iOS 7.1: 7 New Things iPhone & iPad Users Need to Know

Apple’s iOS 7.1 update for iPhone and iPad is now more than a week old and that means that most of the dust around the iOS 7.1 update has settled. Now that we have some clarity, we want to dig into some of the most important things that iPhone and iPad users need to know about their new iOS 7 update.

Last week, Apple finally released the iOS 7.1 update for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The update, which had been in the beta process since November, is a big one and comes with a number of enhancements and fixes that make it an enticing update for those using Apple’s latest iOS update.

With iOS 7.1 now out and readily available, we want to take a look at seven of the most important things that current iOS 7.1 users and those thinking about making the upgrade need to know about Apple’s brand new update. We’ve seen a lot of details emerge since it was released last Monday and we want to make sure iPhone and iPad owners in the U.S. and elsewhere are informed.

iOS 7.1 Performance is Solid

Maybe the most important thing that iPhone and iPad owners need to know is that iOS 7.1, thus far, appears to be a very solid update. We haven’t seen or heard about any hero level issues with the software and we’ve seen fantastic performance across Apple’s products.

iOS 7.1 performance is fantastic on the iPad Air.

iOS 7.1 performance is fantastic on the iPad Air.

Over the past week, we’ve dug into the iOS 7.1 update on the iPhone 5s, iPhone 5, iPad 3, iPad mini with Retina Display, and iPad Air in particular and we’ve come away impressed with the update. Other sites including ArsTechnica and iMore have also been impressed with the iOS 7.1 update so we know that we’re not alone.

Those who are still concerned about upgrading will want to dig into those reviews. They quite possibly could be the final nudge over the fence to iOS 7.1.

Plenty of Reasons to Upgrade

If solid performance isn’t enough, it’s important to know that there are plenty of other reasons why iPhone and iPad owners across the globe should consider making the switch.

We’ve delved into nine reasons already but we recently saw another emerge thanks to an app monitoring firm called Crittercism. According to Recode, the data suggests that there are less app crashes inside of Apple’s new software.

The crash rate of apps under iOS 7.1 is 1.6 percent, according to performance monitoring firm Crittercism. That compares with rates above 2 percent for iOS 7, iOS 6.1 and iOS 6 versions. Interestingly, the total rate of app crashing with iOS 7 is 2.1 percent, which is lower than for iOS 6 or 6.1 versions, even despite a known bug that caused some systems to reboot when using iOS 7.

In our experience with iOS 7.1, we haven’t seen any applications lock up though we have heard that the Facebook application has been causing problems for some iPad and iPhone users. An update that rolled out for Facebook yesterday may have solved the issue though that remains unconfirmed because we can’t replicate the problem.

iPad Air iOS 7 Review - 1

The important thing to note is that iOS 7.1 is apparently much more stable than its predecessors, yet another reason to consider making the upgrade today.

Bad Battery Life? Try This

Some iPhone and iPad owners have experienced bad battery life after installing iOS 7.1. This should come as a surprise to no one since bad battery life complaints always emerge after iOS updates.

Those that are experiencing bad battery life in iOS 7.1 are in luck though. Not only is there a fix that should work for those that are dealing with the problem, there are an assortment of tips and tricks to try in an effort to improve battery life in Apple’s brand new update. Sometimes, software just needs a little kick before it starts working properly again.

It’s important to note that while Apple might hear and see the complaints about bad battery life, very rarely does it take action. An issue needs to be widespread before Apple commits to a fix in a future update.

There Are Other Issues

iOS 7.1 isn’t flawless. In addition to the bad battery life problems, there are some other issues that seem to be plaguing iPhone and iPad owners. One of the biggest that we’ve seen is an issue with Touch ID.

iPhone 5s owners are complaining about Touch ID problems on the Apple Discussion forums. While it does seem a bit limited at this point, it’s certainly gaining steam.

This is one of the loudest issues but Apple’s forum is littered with complaints. None of the issues appear to be big but this is still something that iPhone and iPad owners should know about before installing the new update.

iOS 7.1 Jailbreak Nowhere in Sight

There are reasons to stay on iOS 7.0.6 and below, at least for the moment. One of the big reasons that iPhone and iPad owners might want to stay on iOS 7.1 is because it does not support a jailbreak. iOS 7.0.6 is the last iOS update to support the Evasi0n 7 jailbreak and from the looks of things, it could be the last iOS 7 update that is compatible with it.


iOS 7.1 jailbreak release claims are a trick. There currently isn’t an iOS 7.1 jailbreak. The developers behind Evasi0n have said that while they might release one for iOS 7.1 in the future, it’s possible that they will instead focus on releasing one for iOS 8, the update that is expected to be next in line.

So, what’s important to note is this. Those who haven’t upgrade to iOS 7.1 and wish to jailbreak should not do the upgrade. And those who have already upgraded to iOS 7.1 probably have a long wait ahead of them.

iPad 2 Discontinued

Today, Apple discontinued the iPad 2 and brought back the iPad 4 to fill its roll as the company’s $399 budget iPad option. As many have pointed out, this is a bad sign for iPad 2 owners because it likely means that the device is going to be stuck on iOS 7.1 forever.

Typically, Apple updates devices for three years before it kills off software support. Both the iPad 2 and the iPhone 4 have received three major iOS updates. And now that the iPad 2 has been taken off of Apple’s shelves (the iPhone 4 vanished last year), there is a very good chance that it will not receive whatever is next in line.

What’s Next: iOS 7.1.1, iOS 8

That brings us to our final, and important point that iOS 7 and iOS 7.1 owners need to know.

The next major update for iPhone and iPad will likely be iOS 8, an update that is rumored for later this year and an update that should emerge at WWDC this summer. In other words, don’t expect another bridge between iOS 7 and the next major update. iOS 7.1 will likely serve as the biggest update to iOS 7 before the arrival of the next major upgrade.

This Healthbook mockup shows what Apple's app may look like in iOS 8.

This Healthbook mockup shows what Apple’s app may look like in iOS 8.

iPhone and iPad owners should expect Apple to deliver incremental updates between now and the release of the next major update. The company usually releases iOS x.1.x updates in the months after its arrival and we expect Apple to continue to offer tweaks and fixes in the build up to the iOS 8 release.

It’s important to know that Apple does not announce release dates for its incremental upgrades so iPhone and iPad owners will be flying blind the rest of the way.