iOS 8.2 on iPad Air: Impressions & Performance

Yesterday, shortly after it confirmed the Apple Watch release date, Apple replaced iOS 8.1.3 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 iPad and we want take a look at how the iOS 8.2 update is performing on the original iPad Air. This is our early iPad Air iOS 8.2 review.

Last year, Apple released its iOS 8.2 update into its beta program for developers. The release confirmed an upcoming release for iOS 8 powered iPhones, iPads and iPod touches though it did not confirm a specific iOS 8.2 release date. Apple only announces iOS release dates when it announces them alongside new hardware.


In the months after the initial iOS 8.2 beta release, Apple released several iOS 8.2 betas in an attempt to snuff out problems and ensure a smooth transition from its iOS 8.1.3 update. Yesterday, during an event for new hardware (surprise!), Apple finally announced the iOS 8.2 release date for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

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 update.

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.


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 iPad Air.

iOS 8.2 Installation

iOS 8.2 is a large update for the first-gen iPad Air checking in at over 300MB in size. That’s substantial for an incremental iOS update and that size contributed to a rather lengthy installation process.


From start to finish, it took me about 30 minutes to get the software on board the iPad Air. Granted, I installed the update during peak hours yesterday but I did so over a high=speed connection. Typically, updates take about 15 minutes or so. With that in mind, I suggest putting aside some time for the update to download and complete. It could take longer than you think.


I didn’t run into any installation problems though I know these have affected some users in the past. If your download abruptly stops, perform a reset. Hold down the power button and home button for 10 seconds and the device should reboot. That should push the installation process along if it gets stuck.

iOS 8.2 on iPad Air Performance

I’ve spent several hours with iOS 8.2 on iPad Air. 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, Wi-Fi, 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 iPad Air.


iOS 8 has treated my iPad Air apps well (thank you Apple, thank you developers) and I’m getting the same kind of experience with Apple’s new iOS 8.2 update on board. The update is still extremely new but app problems typically emerge immediately after getting a new update on board so I’m very optimistic about the future.

Slack, Asana, Instagram, Twitter, Dark Sky, Google Chrome, Google Hangouts, YouTube, and Spotify are some of my core applications on the iPad Air. All of them are performing well after the move to iOS 8.2.

If you do see abnormal app activity after installing iOS 8.2 on the iPad Air, or if you’re seeing problems 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

iPad Air battery life has been solid from its debut with iOS 7 to the iOS 8.1.3 update. iOS 8.2 seems to be par for the course. I haven’t noticed any abnormal battery drain when using the device and I haven’t noticed any problems with standby. It’s still holding an outstanding charge though it has only been 24 hours so things could definitely change in the days and weeks ahead. My guess is that they won’t but you simply never know.

iOS updates are never supposed to bring battery life problems to iPhones or iPads. In my experience, bad battery life is usually 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 iPad’s battery life. Most of you won’t run into problems but if you do, there are a few fixes to try.


Wi-Fi & Bluetooth

I don’t own the LTE version of the iPad Air so I can’t speak to LTE connectivity (it’s working fine on the iPad mini 2) but Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are both working fine after making the move from iOS 8.1.3 to iOS 8.2. And that’s huge.

Because I don’t have LTE, I’m very dependent on Wi-Fi connectivity. So far, so good. I was able to connect to several different routers and several different Bluetooth problems without any problems. That’s exactly what you want from an incremental update like iOS 8.2. You want all of the good and none of the bad. So far, I haven’t seen any bad.

Bugs & Issues

I can’t say that iOS 8.2 is bug-free but what I can say is that I have yet to run into any iOS 8.2 problems, big or small, on my iPad Air. In my experience, bugs have a habit of emerging days or even weeks after a release so I’m not letting my guard down. Not yet.

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Small issues are extremely hard to catch so it’s going to take more than 24 hours to track them down. What I can tell you though is that my iPad Air experience on iOS 8 has been relatively issue-free and I’m confident that iOS 8.2, an update that spent several months in beta, is going to turn out just fine.


iOS 8.2 is as fast as iOS 8.1.3 was. That’s a good thing. I haven’t noticed any strange slow down when scrolling thru home screens or opening folders and I don’t expect to. iOS 8 has been very fluid on the iPad Air.

Should You Install iOS 8.2 Today?

If you are dealing with unfixable issues on your iPad Air, you probably want to think about installing iOS 8.2 today. It doesn’t appear to bring any major problems to the iPad and it comes with a collection of enhancements and bug fixes that could help solve your problems.

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If you aren’t dealing with any issues right now, my suggestion is to wait a few days for the smoke to settle. That way, you can gather more feedback and make a decision about whether to upgrade. I’m just one man with one iPad Air and you’ll want to seek out a few more opinions before making the move.