iOS 8.1: 5 Things iPad Air 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 brings new features and bug fixes to iPad users including owners of the original iPad Air. With iOS 8.1 moving into its second week of existence, we want to take a look at the five most important things iPad Air users need to know about their iOS 8.1 update.

Earlier this year, 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.


Just over a week ago, Apple released the iOS 8.1 update to iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users all over the globe. As we’ve noted in our reviews, the iOS 8.1 update seems to have tackled some of the annoying problems that emerged last month in iOS 8.0 on the iPhone and iPad. However, as is the case with all iOS updates, it appears that the iOS 8.1 update failed to squash all the bugs lurking inside Apple’s brand new iOS update.

iPad Air 2

These issues have left some iPad users wavering. iPad Air owners have been speaking up in the days since iOS 8.1’s release and many users are still struggling with a decision. We don’t blame them. The iPad Air experience with iOS 8.0.2 and iOS 7.1.2 on board was extremely solid in all facets including battery life, speed, and connectivity. Who would want to muck that up?


With that in mind, we want to take a look at the most important things that iPad Air 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 Stable on iPad Air

While our experience on the iPad Air is not the definitive experience, it still helps to provide some insight and background for those that are still thinking about installing Apple’s latest update. There are a few big takeaways from our experience that you should know about including some comments about iOS 8.1 bugs and issues on iPad Air.


We’ve run into some iOS 8.1 problems on the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 5 but we still haven’t noticed any major issues on the iPad Air. It’s pretty strange but hey, we’re not complaining. The software seems to be far more stable and far more polished than the software on the iPhone. Whether that’s a product of internal testing or what, we aren’t sure but the iOS 8.1 update on the iPad Air hasn’t exhibited any noticeable issues.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any iPad Air bugs. It just means that we haven’t seen them yet. Still, the fact that we haven’t run into any major issues is a great sign for the future. And it’s a good reason to think about installing the iOS 8.1 update on the iPad Air. For more information, check out our full review.


Excellent Performance

We should also touch on the all-around performance of iOS 8.1. We experienced some initial hiccups with the software but those have dissipated in the days since its release.

Right now, we’re getting the same quality performance that we got in iOS 8.0.2, iOS 8.0, and iOS 7. The speed of the software is fast, connectivity is holding up and battery life is still amazing. Basically, this update delivered the performance of iOS 7 alongside iOS 8’s new features. And you can’t ask for much more than that.

iPad Air iOS 7 Review - 1

Point is, you shouldn’t anticipate much of a difference between iOS 8.0.2 or iOS 7.1.2. The iPad Air was built to handle Apple’s new iOS software and that’s exactly what’s going on in iOS 8.1.

iOS 8.1 Features for iPad Air

For the most part, we’ve focused on performance and bugs. However, iPad Air users need to know that there are some new features that Apple’s baked into iOS 8.1.


First of all, the company brought back Photo Roll. Photo Roll is one of our most used features, even on iPad, and it’s one that we desperately missed in iOS 8.0. It’s back in iOS 8.1. iOS 8.1 also adds iCloud Photo Library and the ability for iPhone users to send and receive SMS and MMS messages from the iPad and the Mac. That last feature is absolutely huge for those of you that live in the Apple ecosystem.

iPad Air Review -  16

Apple Pay is getting all of the attention but there are some other likeable features that are a part of the iOS 8.1 update. Apple Pay isn’t available on the iPad Air but all of these features can help make up for that.

You Do Not Need to Install iOS 8.1 Right Now

Again, you iPad Air users need to know that 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 iPad Air isn’t going anywhere any time soon and that means that there’s really no reason to rush into things. Especially those of you who are still enjoying yourself on iOS 7.1.2 and below.


Remember, 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, then there’s really no reason to skip this update. Not only does it come with bug fixes it comes with the aforementioned features for Camera and Continuity.  It’s probably going to be worth your time.

iOS 8.1.1 and iOS 8.1 Fixes

Finally, we should note that the iOS 8.1.1 update for iPad Air is nowhere 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.

iPad Air Outdoors

So what does this mean for iPad Air users? Well, it means that if you do make the move to iOS 8.1 and you experience iOS 8.1 problems, you 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 for the move.