1 Update

Speaking of those bug fixes. We expect the iOS 8.1 release to come with a number of bug fixes for iOS 8 problems and iOS 8.0.2 issues. That said, we do not expect the iOS 8.1 update to be perfect. It will almost certainly fail to fix every single issue on board iOS 8. It will also probably bring some issues of its own. iOS updates always do.

iPhone 6

While we can’t speak to those exact issues at this point, there’s a very good chance we’ll hear the familiar complaints about battery life, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth in addition to new issues. Software updates are never perfect. Some are more stable than others but iOS updates almost always deliver problems to iPhone and iPad users.


We don’t expect iOS 8.1 to be any different.

Total iOS 8.1 Flop

We also don’t expect iOS 8.1 to be a total flop. That is to say, don’t expect a repeat of the iOS 8.0.1 update that broke cellular service and Touch ID for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users. Those issues, combined with iOS 8 problems, have seemingly led to slow adoption rates, something that is uncharacteristic of new Apple upgrades.

Point is, Apple can’t afford to take any more bad press with iOS 8.1. We’d be surprised if iOS 8.1 was as broken as iOS 8.0, iOS 8.0.1 or iOS 8.0.2. We think that it’s laundry list of bug fixes will improve performance across all devices though we don’t expect those changes to be on par with the game changing experience that Apple delivered with iOS 7.1.

Speck CandyShell iPhone 6 Review - 2-X3


Apple has produced some magical updates in the past, iOS 7.1 being one of them, but given that we’re only a few weeks out from iOS 8.0, we’re not expecting any miracles.

Widespread Installation Issues

We do not expect to see the same widespread installation issues that plagued the iOS 8 upgrade. Apple’s servers typically get slammed on the release day for a major iOS update. Rarely, if ever, do they get slammed during the release of an incremental iOS update. These kinds of updates are typically smooth sailing for iPhone and iPad users. Even iOS 7.1’s installation process was pretty reasonable and it was a much bigger, far more publicized upgrade.

iOS 8.1 should be a pretty substantial update and it should get a ton of attention if Apple announces it on stage alongside its new products on October 16th. We just don’t expect to see Apple’s servers melt or major installation issues emerge.

No Need to Be Prepared

While iOS 8.1 should be a smaller update aimed at delivering a few features and fixing a few bugs, don’t expect to be able to get away with not preparing for its arrival. The rules that we detailed of the iOS 8.0 release still apply.

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The more prepared you are, the better off you’ll be post update. Those that prepare their device for an updates arrival typically don’t have as many issues going forward.

End of the iOS 8 Release Road

While iOS upgrades have typically ended on some version of x.1, we don’t expect this to happen with iOS 8. If Apple does release iOS 8.1 soon, and we expect that it will, it probably won’t be the last iOS 8.1 update or the last iOS 8.x update.

Rumors suggest that Apple is working on iOS 8.2 and iOS 8.3 updates. Neither update is unconfirmed and their arrival would be out of the ordinary. However, with an Apple Watch on the way in early 2015, their arrival does make some sense.

Apple Watch

iPhones will need a compatibility update to work with Apple Watch and one of those updates should contain that functionality. We’ve also heard rumors about split-screen multitasking and public transit routes for Apple Maps. Perhaps they’ll arrive on one of these updates.

The main takeaway here is that we don’t expect whatever is next, likely iOS 8.1, to be the end of the road for iOS 8. iOS 9 is probably a year out so there’s plenty of time for upgrades.