iOS 8.1: 7 Things You Need to Know Before Installing

The iOS 8.1 release date has come and gone which means that Apple’s brand new iOS 8 update is now widely available for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. And while many users have installed it, many others are still on the fence. With a week of iOS 8.1 use under our belts, we want to help and today we take a look at seven things you absolutely must know before installing iOS 8.1 on iPhone and iPad.

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 its 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.

iOS 8.1 delivers a better experience on the iPhone 6 Plus.

iOS 8.1 delivers a better experience on the iPhone 6 Plus.

These iOS 8.1 issues have left some iPhone and iPad users wavering when it comes to a decision about iOS 8.1. We’ve heard from many people that are on the fence between iOS 8.1 and iOS 8.0.2, iOS 8.0 or in some cases, iOS 7 or iOS 6. In the week or so since iOS 8.1’s arrival, we’ve been trying to educate as many iPhone and iPad users are we can and today, that education continues.


Today, we want to take a look at seven things that iPhone and iPad users absolutely must know before installing Apple’s brand new update. After spending a week with iOS 8.1 these are the most important things you need to know, right now, about Apple’s new update.


You Don’t Have to Install iOS 8.1 Right Now

Let’s make this abundantly clear. You do not need to install iOS 8.1 right now. Apple doesn’t force an upgrade and there’s no reason why you should force this upgrade upon your own devices or devices of your loved ones. The best advice we can give to those of you on iOS 8.0.2 and below is, take your time. Research iOS 8.1’s features and its performance, especially if you’re coming from iOS 7 or below. iOS 8 is going to deliver some big changes to your device.

iPhone 6 Plus Review - 2

You don’t have to install iOS 8.1 if you don’t want to. In fact, some of you might be better off waiting for Apple’s inevitable iOS 8.1.1 update to arrive. iOS x.1.x updates typically bring added stability to the software and with iOS 8.1 fairly stable across most devices, we can only imagine how stable another bug fixer might be.

Don’t force it, be patient, and know that you have a lot of time to make a decision about an upgrade. Just because the iPhone or iPad is showing an update in settings doesn’t mean you need to install it.


You Can’t Go Back to iOS 7

That leads us to our next point about iOS 8.1. If you are running iOS 7.1.2 or below, you should not rush into any kind of decision about iOS 8.1. Why? Simple. There is no way to go back to iOS 7. We’ve been seeing people, even developers, tell people that there is or should be a way back to iOS 7 if you decide that iOS 8.1 and iOS 8 are too much. Nope, there isn’t.


So, you need to be one hundred and ten percent sure that iOS 8 and it’s features are for you. While we can’t make that decision for you, we can tell you that we’re loving the features that iOS deliver to the iPhone and iPad. Features like improved notifications, Apple Pay, and batter usage tracker have all become integral parts of our iPhone and iPad experience in iOS 8 and we imagine that you’ll probably end up using them as well.

iOS 8.1 Fixes Bugs

If you’re on iOS 8.0.2 or iOS 8.0, you should know that iOS 8.1 fixes a lot of the bugs that arrived with Apple’s iOS 8 update back in September. The iOS 8.1 change log is lengthy and includes a number of fixes. The update fixed several of the problems we were having on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus and we think that iOS 8.1 is a no-brainer for those struggling on iOS 8.0, iOS 8.0.1 or iOS 8.0.2. It also fixed bugs on the iPhone 5s, iPhone 5, iPhone 4s and others.

Point is, there’s a very good chance that iOS 8.1 is going to fix some of your problems. Maybe not all of them but it will almost certainly fix some of them. In particular, the iOS 8.1 update has been very good on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus and it’s highly recommended to those of you that own Apple’s brand new iPhone.


iOS 8.1 Improves Performance for Some Devices

iOS 8.1 also improves performance on several older devices including the iPad 2, iPad 3 and iPhone 4s. We’ve seen a noticeable different on the iPad 3 and iPhone 4s users are saying that the update delivers much better performance than iOS 8.0 or iOS 8.0.2. Obviously, mileage is going to vary but we’ve been hearing and seeing good things from iOS 8.1 on older devices.

IOS 8.1 performance on the iPad 3 is better.

iOS 8.1 performance on the iPad 3 is better.

If you’re struggling on an older device like the iPhone 4s or iPad 2, iOS 8.1 is probably going to be worth a look. There’s a good chance that it will iron out some of the performance issues you’ve been dealing with in iOS 8, iOS 7 or below as well.

iOS 8.1 Brings Its Own Bugs

Keep in mind though, iOS 8.1 does bring some issues of its own. While our iOS 8.1 experience for the most part, has been good, others are complaining about an assortment of iOS 8.1 bugs ravaging their iPhone or iPad. We ourselves have been dealing with a couple of pesky issues but nothing too significant, at least at the moment. There’s always a chance something could flare up down the road.


While we can’t diagnose every single iOS 8.1 bug, we can say that the more prepared you are for the update, the better. Make sure you make a backup, make sure that your apps are all updated, and make sure that you isolate you’ve cleaned up your iPhone or iPad before installing the new update. If you prepare, odds are, you’ll come out from the iOS 8.1 upgrade unscathed.

There Are Fixes for iOS 8.1 Problems

If you prepare and you still run into issues, know that there are a series of iOS 8.1 bug fixes that you can try before Apple roll outs its next iOS 8.1 update. We’ve collected an assortment of tips if you do run into iOS 8.1 problems and we know for a fact that some of these fixes have worked on the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. We know because they’re solved several of our own problems.


As iOS 8.1 problems continue to pop up, we’ll continue to hunt down fixes for these issues. In the meantime, we suggest taking a look at Apple’s discussion forums. While they can be a bit of a cesspool, if you look hard enough, you should be able to find some proper fixes for even the smallest iOS 8.1 problems. You’ll just need to tune out a lot of noise.

iOS 8.1 Jailbreak

Finally, the last thing you should know is that there is an iOS 8.1 jailbreak. Chinese developers released an iOS 8.1 jailbreak earlier this month though it’s currently aimed at developer and those that don’t need Cydia. As we’ve pointed out though, the iOS 8 jailbreak is making progress and it looks like we could see a release, with Cydia, for the public, in the future.