iOS 8.1.1 on iPhone 6: Impressions & Performance

Apple’s iOS 8.1.1 update for iPhone and iPad is finally here and as expected, it’s aimed at improving performance on iOS 8 powered devices. With the iOS 8.1.1 release here and iOS 8 problems continuing to plague iPhone and iPad users, we take a look at how the iOS 8.1.1 update is performing on iPhone 6. This is our early iOS 8.1.1 review on iPhone 6.

Since September, Apple’s released a number of iOS 8 updates aimed at curbing the problems that iOS 8.0 delivered to iPhone and iPad users. iOS 8.0.1, iOS 8.0.2 and iOS 8.1 all arrived with bug fixes on board though, as I’ve pointed out, all three delivered some problems of their own. And with iOS 8 and iOS 8.1 issues still causing problems for iPhone and iPad users, Apple’s delivered another update to iPhone and iPad users around the world.


That update is iOS 8.1.1, a bug fixer that comes to iPhone and iPad a few short weeks after the company surprisingly dropped it into the beta program. I say surprisingly because incremental iOS updates typically aren’t dropped into beta. Beta is almost always reserved for much larger updates, updates like iOS 8.0 and iOS 8.1.

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Apple, it seems, didn’t want to take any chances after the debacle that was iOS 8.0.1. For several weeks it, and its developer partners, poked and prodded the iOS 8.1.1 update ahead of its public release. And today, Apple deemed the update fit for public consumption. Right on cue, the company started rolling out the iOS 8.1.1 update for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.


After some quick preparation, I installed Apple’s brand new iOS 8.1.1 update in an effort to provide iPhone and iPad users with some initial impressions of Apple’s new software. These impressions don’t serve as a final review but they will help those of you who are straddling the fence about whether to install the company’s latest iOS 8 upgrade. They’ll also provide feedback to those of you currently on iOS 8.1.


Here are our early impressions of the iOS 8.1.1 update for iPhone 6.

iOS 8.1.1 Installation

Heading into the iOS 8.1.1 release date, I wasn’t anticipating any issues with the installation process for iPhone or iPad. Installation issues, major ones, typically don’t emerge after incremental releases like iOS 8.1.1. They’re reserved for larger updates like iOS 8.0, updates that millions of people try to install at the same exact time.

iOS 8.1.1 did not let me down. The whole installation process, from start to finish, took about 15 minutes or so. The update for the iPhone 6 is just around 50MB or so so it didn’t require much download time. The installation process itself took only a few minutes to complete. I still recommend setting aside some time for the update to download and install, especially if you’re installing over a slower Wi-Fi connection.

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If you do run into installation problems when trying to install iOS 8.1.1 on the iPhone 6, have a look at our how to for iOS 8.1. The how to will run down some fixes and preventative measures which will ensure a smooth transition from whatever you’re on to Apple’s latest iOS 8 update.

iOS 8.1.1 on iPhone 6 Performance

In the past three hours, I’ve spent a ton of time with iOS 8.1.1 on iPhone 6. Before getting into the early review and my impressions, I should note that mileage is going to vary from device to device, person to person. That is to say, I probably don’t have the same apps installed and there’s a chance that I use Google Chrome, LTE, or my home screen more than you do. So, consider this a general guide as you try to decide whether iOS 8.1.1 is worth installing on your new iPhone.


Third party app developers have done an outstanding job post iOS 8.0. Developer have rolled out tons of iOS 8 compatibility updates and tons of bug fix updates to alleviate lingering issues. Over the last two months, I’ve installed a mind-boggling amount of updates but the results have been impressive. I simply haven’t run into the same problems I encountered after making the switch to iOS 7.

iOS 8.1.1 continues this trend. I’ve yet to encounter a busted application and apps that occasionally cause problems like Google Chrome and Twitter, have both been behaving in the hours after the iOS 8.1.1 upgrade. I’ve yet to see a single crash or lock up. I’ve literally opened and used every single app on my iPhone 6, I have well over 50, and all of them are working fine.

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Now, keep in mind, there’s a chance that performance will decline in the hours, days and weeks after the iOS 8.1.1. That said, I’m pretty confident in iOS 8.1.1, especially because developers got a crack at it during the beta process. If you are experiencing issues in iOS 8.1.1 or below, you should consider installing the latest bug fix updates. They will almost certainly help.

iOS 8.1.1 Battery Life

iPhone 6 battery life is still solid with iOS 8.1.1 on board. I haven’t noticed any abnormal battery drain in the hours after getting it on board, the device is charging at an adequate rate and its still holding an incredible charge in standby. I don’t anticipate any massive changes to battery life after the iOS 8.1.1 upgrade but there are some things to try in case things turn south.

iOS updates like iOS 8.1.1 are not supposed to bring battery life problems to the iPhone. Typically, bad battery life is caused by third-party apps or users themselves. We’ve outlined a number of strategies to get better battery life inside iOS 8.1 and the same advice applies to Apple’s latest iOS 8.1.1 update. Have a look at those if you install iOS 8.1.1 and you start noticing issues.

Wi-Fi, Cellular Data & Bluetooth

Wi-Fi, cellular data (I have an AT&T LTE powered iPhone 6) and Bluetooth have been causing for some iPhone users running iOS 8 though I haven’t noticed any major flaws. Wi-Fi was a little bit spotty immediately after the iOS 8.1 upgrade but the issues did not endure. All three connections seems to be working fine after the move to iOS 8.1.1.


LTE is strong, Wi-Fi connectivity is also still very reliable and I’ve been able to connect my iPhone 6 to an assortment of Bluetooth devices including Bose and HP Bluetooth speakers. I don’t think I’ll see a change here, issues with connectivity typically emerge immediately after an update. Right now, all three of these are strong.

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If you’re still not sure about iOS 8.1.1 and you’re having issues with these connections, we advise you to take a look at these potential fixes. They might dislodge your issues though as is the case with all iOS fixes, they may not work for all of you.

Bugs & Issues

In iOS 8.1, I was experiencing one extremely annoying issue: The landscape problem that Apple supposedly fixed with iOS 8.1. While the issue didn’t happen as often with iOS 8.1 on board, my iPhone 6 would still occasionally get stuck in landscape mode. So far, I haven’t noticed the issue with iOS 8.1.1 on board though it’s worth noting that I didn’t notice the issue in the hours after the iOS 8.1 update either. My hope is that iOS 8.1.1 and its vague list of bug fixes eradicated the problem for good but I can’t be sure. Not yet at least.

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I haven’t run into any other noticeable issues after installing the iOS 8.1.1 update. The update, as expected, seems to be pretty stable. And that’s exactly what you want from a small incremental bug fix update that’s passed through Apple’s beta program.

It’s worth noting that bugs typically don’t jump up at me right after an update arrives. It can take days, sometimes weeks for iOS problems to show themselves. For the moment though, the update appears to be very stable, more stable than iOS 8.1. If you’re struggling on iOS 8.1 or below, and you’re not yet sure about iOS 8.1.1, have a look at our fixes for common iPhone 6 problems. They might help.


The iPhone 6 was an extremely fast and fluid smartphone with iOS 8.1 on board and it’s an extremely fast and fluid smartphone with iOS 8.1.1 on board. Animations and transitions are still fast and dependable  and the overall speed is still where I’d like it to be. I haven’t run into any noticeable slow down or sluggishness with iOS 8.1.1 on board.

Should You Install iOS 8.1.1?

If you’re dealing with unsolvable iOS 8.1, iOS 8.0.2 or iOS 8.0 problems, I think iOS 8.1.1 is going to be worth a download today. It doesn’t appear to bring any debilitating issues with it and there’s a good chance that it’ll fix at least some of the problems you’ve been having with iOS 8.1 and below. After all, its entire change log is focused on fixes and enhancements.

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If you’re having a good experience on iOS 8.1 or below, my suggest is to wait. Wait a few days for the smoke to settle and so that you can make sure that this update is stable. It’s not a big update but it has the potential to cause problems. If you’re not having any problems, wait a few days to ensure that it doesn’t come with any catastrophic bugs. We haven’t discovered any but as we’ve pointed out, bugs have a funny habit of appearing down the road.