iPhone 6s iOS 9.1 Update Review: Should You Install?

Last week, Apple rolled out the first major update to the new iPhone 6s. We’ve been using the iPhone 6s iOS 9.1 update for several days now and today we want to help you decide if the update is worth installing on your device.

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The 4.7-inch iPhone 6s arrived on September 25th. It takes over flagship duties from the iPhone 6 and it does so with a number of high-powered features including an improved display, processor, camera, and more.

Like the iPhone 6, the iPhone 6s runs Apple’s new operating system dubbed iOS 9. And like the iPhone 6, the iPhone 6s got its first big iOS 9 upgrade last week.

In September, Apple pushed out two small iOS 9 updates to the iPhone 6s. iOS 9.0.1 and iOS 9.0.2 were both bug fixers aimed at plugging up a few cracks that emerged after Apple’s initial iOS 9.0 release. Last week, the company rolled out the first milestone upgrade.

Sprint iPhone 6s iOS 9.1

iOS 9.1 is much bigger than iOS 9.0.1 and iOS 9.0.2. It brings bug fixes for iOS 9 problems but it also brings new features including changes to Live Photos and over 150 new emojis for the iOS 9 keyboard. It also, according to some iPhone 6s owners, brings problems.

I’ve been using the iPhone 6s iOS 9.1 update for about a week now and today I want to take an updated look at its performance.

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iPhone 6s iOS 9.1 Update Review

Before I get into it, I want to bring a few things to your attention. First, I moved from iOS 9.0.2 to iOS 9.1. Second, mileage always varies when it comes to iOS performance. I don’t use my iPhone 6s the same way that you do.

I’m going to do my best to help you but you might want to seek out a second or third opinion before you install or if you’re having problems with iOS 9.1. You’ll definitely want to do this if you’re moving to iOS 9.1 from iOS 9.0 or iOS 9.0.1.

While this review will briefly touch on a few iOS 9.1 features, its focused on the iPhone 6s iOS 9.1 update’s performance in key areas. If you want to learn more about iOS 9 and iOS 9.1, please take a peek at our walkthrough.

Apps

I’ve been using the iPhone 6s iOS 9.1 update virtually non-stop since Wednesday and I’ve been intensely focused on several key areas. One of those areas is app performance.

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Since Wednesday, I’ve experienced a few problems but nothing major. Chrome has crashed on me several times but this is pretty standard for Google’s browser. Twitter and Facebook have both crashed a few times. This is also common.

I’ve been using a lot of apps but I’ve been using Asana, Slack, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Gmail, Hangouts, Chrome, Dark Sky, Amazon, SoundCloud, Facebook, Spotify, and Xbox One Smartglass the most. None of them have given me problems.

iOS 9.1 comes with stability improvements for Apple Music and Photos. I’m not an Apple Music user so I can’t speak to its performance but what I can tell you is that the Photos app has been performing admirably during my week with the iPhone 6s iOS 9.1 update.

Part of this success might come down to luck or how I use my apps. I suspect that app updates have also played a big role. Most of my applications have been updated with bug fixes and iOS 9 support and I’ve installed every last update. A few examples.

Facebook recently issued a fix for battery drain issues and Instagram just released an update that brings support for the iOS 9 update and the iPhone 6s. That’s big.

If you’re dealing with apps problems, try installing a bug fix update. If that doesn’t work, try reinstalling the app or restarting your device. If that doesn’t help, try contacting the developer.

iPhone 6s iOS 9.1 Battery Life

I’ve seen complaints about iOS 9.1 battery life in the week since launch but I haven’t experienced any problems myself.

I’ve been able to pull down a full day of use when I’m using a mixture of LTE and Wi-Fi. When I say a full day of use I mean 8AM to 8PM without having to connect my phone to a charger.

There are times (surprise, surprise) when my phone is in standby mode and fortunately, the device is still holding an excellent charge when it’s not in use.

I’ve been keeping a close eye on my apps in the battery usage tool and I haven’t spotted anything out of the ordinary. Chrome and Twitter are eating up the most battery but that’s because they are two of the applications I use the most. FaceTime comes in a distant third.

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It’s easy to blame Apple, iOS 9.1 and the iPhone 6s battery for your problems but there’s a good chance that it’s something else. Apps and dare I say it, your bad habits, might be the root cause of your battery life issues on iOS 9.1.

I recently put together a list of fixes and tips that should help you if you run into trouble with battery after installing iOS 9.1. I haven’t heard about any widespread battery problems so I doubt Apple’s next update will address anything. That’s why you’ll need to be extremely proactive.

Wi-Fi, LTE & Bluetooth

I bought a T-Mobile iPhone 6s from Apple but I use it on AT&T’s network. I haven’t had any problems yet. Download speeds are excellent and I haven’t experienced any weird drops or connectivity issues. Par for the course.

I’ve been able to pair my iPhone 6s with various Bluetooth speakers and headphones and I’ve successfully paired it inside a Toyota Prius.

I’ve tested the iPhone 6s iOS 9.1 update with several different routers including a Verizon FiOS routers, a TP-Link Archer C9 and a few different Belkin routers. I haven’t had any problems with any of them. Range is excellent and so far download and upload speeds.

I know there are some iPhone 6s users out there that are struggling. Bluetooth and Wi-Fi issues are extremely common so this doesn’t come as much of a surprise.

If you’re dealing with connectivity issues, take a look at our list of fixes for common iOS 9 problems to see if something there helps.

Bugs & Problems

If you’re still on an earlier version of iOS 9.1, note that there is an installation issue. If you set iOS 9.1 to install overnight, it could break your alarms. Not good. The only workaround that I know of? Don’t install the iOS 9.1 update overnight.

I didn’t run into that problem (I installed during the day and monitored the whole thing) and I haven’t run into any other issues with the iPhone 6s iOS 9.1 update. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t problems on board, it just means that I haven’t seen any pop up during regular use.

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There are iOS 9.1 problems and some iPhone 6s users have seen them. The issue aren’t widespread but you’ll still want to be very careful with the iOS 9.1 update. Do some prep work before you make your move and you should come out of the installation unscathed.

If do run into something, start with our list of fixes for common iOS 9.1 problems.

UI Speed

In my initial impressions, I noted that while the update was mostly fast, I did notice some keyboard lag after the installation. A little lag right after an install is pretty common so I felt confident that it would dissipate. And it did.

I haven’t noticed any slow down or lag on my iPhone 6s with iOS 9.1 on board. That goes for the keyboard, opening folders and apps, and other animations and transitions that populate Apple’s iOS 9 operating system. It’s fast and it’s stable.

Should You Install the iOS 9.1 Update?

Unless you’re jailbroken or looking to jailbreak iOS 9, I don’t see why not.

iOS 9.1 performance on the iPhone 6s is outstanding. It fixes a ton of iOS 9 problems. It brings patches for potential exploits. It delivers improved Live Photos. And it adds over 150 new emoji characters to the iPhone 6s keyboard.

It could cause problems but I think the update is worth the risk for iPhone 6s users.

Bring on iOS 9.2.

iOS 9.2 Release: 10 Things to Know Right Now

You Can Try iOS 9.2 Right Now

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You Can Try iOS 9.2 Right Now

The first thing you need to know about the iOS 9.2 release is that you can try it early. 

The iOS 9.2 update is going to go through the company's beta process so that Apple, its developers and its testing partners can weed out problems before the public release date. 

So, if you want to try iOS 9.2 out before the public release, you'll be able to. If you're interested, take a look at this guide.

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