iOS 8.1.1 Review: Is It Worth Installing?

A week has passed since Apple rolled out its new iOS 8.1.1 update for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Over the past week, we’ve spent some quality time with Apple’s latest and greatest iOS 8 update on a number of devices and today, we want to help you answer that ever so important question: Is iOS 8.1.1 worth installing on iPhone or iPad?

In September Apple rolled out its revamped operating system for iPhone and iPad, an operating system dubbed iOS 8.0. iOS 8 does not deliver the massive overhaul that arrived with 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, and a new keyboard. It builds on the foundation left behind.


As we’ve pointed out, the update also delivered iOS 8 problems to iPhone and iPad users around the world. Over the past few months, Apple’s slowly chipped away at the issues plaguing its new software as it’s rolled out a series of update aimed at squashing bugs and improving performance.

Sam's Club iPhone 6 Black Friday Deal

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.


Apple’s iOS 8.1.1 is not a big update, it comes with fixes and enhancements but as veteran 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.


We continue to get bombarded with questions about Apple’s iOS 8.1.1 update and the most popular question revolves around whether or not it’s worth a download. Today, we want to help answer that question for you as we run down our experiences on top iPhones and iPads and offer you a definitive answer to one of the most popular iOS questions: Is iOS 8.1.1 worth installing? Let’s find out.

iOS 8.1.1 Review

Over the past week or so, we’ve spent a ton of time with iOS 8.1.1. And while we’re confident about our testing, we should note that mileage is going to vary from device to device, person to person. We probably don’t have the same apps installed and there’s a good chance that we stream more movies, use more LTE, and play more games than you do.

Consider these short reviews a guide to your final decision about whether to update to iOS 8 and or iOS 8.1.1. Ultimately, the final decision is going to rest in your hands and neither we, nor Apple, will ever force you to make an upgrade.

iPhone 6

After a week, Apple’s iOS 8.1.1 update for iPhone 6 continues to hold up nicely. While it’s not much different than the company’s iOS 8.1 update, it is, at least for us, a little more stable.


With iOS 8.1.1 on board, we’re still getting great battery life, Wi-Fi, LTE and Bluetooth are all holding up, apps (at least updated ones) are working fine, and the overall speed of the operating system is still extremely fast and fluid. We’re also happy to report that one of the major issues that was plaguing the iPhone 6 on iOS 8.1 and below is not as prevalent in iOS 8.1.1.

iPhone 6 Review - 8

The iPhone 6’s well documented landscape issues, where the device gets stuck when trying to shift back to portrait, aren’t as frequent on the iPhone 6 after installing iOS 8.1.1. We’ve seen the issue pop up once over the last week when using calendar though we have yet to see the issue emerge on another iPhone 6. So while it hasn’t disappeared completely, it’s less of an issue with Apple’s latest software on board. We haven’t run into any other big issues over the past week so it appears that iOS 8.1.1 is very stable.

You can’t ask for much more from an incremental update and at this point, we’re recommending iOS 8.1.1 for the iPhone 6. For more information, check out our full length iPhone 6 iOS 8.1.1 review.

iPhone 6 Plus

Apple’s iOS 8.1.1 update for the iPhone 6 Plus mirrors the iOS 8.1.1 update for the iPhone 6. The update tackles the landscape issue and it delivers fantastic performance across key areas including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, cellular data, and speed. Battery life also remains very solid on the iPhone 6 Plus, a device known for its massive internal battery.


Apps perform well on the iPhone 6 Plus.

Apps perform well on the iPhone 6 Plus.

The landscape issues that we saw with iOS 8.1 on board have vanished completely and the only issues that we’ve encountered pertain to applications that have yet to receive support for iOS 8 and the iPhone 6 Plus’ bigger display. The problems are less frequent than they were a month ago but there are still some developers that continue to lag.

Overall though, the iOS 8.1.1 update is more stable than any of the other iOS 8 updates that we’ve used on the iPhone 6 Plus and thus, it gets our recommendation at this point. To gather more information about the iOS 8.1.1 experience on the iPhone 6 Plus, take a look at our full length review. It will go into greater detail.

iPhone 5s

iOS 8.1 was far more stable on the iPhone 5s so we didn’t anticipate much of a difference between it and Apple’s new iOS 8.1.1 update. Our gut feeling was right on the money and so far, the iOS 8.1.1 iPhone 5s update is treating Apple’s former flagship well.



We haven’t run into any noticeable issues with Apple’s latest iOS 8 upgrade and all of the key components including battery life, connectivity and speed remain intact after the move to iOS 8.1.1. It’s also worth noting that we haven’t run into any major problems with the new software, a sign that iOS 8.1.1 is Apple’s most stable iOS 8 update to date.

It’s just as fast, it’s just as efficient and it’s an update that we recommend, especially if you’re dealing with problems on iOS 8.1 or below. We heard from many iPhone users who ran into issues with Apple’s first iOS 8 updates and while iOS 8.1.1 may not be perfect, there’s a good chance it will alleviate any issues you’re having. It’s worth a shot if you can’t find any permanent fixes on your own.

iPhone 5

Apple’s iPhone 5 handled iOS 8.0, iOS 8.0.1, and iOS 8.0.2 pretty well. And for the most part, the aging iPhone has handled iOS 8.1 and iOS 8.1.1 well. Key words, for the most part.

While apps, Wi-Fi connectivity, cellular data, battery life, and Bluetooth all remain solid with iOS 8.1.1 on board, the iPhone 5’s speed has, at least on our device, taken a big hit. That drop in speed actually emerged after the iOS 8.1 update and Apple’s iOS 8.1.1 update did nothing to fix it. It’s clunky and at times, extremely sluggish. We’ve tried to take some measures to counteract the slowdown but thus far, nothing is working.


Right now, our position is that if you own an iPhone 5, you might want to hold off on iOS 8.1.1, especially if you’re getting good speeds on iOS 8.1 and below. iOS 7.1.2 users will especially want to be cautious. iOS 7.1 treated the iPhone 5 extremely well and unless you absolutely need iOS 8’s features, you might want to wait for another iOS 8 update to arrive before making the jump.

For more information about the iOS 8.1.1 iPhone 5 update, check out our full review. If you’re on iOS 8.1.1 already and you’re dealing with iOS 8.1.1 problems, take a look at our fixes.

iPad Air

iOS 8.1.1 on the iPad is a whole other story. So far, the update has been performing extremely well across all three of our key iPad variants which includes last year’s iPad Air.

iPad Air

The iOS 8.1.1 update for iPad Air isn’t much different from iOS 8.1.1, at least in our experience. Battery life is still great, so is connectivity, so is speed. iOS 8 is a top notch update for this device and it’s especially useful if you own an iPhone and a Mac. The Continuity features are a fantastic addition to the iPad’s powerful software.

Right now, we recommend this update, especially to those that are dealing with iOS 8 problems. There’s a good chance that iOS 8.1.1 will squash whatever you’re dealing with. For more information, take a look at our full length iPad Air iOS 8.1.1 update review.

iPad 3

While the iPad 3 doesn’t get any noticeable boosts from iOS 8.1.1, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. iOS 8.1 improved performance on Apple’s third-gen iPad and that performance remains with iOS 8.1.1 on board. It’s not an faster but we’re also not seeing any new problems impact Apple’s aging tablet either. That’s fantastic considering the device’s age.

The update is basically the same as the iOS 8.1 update which means that if you haven’t made the jump up from iOS 8.0.2 or below, you might want to think about making the move. iOS 8.1.1 is stable, at least for us, and the new features make it worth the move.

iPad mini 2

Unsurprisingly, iOS 8.1.1 is also treating the iPad mini 2 well. Connectivity, extremely important given that this is an LTE model, is still very dependable and battery life remains solid with Apple’s new update on board. It’s very similar to Apple’s update for iPad Air in that it doesn’t change much from the company’s iOS 8.1 update.


If you’re dealing with issues on your iPad mini 2 and you haven’t made the move up to iOS 8.1.1, you really should think about doing so soon. This is an update that we highly recommend. If you need more information, take a look at our iOS 8.1.1 iPad mini 2 review. It will help you focus in on the key areas before installing the software.

iPhone 4s & iPad 2

We haven’t been using the iOS 8.1.1 update on the iPhone 4s or iPad 2 but we have rounded up experiences from current users. These roundups will help push you in one direction or the other though we highly recommend doing extensive research before making a move, especially if you’re having a solid experience on whatever version of iOS you are on.

Most users should install iOS 8.1.1 on the iPhone 4s.

Most users should install iOS 8.1.1 on the iPhone 4s.

If you’re an iPad 2 user, have a look at our iPad 2 iOS 8.1.1 review roundup. If you’re an iPhone 4s user, take a look at our review roundup. Do so before installing the update. We’ve heard good things but you never know what might happen if you decide to blindly install the software on your aging tablet or smartphone.

Should You Install iOS 8.1.1?

All of that sets up our response to your burning question about whether or not it’s worth installing iOS 8.1.1 at this time. At this point, with a week of experience under our belts, there are only a few people that need to be extremely cautious with iOS 8.1.1. That list includes those of you currently on iOS 7 (there’s no way to go back once you make the move to iOS 8), those of you with an iPhone 5 (the drop in speed is very noticeable), and those of who own the iPad 2 and iPhone 4 (you really need to do your research).

Those of you with newer devices, especially owners of newer devices experiencing issues, should feel comfortable making the move to the iOS 8.1.1 update. It’s performing well on top devices and in our case, it’s eradicated one of the biggest iPhone 6 bugs that we’ve run into in the weeks since the iPhone 6’s release back in September.