iOS 8.2 on iPhone 6: Impressions & Performance

Today, Apple replaced the iOS 8.1.3 update with a brand new iOS 8.2 update for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch that delivers the new Apple Watch app, new enhancements and bug fixes. It’s a substantial update for the iPhone and we want take a look at how the iOS 8.2 update is performing on the iPhone 6. This is our early iPhone 6 iOS 8.2 review.

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Late last year, Apple released an iOS 8.2 update into its beta program for developers. The release confirmed an upcoming arrival for iOS 8 powered iPhones, iPads and iPod touches though it did not confirm the public iOS 8.2 release date.

In the months after the initial iOS 8.2 beta release, Apple released several iOS 8.2 betas in an attempt to weed out issues and ensure a smooth transition from iOS 8.1.3. And today, after five public betas, Apple finally released the iOS 8.2 update to the public.

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As expected, the iOS 8.2 update is a big one. Not only does it bring the new Apple Watch application ahead of the Apple Watch release, it also delivers a number of enhancements to the Health application, fixes for the Mail app, and a number of other bug fixes that are meant to alleviate lingering iOS 8 problems. It’s the biggest update since Apple’s iOS 8.1.

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As many of you know, incremental updates like iOS 8.2 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. That’s why we take a look at these smaller updates. We want to provide you with feedback.

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After some preparation, I installed Apple’s brand new iOS 8.2 update in an effort to provide you 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 iOS 8.2 on iPhone 6.

iOS 8.2 Installation

The iOS 8.2 update for the iPhone 6 is a shade under 500MB in size. If you don’t have a fast Wi-Fi connection and you want to install the update Over-the-Air through Settings, it’s going to take awhile. Over a high speed connection, it took me about 30 minutes to download and install from start to finish. That’s a lot longer than most iOS updates.

Fortunately, I didn’t run into any issues with the process, other than the length. I installed it at peak hours too so if you haven’t made the switch and you plan on making it in the future, you should be fine. If you do run into installation problems, perform a reset. Hold down the power button and home button at the same time and you should be good to go.

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One thing to note. The iOS 8.2 update brings the Apple Watch application to your iPhone 6. It will show up on your home screen once the installation process is complete. Essentially, it serves as an ad for the Apple Watch because there is no way to delete it. At least not right now.

iOS 8.2 on iPhone 6 Performance

I’ve spent several hours with iOS 8.2 on iPhone 6. Before getting into the early review of performance, 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 8.2 is worth installing on your iPhone 6.

Apps

Sometimes, iOS updates break third-party applications. That hasn’t been the case with iOS 8 and the iPhone 6, at least not on my device. My iPhone 6 and my core applications have offered excellent performance from iOS 8 update to iOS 8 update and so far, I am getting the same kind of experience out of iOS 8.2. I realize that it’s still very early but app troubles typically jump off the page.

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I’ve been using all of my core applications today and that includes Slack, Asana, Instagram, Twitter, Dark Sky, Google Chrome, Google Hangouts, YouTube, and Spotify. All of them are performing well after the move to iOS 8.2. Google Chrome has been crashing a lot and I am hopeful that performance improves with iOS 8.2. I doubt it, but we’ll see.

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If you do see abnormal app activity after installing iOS 8.2, or if you’re seeing it right now on iOS 8.1.3 or below, my suggestion is to install the latest bug fix updates. If that doesn’t work, try reinstalling the app. If that doesn’t work, contact the developer so that they’re aware of the problem or problems.

iOS 8.2 Battery Life

I’ve been using iOS 8.2 for about four hours now and I haven’t noticed any strange battery drain. I’m still getting quality battery life when using a combination of LTE and Wi-Fi.

Battery life complaints are common after major iOS updates and I’ve seen tons of people complain about iOS 8 battery life problems. Even iOS 8.1.3 fouled things up for some people. Not for me. My iPhone 6 battery has been solid since day one and I’ve yet to experience any head-scratching performance after an update.

iOS updates like iOS 8.2 aren’t supposed to bring battery life problems to the iPhone 6. Typically, bad battery life is caused by third-party apps or by users themselves.

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I’ve outlined a number of strategies to get better battery life on iOS 8.1.3 and the same advice applies to Apple’s iOS 8.2 update. Have a look at those if you install iOS 8.2 and you start noticing issues with your battery life. You certainly might run into trouble but I expect a majority of you to come out of the iOS 8.2 update unscathed.

Wi-Fi, Cellular Data & Bluetooth

I’ve been dealing with a pesky Wi-Fi issue for a few weeks now, one in which my iPhone 6 randomly drops my Wi-Fi connection. It’s problematic because I don’t have an unlimited data plan and occasionally, I won’t notice that I’m on LTE and not Wi-Fi. So far, the device hasn’t dropped my Wi-Fi connection though it’s still early. My hope is that the update fixes the issue but there’s no guarantee given that a fix wasn’t listed in the change log. So far so good though.

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LTE and Bluetooth are both holding up nicely after the iOS 8.2 release. AT&T’s LTE network is still very strong and I’ve been able to connect my device to a number of Bluetooth devices including a Bose Soundlink Mini. I haven’t been able to try it inside of a car just yet but I should note that there are improvements for Bluetooth in the car. So if you’re struggling with your connection, you might want to think about installing iOS 8.2 today.

Bugs & Issues

I’ve also dealt with landscape issues where the device gets stuck in landscape mode when moving to portrait. I haven’t run into the problem after installing iOS 8.2 but I’m not letting my guard down just yet.

This has happened ever every single iOS update. Landscape issues frustrate me. iOS update arrives. Landscape issues disappear. Landscape issues return with vengeance. This has happened after every iOS 8 update and it could happen again. There are some temporary fixes for the problem but I’m still hoping for a permanent one.

So far, I haven’t run into any other noticeable issues. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t any iOS 8.2 bugs on board though. Smaller issues are extremely hard to catch. Larger issues are easier to spot but they often remain in the shadows in the hours after a release. I’m going to continue to poke around but so far, things are looking good.

Not surprising given that iOS 8.2 spent several months in Apple’s beta program. Its release also follows six bug fix updates. It should be stable. Let’s hope it stays that way.

Speed

The iPhone 6 is still extremely fast with iOS 8.2 on board. I’m still able to zoom through my home screens and folders open up as quickly as they did on iOS 8.1.3 and below. I haven’t noticed any sluggishness and I don’t expect to. iOS 8 has treated the iPhone 6 well.

Should You Install iOS 8.2 Today?

Here’s what I’ll say right now. If you’re dealing with iOS 8 problems that you can’t fix, go ahead and install the iOS 8.2 update right now. It comes with a number of bug fixes and enhancements that should help to stabilize your iPhone 6.

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If you aren’t running into any problems, wait a day or two for the smoke to settle before making your decision. iOS 8.2 appears to be stable on my iPhone 6 but I’m just one man with one iPhone 6. You’ll want to gather a bit more feedback before making your move. iOS 8.2 isn’t going anywhere and you have plenty of time before Apple releases its next iOS update.