iPad mini 2 iOS 8.1.1 Review

On Monday, Apple finally delivered its brand new iOS 8.1.1 update for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The company’s new iOS 8 update is a bug fixer, aimed at squashing iOS 8 problems and improving performance. Over the past week, we’ve spent some quality time with Apple’s new upgrade and today we want to share our full iPad mini 2 iOS 8.1.1 review.

Months ago, Apple rolled out its revamped operating system for iPhone and iPad, an OS it dubbed iOS 8.0. iOS 8 is not the overhaul that was last year’s iOS 7 update but it still brings some important new features to the table including improved notifications, Apple Pay, changes to iMessage and the Camera app, a new keyboard, and a whole lot more.


The update also delivered iOS 8 problems to iPhone and iPad users around the world and over the past few months, Apple’s slowly chipped away at the issues plaguing its new software. First, it rolled out iOS 8.0.1, an update that fixed some issues but left the company red faced after cellular data and Touch ID blunders. Next, it pushed out iOS 8.0.2, a bug fixer that fixed the problems from iOS 8.0.1.


After that, the company released the iOS 8.1 update, an update that arrived with a number of fixes and Apple Pay but one that also delivered some new problems to iPhone and iPad users. So, it was only a matter of time before the company pushed out another iOS 8.1 update and on Monday, that update arrived in the form of iOS 8.1.1.


iOS 8.1.1 is not a big update, it comes with fixes and enhancements, but as iPhone and iPad users know, small updates can have a huge impact on the overall performance of a device. That’s why we’ve been putting a tiny update through its paces over the past week and that’s why we want to offer up our thoughts on this update after extensive use.


Today, we offer up our iOS 8.1.1 review for iPad mini 2, last year’s 7.9-inch slate that’s still in the hands of millions of people around the world. This review will attempt to answer the question that we’ve received many times over in the past week: Is iOS 8.1.1 worth installing? Let’s find out.

iPad mini iOS 8.1.1 Review

From Monday up until today, I’ve spent a ton of time with iOS 8.1.1 on iPad mini 2. Before getting into this detailed 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, play more games, and use 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 iPad mini.


In the weeks after the iOS 8 update, I’ve gone out of my way to praise app developers, especially those that develop some of the more popular applications, for the treatment they’ve given their software after iOS 8. While we saw some initial hiccups, developers have been extremely good about pushing out swift iOS 8 compatibility updates and bug fixes for iOS 8 problems. This has led to a very stable app experience inside iOS 8 and now, iOS 8.1.1.

On the iPad mini 2, I’ve yet to encounter any major bugs or problems with any of the applications on board the slate. That’s a testament to Apple and it’s a testament to its developer community as well. It also probably helps that the iOS 8.1.1 update spent a ton of time inside Apple’s beta program so that developers could poke and prod it ahead of its public release.


iPad mini Retina 6-Month Review

Now, I realize that I don’t have the same apps that you do but what I’ll say is that I have over 50 applications on board including some of the most popular apps in the world. All of them, including Netflix, are working normally. I haven’t noticed any crashes or lockups, at least not yet. Problems have a funny way of creeping up on these devices.

If you install iOS 8.1.1 and you do encounter problems with third-party applications, you should consider installing the latest bug fix updates. They will almost certainly help deliver a better experience on your iPad. I have auto update turned on so that I never have to remember to install them. Something to think about going forward.

iOS 8.1.1 Battery Life

Good battery life is a must have on a portable device like the iPad mini 2. This is a device that leaves the house often and thus, it needs a good amount of juice to stay useful. Over the course of many iOS 7 and now iOS 8 updates, the iPad mini 2 has never wavered. Even now, with iOS 8.1.1 on board, it’s still getting great battery life.

Thus far, the iOS 8.1.1 has done nothing to negatively impact the battery life on the iPad mini. I’m still getting the same great all day battery life that I’ve gotten for more than a year now. Just like on the iPad Air, I’ve yet to notice any abnormal drain, the device charges as fast as it did with iOS 8.1 on board, and the slate is still holding a quality charge in standby. The only complaint I have is that it didn’t give me a significant battery boost but it’s rare when an iOS update offers that.


That said, if you do struggle with battery life, and you might, I’ve cooked up some fixes that could help you overcome those struggles. If you decide to install iOS 8.1.1, it’d be wise to have those handy.

Wi-Fi, LTE & Bluetooth

LTE, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth have been very cooperative during my trek from iOS 7 to iOS 8.1.1. I’ve had a few Wi-Fi hiccups here and there but nothing substantial. LTE and Bluetooth connectivity have also been excellent and that excellence continues with iOS 8.1.1. I haven’t noticed anything peculiar after getting the update on board.

iPad Air 2 iPad mini 3

Now, I’ve heard from several iPad users that are dealing with Wi-Fi problems, cellular problems, and or Bluetooth problems. If you do encounter these, in iOS 8.1.1 or something else, be sure to check out our list of possible fixes before throwing the device against the wall. You also might want to consider upgrading your router if you’re consistently having problems. Newer devices and new iOS updates have been known to present difficulties for those with older routers.


Bugs & Issues

The iOS experience on the iPad Air and iPad mini, for the most part, has been very stable. Over the past year, I’ve encountered a bug here or there but nothing like the problems on the iPhone. iOS 8.1.1 continues that trend and over the past five days or so, I’ve yet to encounter any debilitating issues. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t bugs on board, it just means that none have jumped out at me.

Galaxy Note 3 vs iPad mini 2-2

After a week, that’s a good sign. If there are major bugs, I’m usually able to sniff them out after a few days or so. iOS bugs do have a habit of showing up late so it’s possible that I’ll run into something a little later on this month. Who knows. For the moment though, iOS 8.1.1 appears to be a very stable update and that’s exactly what you want from an incremental iOS update. Again, if you’re dealing with iOS 8 problems, have a look at our potential fixes.


One word: Fast. The iPad mini 2 remains fast with iOS 8.1.1 on board. I haven’t noticed any sluggishness or slow down and transitions and animations both remain solid after the update. This, of course, is the status quo. iOS has always been fast on the iPad mini and iPad Air and my hope is that whatever is next will continue this trend.

Is iOS 8.1.1 for iPad mini 2 Worth Installing?

If you are seeing issues on iOS 8.1 or any other iOS 8 update, you probably want to make the move to this update today. It delivers fixes and it doesn’t appear to break anything big. There’s always a potential for issues but I’m not seeing any major problems yet. If you’re on iOS 8.1 or below and you’re not having major problems, there’s no rush. This update isn’t going anywhere and you can simply sit back and take a wait and see approach if you’re at all nervous.