iOS 8.1 Release Preview

With an Apple media event scheduled for Thursday, iOS 8 problems hampering iPhone and iPad users and iOS 8.1 release rumors pointing to an imminent arrival, we want to take a look at what we know so far about Apple’s iOS 8.1 update, its release and what we expect from Apple’s first big upgrade to its latest operating system.

In June, Apple took the stage at WWDC to introduce iOS 8, its brand new operating system for iPhone and iPad. On stage, Apple detailed a few of its features, announced a beta, and revealed plans to release the iOS 8 update to the public in the fall. Apple made good on all of its promises and last month, iOS 8 was released to the public for the first time.


iOS 8 isn’t as massive as last year’s iOS 7 update but it’s still an extremely important update. It delivers numerous changes and builds on the foundation that was left behind by last year’s overhaul. Apple’s latest update is not without its problems though.


Like most major iOS updates, iOS 8 brought some problems along with it. And while Apple’s tried to tackle those problems with some quick bug releases in iOS 8.0.1 and iOS 8.0.2, iOS 8.0.2 problems continue to plague iPhone and iPad users in the United States and around the world. Fortunately, as we’ve pointed out, help could be on the way in the near future.


In late September, just a few weeks after iOS 8 itself came out of the beta program, Apple released another iOS 8 beta in the form iOS 8.1 beta 1. This time though, Apple did not attach a release date to the beta. Instead, iPhone and iPad users have had to rely on rumors and the vague information that Apple’s release in order to piece together the iOS 8.1 situation.


While we wait for Apple to resolve it, we want to take a look at everything we know about iOS 8.1 and preview Apple’s upcoming update for iPhone and iPad users on iOS 8.0.2, iOS 8.0 and iOS 7.1.2 and below.

iOS 8.1: Current Status

When it comes to iOS 8.1, Apple hasn’t given us a lot to work with. The iOS 8.1 update is currently in the company’s beta process though we have seen it make some progress in recent days.

Currently, the iOS 8.1 beta is on its second iteration or iOS 8.1 beta 2. The update isn’t much different than the first beta. And while it has helped to solidify some of iOS 8.1’s features, it hasn’t revealed anything about the release date other than the fact that it’s inching closer.

iOS 8.1 Announcement This Week?

If an iOS 8.1 release is close, then iPhone and iPad users might see an announcement this Thursday. Apple will be hosting a media event on Thursday that’s expected to produce a new iPad Air 2, a new Retina iMac, and an OS X Yosemite release date. Retina MacBook Airs are said to not be on the docket. Their release remains up in the air.


There are some (including us) that believe that iOS 8.1 will be a part of the show. And while that remains unconfirmed, there is a very good chance that Apple announces a new iOS 8 update at its launch event.


In September, Apple promised to release some of the iOS 8 features that failed to make it to the iOS 8.0 update. Apple Pay is, of course, the biggest of them all and Apple continues to tag it with a release in October. SMS Continuity for iPhone is another feature that’s supposedly coming on board an iOS update in October.

So, if we don’t see iOS 8.1, we’ll almost certainly going to see an iOS 8.0.3 deliver these new features to iPhone users. Apple Pay is a key component to the iPhone 6. It’s also a feature that’s reportedly inside iOS 8.1.

iOS 8.1 Release Rumors

According to Bank Innovation, iOS 8.1 and Apple Pay will launch on October 20, which may also be around the time that Apple launches new iPads. In fact, a new iPad Air 2 rumor puts its release date on October 24th.


Apple loves to release devices on Friday and so the rumor certainly fits its pattern. Apple also tends to release iOS updates ahead of major hardware launches so that October 20th date fits as well.

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If Apple does release iOS 8.1 this month, it would be a departure from its usual x.1 releases. Typically, iOS x.1 updates sit in the beta process for months before they are released. However, this year looks like we may see Apple shift away from its usual release practices as iOS 8.2 and iOS 8.3 are both said to be in development.

In other words, while the release of an x.1 update in late October might be unusual, it might all be a part of Apple’s master plan, a plan that likely includes the Apple Watch that’s set to arrive in early 2015.


If Apple doesn’t release the iOS 8.1 update in October, expect to hear a lot more about it as it pushes through the company’s beta process. At this point though, it’d be surprising to see October come and go without a release.

iOS 8.1 Features

iOS 8.1 will almost certainly deliver a host of bug fixes for iOS 8 problems. Those fixes were detailed in the change logs release to developers after the arrival of iOS 8.1 beta and iOS 8.1 beta 2.

There are also references to Apple Pay and a fix that could kill off video game emulators. In other words, it looks like iOS 8.1 will be similar to Apple’s past iOS x.1 updates with a mixture of fixes and features meant to improve and stabilize the initial release.

iOS 8.1 Release Date: What We Expect

We’ve made a number of predictions regarding the iOS 8.1 release. While we could be off the mark, here’s what we expect, and don’t expect, from the iOS 8.1 release date:

What We Expect from the iOS 8 Release:

  1. More iOS 8.1 release details soon.
  2. iOS 8.1 release in October/November.
  3. Fixes for iOS 8 problems.
  4. Apple Pay & other features.
  5. Very few surprises.

What We Don’t Expect from the iOS 8.1 Release:

  1. iOS 8.1 release that’s far off from Oct. 16th.
  2. A perfect iOS 8.1 update.
  3. Total iOS 8.1 flop.
  4. Widespread installation issues.
  5. No need to be prepared.
  6. End of the iOS 8 release road.