iOS 8.1: 5 Things iPhone 5 Users Need to Know

Earlier this month, Apple delivered its second major iOS 8 update in the form of iOS 8.1. iOS 8.1 offers new features and bug fixes to iPhone users including owners of the aging iPhone 5. With iOS 8.1 moving into its second week of existence, we want to take a look at the five most important things iPhone 5 users need to know about their iOS 8.1 update.

In September, Apple released the iOS 8.1 update into the beta program. For several weeks Apple, and its developer partners, poked and prodded the update ahead of its public release date. In mid-October, Apple took the stage to announce several new products and there, it confirmed an October release for the highly anticipated iOS 8.1 upgrade for iPhone and iPad.


Apple’s iOS 8.1 update recently rolled out to iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users all over the globe and as we’ve noted in our reviews, the iOS 8.1 update for these devices seems to have tackled some of the annoying problems that emerged last month in iOS 8.0. However, as we’ve learned over the past week, it hasn’t squashed every single issue.


These issues have left some iPhone users wavering. iPhone 5 users in particular have been extremely vocal about their iOS problems and about the trouble they’re having when it comes to making a decision about whether or not to upgrade to Apple’s newest software. This comes as no surprise because the iPhone 5 is still in the hands of a ton of people and it’s starting to get old. Older iPhones typically don’t handle iOS software updates as well as newer devices. Go figure.


We hear all of you and today, we want to take a look at the most important things that iPhone 5 users need to know about their iOS 8.1 update, an update is small in size but one that has a ton of potential.


iOS 8.1 Fixes iOS 8 Problems

The first thing that you need to know about iOS 8.1 is that it fixes iOS 8.0.2 and iOS 8.0 problems. I’ve been using the iOS 8 update on the iPhone 5 since its release back in September and let me tell you, I’ve run into my fair share of issues. I’ve heard from plenty of others that have stumbled upon iPhone 5 problems inside iOS 8 and I’m here to tell you that iOS 8.1 is going to fix at least some of those issues.

iPhone 5

For me, iOS 8.1 squashed a couple of annoying bugs including a landscape issue where the device would consistently get stuck in landscape mode after shifting from portrait. It was easily one of the most annoying iOS bugs I’ve ever encountered and it drove me nuts until I installed iOS 8.1. If you’re dealing with a random issue like that, there’s a good chance that a move to iOS 8.1 is going to fix it.

If you’re interested in what I, and other iPhone 5 users are saying, take a look at my full length iOS 8.1 review on iPhone 5. It will run down all of the key components of the update.


Battery Life Issues

Yesterday, I told you about some battery life and battery percentage issues that are impacting iOS 8.1 users. iPhone 5 users are encountering both of these problems.

I’ve heard from several iPhone 5 users who are experiencing random battery drain. I’ve also spoken to a few iPhone 5 users who say that their battery percentage keeps jumping around from percentage to percentage for no apparent reason. I’m not entirely sure what’s causing the two issues but I’ve provided some fixes that iPhone 5 users might want to try before performing a factory reset or taking the iPhone 5 to a Genius Bar.

Here's how to get better iOS 8 performance on iPhone 5.

Here’s how to get better iOS 8 performance on iPhone 5.

This guide outlines several ways iPhone and iPad users can fix battery life problems including isolating apps causing battery drain, limiting background app refresh, limiting the use of auto brightness, resetting the iPhone, and more. These fixes don’t come from Apple but they’ve helped me improve battery life and fix battery life issues on my iPhone 5 in the past.

Sometimes, what it comes down is breaking bad habits and fiddling with settings. Blaming Apple for battery life woes after a major update is easy but more often than not, it’s not Apple that’s causing the problems.


iOS 8.1 Speed Takes a Hit

Now, one thing that you absolutely need to know about iOS 8.1 is that it has the potential to wreck havoc on the speed of your operating system. For me, this is the only issue that I’ve encountered, so far, after installing iOS 8.1.

As I noted many, many times, iOS 7.1 delivered a superbly smooth iOS experience that honestly made the iPhone 5 feel brand new. I took the plunge and installed iOS 8.0 on day one and fortunately, the operating system was still fluid. I didn’t notice any differences in iOS 8.0.2 either. I have, however, run into some noticeable sluggishness after installing iOS 8.1.

It’s odd given that iOS 8.1 isn’t that much different than iOS 8.0.2 on the iPhone 5. It’s also insanely frustrating to lose the speed that I once enjoyed. It no longer zips around like it used to and opening folders is a jagged, clunky experience. I’ve even flipped a few knobs to see if it would improve performance but it’s still very slow.

This isn’t going to impact all of you but it’s something to think about going into the update and an even bigger reason why you absolutely need to prepare before you install iOS 8.1.


You Don’t Need to Install iOS 8.1 Right Now

Remember, you do not need to install iOS 8.1 right now. In fact, some of you probably shouldn’t install iOS 8.1 right now. iOS 8.1 for iPhone 5 isn’t going anywhere any time soon and thus, there’s no reason to rush into things. Especially those of you who are still enjoying yourself in iOS 7.1.2 and below.

There is no way to downgrade from iOS 8 to iOS 7 or below so you’ll need to think about that before jumping in with the update. If you’re already on iOS 8, there’s a little more incentive to install the upgrade.

iOS 8.1.1 Is Nowhere in Sight

Finally, we should note that there is no iOS 8.1.1 update in sight. iOS 8.1.1 is presumably going to be the first update to fix iOS 8.1 problems though it remains unannounced and firmly in the shadows. We haven’t even seen a pick up in our analytics, something that typically happens as Apple ramps up testing ahead of a release.


So what does this mean for iPhone 5 users? Well, it means that those of you currently experiencing iOS 8.1 problems are going to need to rely on temporary fixes. Our fixes for common iOS 8.1 problems should help at least some of you overcome the difficulties you’re having with your brand new iOS software.

For those of you that haven’t already moved to iOS 8, well, then you’re going to absolutely have to do your research before you make your move. For many of you, iOS 8.1 will be worth the upgrade. Just remember, mileage is going to vary from device to device so a lot of the performance stuff is going to have to do with luck and how well you prepared.