Apple recently released the fourth iOS 7.1 beta, iOS 7.1 beta 4, which means that an iOS 7.1 release date is approaching. As an iPhone 5 owner, I’ve spent the last few months on iOS 7.0.4 and here, I want to discuss what I want, and what I am expecting from Apple’s upcoming iOS 7.1 update for the iPhone 5.
My experience with the iPhone 5 and iOS has been fantastic overall but there have certainly been some bumps in the road. I was not expecting the experience to be perfect so I’ve taken them with stride. The first signs of trouble arrived soon after I bought my iPhone 5. I ran into connectivity issues with my Wi-Fi connection and in the weeks leading up to the release of iOS 6.1, I was running into the same random reboot issue that is affecting iPhone 5s owners right now.
After the release of iOS 6.1, those issues dissipated and I was left with a smooth iOS experience on my iPhone 5. In September, Apple released iOS 7, a brand new iOS update that not only delivered new features to my iPhone but a new look as well. I said to back then and I’ll say it now, I like the look and feel of iOS 7 a lot more than the look and feel of iOS 6. That’s my opinion and I realize there are plenty of others that feel differently. We’ll agree to disagree.
iPhone owners of all shapes and sizes have been complaining about iOS 7 issues from the start. I myself have stumbled upon a few including that nasty iMessage bug that appeared after the release of iOS 7.0.2. I never appreciated iMessage as much as I did when I didn’t have access to it. It was a nightmare. There are still some smaller issues that remain on board my iPhone though they aren’t hero-level bugs that completely foul up the experience.
iOS 7.0.4, in other words, is the least of my concerns. Right now, I have Apple’s iOS 7.1 update in my cross-hairs.
iOS 7.1 is Apple’s upcoming x.1 update for iOS 7 and it currently sits in the beta process. Developers have access to it, the general public does not. Earlier this week, Apple released the fourth iOS 7.1 beta and we detailed many of the changes that we heard were on board. The changes and the incoming release date got my brain going and I started thinking about what I want from the iOS 7.1 update.
As it turns out, the five big things I want from the iOS 7.1 update are probably five things that just about every iPhone and iPad user wants from the iOS 7.1 update.
Apps That Work
Applications, for the most part, have performed admirably inside of iOS 7. Apple’s stock applications haven’t let me down and developers of third-party applications have been, for the most part, good about squashing bugs. My hope is that iOS 7.1 keeps the ball rolling and that the lengthy beta process ensures a smooth transition from iOS 7.0.4 to iOS 7.1.
The iPhone 5 is useless without quality 4G LTE and Wi-Fi connectivity. My experience inside iOS 7.0.4 has been fantastic and my hope is that iOS 7.1 keeps things the way they are.
I’ve heard the stories about grayed out Wi-Fi connections and slow data speeds. I’ve experienced the latter on my iPhone in iOS 6. I sincerely doubt that iOS 7.1 will come with a fix-all solution for iPhone and iPad owners but what it needs to do is to not break anything else.
When iOS 7 first came out, I noticed some lag inside the user interface on my iPhone 5. On occasion, it can still be a little bit clunky and slow. iOS 7.1 is supposedly going to be coming with performance boosts and my hope is that those extend to the iPhone 5.
I’ve heard about performance improvements inside iOS 7.1 beta but I’ll be more impressed if the actual public release offers a noticeable difference. Speed is key to any smartphone experience and I’d love to see iOS 7.1 make my iPhone 5 snappier than it already is.
Solid Battery Life
This is pretty straightforward. I’ve been getting solid battery life inside iOS 7 since its release in September and my hope is that iOS 7.1 delivers the quality. Apple had some trouble with iOS 6.1 last year, the update suffered from an Exchange battery drain bug, so hopefully it learned its lesson.
Even if users do see improvements, expect there to be users who run into problems. There are always people who have problems after iOS updates. One piece of advice. Instead of pointing the finger at Apple, take a look at your apps, take a look at your daily usage. Try and be proactive about solving the problem.
My experience inside iOS 7.0.4 has been, for the most part, solid. I’ve run into an issue where my Mail app, with push turned off, checks mail when I open a random application. For instance, I’ll open the Twitter application and all of a sudden the app will push 25 emails to my iPhone. I’ve also seen a couple of UI glitches including one where the contents of a folder appear faintly into the top left corner after shutting the folder down. It’s weird. These are nothing major.
Yesterday’s iOS 7 “occasional” Springboard crash reports: iPhone 5s = 3; iPad Air = 2; iPad mini with Retina Display = 1. #ios7crashreports
— Warner Crocker (@WarnerCrocker) January 23, 2014
What’s clear is that there are some major issues still lurking inside iOS 7. The springboard issue on the iPhone 5s being one of them. Fortunately, Apple says that it’s going to fix it and from what we’ve seen and heard, iOS 7.1 is poised to fix many of the other issues iOS 7 brought along with it.
At this point, we’re pretty confident that iOS 7.1 is going to tackle a lot of the problems inside iOS 7.0.4 and below. The only question is whether it will bring bugs of its own. Let’s hope not.
Can iOS 7.1 Deliver?
Thanks to the iOS 7.1 beta, we know what iOS 7.1 might bring to the table. The UI changes, the iOS in the Car functionality, and some of the other smaller additions. But to me, and to many others, those aren’t the most important pieces of the iOS 7.1 puzzle.
To me, iOS 7.1 needs to serve some more basic needs and for me, those things are working apps, solid connections, a speedy UI, awesome battery life, and a stable piece of firmware. Everything else, in my opinion, will be a bonus.
Software updates are never perfect but let’s hope that Apple didn’t put all of its energy into iOS 7.1’s features but instead, put a focus into the all-around experience of its new iOS update. iOS 6.1 debuted with a number of major issues, let’s hope that iOS 7.1 does not.
Only time will tell.