iOS 8.4 Update: 5 Things We Learned in July

Its been a month since Apple released the iOS 8.4 update for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch and in that month we’ve been using it on several devices including the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 5. With a month under our belts, we want to tell you about the important things we’ve learned in July about iOS 8.4 and its successor, iOS 8.4.1.

At WWDC 2015, Apple took the stage to confirm a number of new products including Apple Music. Apple Music is the company’s revamped music platform that includes a new streaming service, Beats 1 radio programming, and some changes to the application’s user interface.

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On June 30th, Apple rolled out Apple Music inside of its iOS 8.4 update. The iOS 8.4 update had originally been confirmed back in April though the iOS 8.4 beta didn’t contain many of the features that Apple debuted on stage during its annual conference for developers.

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The iOS 8.4 update is focused on music but these new music features aren’t the only items on board. The update also arrive with crucial bug fixes and some big changes to the company’s iBooks platform making it far more substantial than your regular iOS update.

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Like many of you, we installed the iOS 8.4 update right when it came out and over the past month, we’ve been using the iOS 8.4 update on the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5, iPad Air 2, iPad Air, and the iPad mini 2. It’s a month old but it’s still an extremely important update and not just because it’s about to be replaced.

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We’ve learned quite a bit about the iOS 8.4 update over the past month and today we want to share some of that knowledge with you. Here are the most important things to know about the iOS 8.4 update for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch as the month of July comes to a close.

iOS 8.4 on iPhone

We’ve been using the iOS 8.4 update on the iPhone 6, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5, and iPhone 6 Plus for just about four weeks now. Fortunately, the iOS 8.4 update continues to perform very well a month after its release. That’s big because iOS updates often deteriorate weeks after release, especially on older models.

We’ve been focused on five key areas during our time with the iOS 8.4 update. We’ve been looking at app performance, connectivity including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, battery life, speed of the UI, and bugs and problems. For the most part, iOS 8.4 is performing well.

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Battery life across all four iPhones is holding up and we haven’t run into any major problems with Wi-Fi connectivity. And while we ran into some Bluetooth problems with the iPhone 6 Plus, those problems have died out after a month. Apps are working fine on our devices.

The only UI problems that we’ve run into are isolated on the iPhone 5. iOS 8.4 can, at times, be a bit sluggish on the iPhone 5. It’s infrequent but it’s still a minor annoyance that we hope iOS 9 irons out later this year. iOS 9 will evidently bring performance enhancements for older devices so we’re optimistic.

We haven’t run into any game-changing bugs on these four devices. iOS 8.4 is stable on our versions of the iPhone and now that four weeks have gone, we expect iOS 8.4 to remain that way.

iOS 8.4 on iPad

The story is the same on the iPad Air 2, iPad Air and iPad mini 2. We’ve been looking at all five of these areas on these three iPads and so far so good.

We haven’t encountered any problems with battery life and all three still hold a solid charge. We haven’t noticed any problems with Wi-Fi or LTE and the three slates have been able to connect with Bluetooth speakers and headsets with ease.

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We haven’t experienced any slowdown or sluggishness and the applications on our iPads are all working fine after the move to iOS 8.4. Keep in mind, we’ve downloaded all of the recent bug fix updates for all of our apps. This tends to help.

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The iPad iOS 8.4 update is a bit more stable than the iPhone iOS 8.4 update but not by much. Both are performing just fine after a month.

iOS 8.4 Problems & Apple Music

We haven’t run into any major problems with the iOS 8.4 update. Furthermore, the bugs that Apple fixed with the iOS 8.4 update have yet to return. They appear to be gone for good and that’s a great thing because all of them were extremely annoying iOS 8 issues.

There are iOS 8.4 problems though and many of them are related to Apple Music. iPhone and iPad users continue to complain about an assortment of iOS 8.4 problems that range from issues with installation to problems with iOS 8.4 battery life to issues with certain applications.

It’s also clear that Apple Music has a long way to go. There are tons and tons and tons of complaints about bugs and problems with the service. And then there are people that just don’t like it.

We’ve been using it for a month and we’re mixed. Is it worth downloading the iOS 8.4 update for the three month trial? Probably. There are some things that we love about the service namely Beats 1 radio. That said, we’re still not going to replace Spotify with a subscription to Apple Music. Others feel the same it seems.

With opinions mixed, you’ll want to try it out for yourself before committing money to Apple or condemning it as Apple’s latest fail. It works for some people and it doesn’t work for others.

It’s also worth noting that the iOS 9 beta now includes Apple Music. So if you want to join the open beta program for the public to try out iOS 9, Apple Music will be there.

iOS 8.4.1 Release Confirmed

iOS 8.4 won’t be the end of the road for iOS 8. This month, we learned that Apple will be releasing a brand new iOS 8.4 update called iOS 8.4.1. The iOS 8.4.1 update is currently in beta for developers and it’s not clear when it will be released for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users on iOS 8.

The iOS 8.4.1 update is going to be a small upgrade for iOS 8.4 users. We’re expecting bug fixes and we might also see it break the iOS 8.4 jailbreak that was released shortly after the iOS 8.4 update on June 30th. Nothing is confirmed.

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We’d be leery of the iOS 8.4.1 update for a few reasons. One, it has the potential to kill the iOS 8.4 jailbreak. And two, if you’re having an excellent experience on iOS 8.4. Unless it comes with some key bug fix updates, it might not be a necessary download for those of you already on iOS 8.4.

Keep that in mind as we push towards its mysterious release date.

One Reason You Might Not Want iOS 8.4 (Or iOS 8.4.1)

There is another reason why you might not want to download iOS 8.4 or iOS 8.4.1.

iOS 8.4 got rid of Home Sharing for Music for iOS. Apple didn’t confirm this ahead of its iOS 8.4 release and it’s something that’s frustrated a lot of people in July.

Sadly, we’re not sure if it’s coming back in iOS 8.4.1. What we do know though is that it’s coming back in iOS 9. Apple’s latest iOS 9 beta brings the feature back into the fold so it will almost certainly become available again this fall.

Keep this in mind before you rush to download iOS 8.4 or iOS 8.4.1.

iOS 8.4.1 for iPhone & iPad: 10 Things to Expect

Limited iOS 8.4.1 Beta

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Limited iOS 8.4.1 Beta

Don't expect the iOS 8.4.1 beta to last very long. With an iOS 9 release looming on the horizon and the iOS 8.4.1 seemingly nothing more than a bug fixer, we'd be surprised if this beta process dragged on. 

We'd expect this to be similar to the iOS 8.1.1 beta that Apple unleashed earlier this year. That update only went through one beta release before it was released to the public.

One iOS 8.4.1 beta wouldn't shock us, neither would two. Three iOS 8.4.1 beta releases before a public roll out would be surprising though. And we'd expect no more than one beta release for the public if there is even one at all. 

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