iOS 8.1.2 Review: Is It Worth Installing?

A week ago, Apple released the follow up to its iOS 8.1.1 update in the form of iOS 8.1.2. iOS 8.1.2 a tiny bug fixer aimed at squashing lingering iOS 8 problems. Over the past week, we’ve spent some quality time with Apple’s latest and greatest iOS 8 update and today, we want to help you answer that ever so important question: Is iOS 8.1.2 worth installing on iPhone or iPad?

Apple’s iOS 8 update delivered a number of new features, enhancements and fixes to owners of compatible iPhones and iPads. The company’s new operating system also brought a number of issues along with it. iOS 8 problems have been a problem for select iPhone and iPad users since day one and they continue to this day.


Since September, Apple’s sought to eradicate these iOS 8 problems with a series of iOS 8 updates. First it pushed out iOS 8.0.1. A day later, the company issued iOS 8.0.2 as a mea culpa for the Touch ID and cellular data issues that iOS 8.0.1 brought to iOS 8 users. Days later, the company rolled out the massive iOS 8.1 bug fixer that brought Apple Pay and a series of enhancements a long with it.

Speck MightyShell iPhone 6 Case Review - 1

Soon after that, Apple deployed iOS 8.1.1. Then, a week ago, we finally got to where we are now, iOS 8.1.2. iOS 8.1.2 is an extremely small update, about 20MB for most devices. Its change log lists a fix for a ringtone issue. It’s not big in size but small iOS updates often have a major impact on the performance of iPhones and iPads. That makes iOS 8.1.2 a major update in our eyes and the eyes of many others, particularly those dealing with iOS 8 problems.


We continue to get bombarded with questions about Apple’s iOS 8.1.2 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 8.1.2 worth installing? Let’s find out.


iOS 8.1.2 Review

Over the past week, we’ve spent a ton of time with iOS 8.1.2. And while we’re confident in 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 8.1.2. Ultimately, the final decision is going to rest in your hand. Neither we, nor Apple, will ever force you to make an upgrade. These reviews should act as a starting point but we recommend gathering as much feedback as you can.

iPhone 6

Apple’s 4.7-inch iPhone 6 arrived with iOS 8 on board and right from the get go, iOS 8 problems made themselves known. Over the past few months though, after Apple’s iOS 8 update bombardment, the performance on Apple’s best seller has improved. iOS 8.1.1 eradicated many of the issues that were plaguing our models and the device hasn’t taken a step backward with iOS 8.1.2.

Performance in key areas including battery life, connectivity, speed, and apps is all solid after making the move from iOS 8.1.1 to iOS 8.1.2. Those annoying landscape issues are finally gone after getting iOS 8.1.2 on board. Those had been problematic since September and they have been tackled, completely, by iOS 8.1.2.


Speck MightyShell iPhone 6 Case Review - 5

Maybe most important, iOS 8.1.2 doesn’t seem to have introduced any notable bugs to the software. And that’s exactly what you want out of an incremental bug fixer like iOS 8.1.2. You want it to fix issues without breaking anything. We’ve been testing the software on multiple iPhone 6 models and neither one has exhibited any issues. In other words, iOS 8.1.2 appears to be very stable and it’s perhaps the most stable iPhone 6 iOS 8 update yet.

Right now, we’re recommending the iOS 8.1.2 update to iPhone 6 users dealing with problems in iOS 8.1.1 and below. iOS 8.1.2 has a chance to exterminate at least some of the issues though it may not correct them all. For more information on the iPhone 6’s iOS 8.1.2 update, check out our full length iPhone 6 iOS 8.1.2 review.

iPhone 6 Plus

We’ve also been investigating iOS 8.1.2 on the iPhone 6 Plus, Apple’s larger 5.5-inch iPhone 6 that arrived alongside the 4.7-inch model back in September. In the weeks after the iPhone 6 Plus release, we ran into a number of different issues. However, iOS 8.1 squashed some of the bigger ones and iOS 8.1.1 helped to shore up the stability. iOS 8.1.2 picks up where those updates left off.

The iPhone 6 Plus iOS 8.1.2 update performs well, with no major problems and no change to the already speedy performance of the three month old device. Again, this is precisely what you want from a small bug fix update like iOS 8.1.2. It may not fix everything on board iOS 8 but it doesn’t appear to introduce any major problems of its own.


Should you install iOS 8.1.2 now?

Should you install iOS 8.1.2 now?

Like the iPhone 6 iOS 8.1.2 update, the iPhone 6 Plus iOS 8.1.2 update is recommended to those that are dealing with problems on iOS 8.1.1 or below. From where we’re sitting the iPhone 6 Plus’ iOS 8.1.2 update could be Apple’s most stable and there’s a potential for it to deliver fixes not listed in the software’s change log. For more details on the update, have a look at our full iOS 8.1.2 iPhone 6 Plus review.

iPhone 5s

Apple’s iPhone 5s has been faring a little bit better than the iPhone 6 models because in the weeks after the iOS 8 update, we have not run into any significant problems with performance. The iPhone 5s has remained steady from iOS 8.0 to iOS 8.1.2 and over the last week, we haven’t detected any major issues with the iPhone 5s’ new upgrade.



Battery life is still very good. Connectivity is up to snuff. The year old device is still very fast. Apps are still working. And maybe best of all, we haven’t discovered any major bugs lurking in the software. We haven’t discovered any minor bugs either. On our iPhone 5s, the iOS 8.1.2 is an extremely stable update and one that iPhone 5s users will want to consider, especially those having iOS 8 problems.

iPhone 5

The iPhone 5’s road to iOS 8.1.2 has been a rocky one. While the device performed well with iOS 7.1.2, iOS 8.0, iOS 8.0.1, and iOS 8.0.2 on board, the iOS 8.1 update killed the device’s speed. Everything else from battery life to apps to connectivity is working fine. But the hit to the device’s speed made the iOS 8.1 update and more recently, the iOS 8.1.1 update, a bitter pill to swallow.

Over the last week, we’ve had no major issues with iOS 8.1.2. In fact, we’ve started to see the device’s speed recover. A little. The performance is still nowhere close to where it was with the iOS 7.1.2 update on board but there’s a little more zip in the iPhone 5’s stride. We haven’t noticed the same amount of slowdown that we saw with iOS 8.1.1.


We still haven’t found any permanent fixes for the sluggishness and our hope is that Apple’s next big iOS 8 update, iOS 8.2, resolves the issue. There’s no guarantee that it will though.

Right now, if you own an iPhone 5, you might want to hold off on iOS 8.1.2, especially if you’re getting good speed on another version of iOS. iOS 7.1.2 users want to be especially 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. Perhaps, iOS 8.2.

For more information about the iOS 8.1.2 iPhone 5 update, check out our full review. If you’re on iOS 8.1.2 already and you’re dealing with iOS 8.1.2 problems, take a look at our fixes.

iPhone 4s

We haven’t been using the iOS 8.1.1 update on the iPhone 4s but we have rounded up experiences from current users. This roundup 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. The iPhone 4s is an old device and these updates have the potential to do some major damage.


We’ve heard a mixture of things about the iPhone 4s update, some good and some bad, but you never know what might happen if you decide to blindly install the software on your aging smartphone. Come prepared.

iPad Air

While iOS 8 has been a bit volatile on the iPhone, our experience on the iPad has been relatively calm. The first-gen iPad saw a few speed issues after the iOS 8.1 update but those ironed themselves out in the weeks afterward. iOS 8.1.1 treated the device very well and the iOS 8.1.2 update continues that trend for Apple’s 9.7-inch slate.

iPad Air

iOS 8.1.2 isn’t much different than iOS 8.1.1. Battery life is still very solid. Connectivity is still outstanding. And we haven’t run into any noticeable bugs or issues on board. Apple’s done an excellent job with the iOS 8 updates for iPad.

At the moment, we recommend the iOS 8.1.2 update to iPad Air users that are dealing with iOS 8 problems or even iOS 7 problems. iOS 8.1.2 is an extremely stable piece of software for this device and it could squash some of those lingering problems. For more information, take a look at our full length iPad Air iOS 8.1.2 update review.

iPad mini

The iOS 8.1.2 experience on the iPad mini 2 (second-gen) mirrors the experience on the iPad Air. That is to say that we haven’t run into any debilitating issues. We haven’t run into any battery life troubles. And we haven’t run into any problems connectivity with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or LTE. At least not yet. Issues do have a tendency to spring up in the weeks after a release but given our solid experience with iOS 8.1.1 and below, we’re optimistic.

iPad Tips and Tricks - iPad mini

If you’re dealing with issues on your iPad mini 2 and you haven’t made the move up to iOS 8.1.2, you really should think about making the move sooner rather than later. This is an update that could very well fix some of the issues that you’ve been having on your 7.9-inch tablet. If you need more information, take a look at our iOS 8.1.2 iPad mini 2 review.

Should You Install iOS 8.1.2?

With all of that in mind, we now want to take a look at the question that many iPhone and iPad users are struggling with: Is iOS 8.1.2 worth installing on the iPhone or iPad?

After using Apple’s new iOS 8 update for a week, there are only a few people that need to be extremely cautious with iOS 8.1.2. First, iPhone 5 users. If your device is handling your current update, we suggest holding out for a little bit longer. iOS 8.1.2 is slow on our iPhone 5 and we’ve gotten negative feedback from a number of iPhone 5 users. If you’re not dealing with major problems, proceed with caution.

If you own an older device like the iPhone 4s, you’ll want to do more research than usual. Again, smaller updates like these can have a big impact on performance and you’ll want to be sure about iOS 8.1.2 before making a move. You can go back to iOS 8.1.1 right now but you won’t be able to go back to iOS 8.1.1 forever.