iOS 8.1.2 on iPhone 5: Impressions & Performance

Apple’s latest iOS 8 update isn’t the iOS 8.2 update that it put into beta a few weeks back. Instead, it’s an iOS 8.1.2 update that’s aimed at some of the iOS 8 problems that iPhone and iPad users have faced in the weeks after its release. With the iOS 8.1.2 release here, we take a look at how the iOS 8.1.2 update is performing on iPhone 5. This is our early iPhone 5 iOS 8.1.1 review.

Back in September, Apple released an iOS 8.0 update to replace last year’s massive iOS 7 upgrade. iOS 8 did not bring sweeping changes to the iOS operating system for iPhone and iPad. Instead, it built on what the iOS 7 update left behind delivering some brand new features of its own including massive changes to the camera app and the Messages app.


Apple’s iOS 8 update also delivered a number of iOS 8 problems, problems that Apple’s been trying to fix for several months now. First, it rolled out an iOS 8.0.1 update for the iPhone and iPad. A day later, the company pushed out iOS 8.0.2 to fix iOS 8.0.1 problems. A few weeks later, the company shifted to the iOS 8.1 update. A few weeks after that, iPhone and iPad users moved to iOS 8.1.1.


Today, Apple replaced the iOS 8.1.1 update with a new iOS 8.1.2 update. The iOS 8.1.2 update is small and delivers fixes including one for a ringtone issue on the iTunes Store. As many of you know, small updates like iOS 8.1.2 have the potential to have a huge impact on performance. iOS 8.0.1, for example, killed Touch ID and cellular data on the iPhone 6. And that’s why we take a look at these updates. We want to provide you with feedback.


After some quick preparation, I installed Apple’s brand new iOS 8.1.2 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.


Here are my early impressions of the iOS 8.1.2 update for iPhone 5.

iOS 8.1.2 Installation

I went into the iOS 8.1.2 installation feeling very confident, especially after I successfully installed the software on my iPhone 6 and iPad Air. Incremental iOS updates tend to pose little threat when it comes to widespread installation problems so I wasn’t surprised that the iOS 8.1.2 iPhone 5 installation process went pretty smooth.

I ran into another verification issue on the iPhone 5 though the snag only delayed the process for a few seconds. Overall, the installation process took in and around 10 to 12 minutes of my time, which, isn’t a lot. The update isn’t very big, about 20MB in size, small for an iOS update. So I can’t see the process taking long at all, even on slow connections.

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. You never know what you might run into. Oh, and if your installation gets fouled up, do a hard reset. That is to say, hold down the home button and power button for a good 10 seconds until it reboots. That should solve your installation problem.


iOS 8.1.2 on iPhone 5 Performance

Today, I’ve spent a ton of time with iOS 8.1.2 on iPhone 5. 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 8.1.2 is worth installing on your aging iPhone 5.


App performance on the iPhone 5 has been excellent over the course of the last two months. While some of the credit should go to Apple and its iOS 8 update process (which has included several beta upgrades), most of the credit should go to the third-party app developers that have been hard at work on iOS 8 compatibility updates and bug fixes for iOS 8 problems.


So far, so good with iOS 8.1.2. Apps are working fine. Google Hangouts, Twitter, Instagram, Asana, Slack, all key apps on my iPhone 5, are performing well after the iOS 8.1.2 upgrade. I have around 50 or so apps on my iPhone 5 and not one of them has acted up after the iOS 8.1.2 upgrade. Even problematic apps like Facebook and Google Chrome are behaving.

As I’ve noted many times, there’s a chance that app performance will decline in the hours, days and weeks after the iOS 8.1.2 release. That said, I’m pretty confident in iOS 8.1.2. If you are experiencing issues with iOS 8.1.2 or another iOS 8 update, you should consider installing the latest bug fix updates. They will almost certainly help your cause.


iOS 8.1.2 Battery Life

I’ve owned the iPhone 5 for more than two years now and I’ve never run into any significant battery life problems. The streak continues with Apple’s iOS 8.1.2 update. Or so it would seem.

I’ve only been able to spend a few hours with the iOS 8.1.2 update for iPhone 5 so I can’t draw any big conclusions yet. But what I can tell you is that the battery life isn’t acting up. The device is still holding down a fantastic charge, even in standby mode, and I’ve yet to notice any slow charging problems, something that some owners have run into as the device has gotten older.

Historically, major battery drain issues have revealed themselves in the hours after release so I’m pretty confident that my iPhone 5 battery life is going to remain solid moving forward.

iOS updates like iOS 8.1.2 aren’t supposed to bring battery life problems to the iPhone. Typically, bad battery life is caused by third-party apps or by users themselves. I’ve outlined a number of strategies to get better battery life inside iOS 8 and the same advice applies to Apple’s latest iOS 8.1.2 update. Have a look at those if you install iOS 8.1.2 and you start noticing issues on your iPhone 5.


Wi-Fi, Cellular Data & Bluetooth

Wi-Fi, AT&T’s 4G LTE network and Bluetooth connectivity all remain solid with iOS 8.1.2 on board. This isn’t too surprising considering the fact that they were all stable with iOS 8.1.1 on board but it’s nice to see the experience stay the same. It’s also nice because I’ve heard a number of complaints from iPhone 5 users regarding all three of these. My hope is iOS 8.1.2 solves the problems but there’s no guarantee.


If you’re having issues with these connections after getting the iOS 8.1.2 update on board, I advise you to take a look at these potential fixes. They might dislodge your issues. Just keep in mind, iOS fixes aren’t guaranteed to work for everyone so while they might work for a friend or family member, they may not solve your problems.

Bugs & Issues

As iPhones get older, they tend to hit some bumps in the road. My iPhone 3GS was nearly unusable after I upgraded to iOS 6. The iPhone 5 may have found the fountain of youth because its software is still extremely stable.

iOS 8.1.1 was a very stable update, the most stable out of all the iOS 8 updates, and iOS 8.1.2 keeps the trend going. I’ve yet to encounter any headaches during my time with the new upgrade though that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any iOS 8 bugs on board. It just means that I haven’t noticed them in a few hours of use.

Bugs tend to stay hidden for days, sometimes weeks, before they pop up. So while I’m not experiencing any issues right now, I could run into some issues in the days and weeks ahead. I’m pretty confident though. iOS 8.1.1 was very solid and iOS 8.1.2 feels that way too.

If you’re struggling on iOS 8.1.1 or below, and you’re not yet sure about iOS 8.1.2, have a look at our fixes for common iPhone 5 problems. They might help iron out your problems.


After the iOS 8.1 update, I noticed a tremendous slowdown. Animations weren’t as snappy, transitions were sluggish and I encounter a ton of random lockups, short freezes and slow down after making the move to the bug fix update. It was disappointing given how good the iOS 8.0.2 and iOS 8.0 updates were. iOS 8.1.1 didn’t help.


I’ve noticed some slowdown in these areas after installing iOS 8.1.2 but it’s not as prevalent as it was in iOS 8.1.1. New updates can be deceiving though and it’s possible that things will get worse as time goes on. One thing I can tell you is that the speed has not dramatically improved. There’s still a sense of sluggishness that wasn’t there before the arrival of iOS 8.1.

I’ve spoken to some other iPhone 5 users who are experiencing something similar and I’ve also talked to some that aren’t seeing the same issues. I’m not sure what’s going on but it might be time for me to perform a factory reset and go back to square one. If things don’t improve, I might just do that.

Should You Install iOS 8.1.2?

If you’re dealing with major iOS 8 problems and you can’t find a solution, iOS 8.1.2 is probably worth a shot. It comes with bug fixes and there’s always the potential for it to solve issues that aren’t listed on the change log.

If you’re not having problems, my advice is to wait it out. There’s no rush to make a move and often it’s best to just sit back, survey the scene and gather as much feedback as possible. The smoke around these updates typically settles are a week or so so if you’re having a good experience on iOS 8.1.1 or below, you might want to hold off and see where I’m at later this month.