iOS 8.0.2 on iPad Air Review: Two Weeks Later

In late September, Apple released an iOS 8.0.2 update for iPhone and iPad that was supposed to eliminate several iOS 8 problems. And while it did tackle some, the update also delivered some problems of its own. With that in mind, we want to offer an updated iOS 8.0.2 on iPad Air review, a review that will help you decide if iOS 8.0.2 is worth installing ahead of Apple’s next iOS update.

On September 17th, after a brief stint inside its beta program, Apple released the iOS 8.0 update for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. As expected, Apple’s new iOS 8 update delivered a number of big time changes including improvements to the Photos app, iMessage, battery usage, accessibility, and more. And while they weren’t listed on any change log, the iOS 8 update also delivered some big time problems for iOS users around the world.

We detailed many of these iOS 8 problems in the hours and days after the iOS 8.0 release date in our initial impressions and roundups. Ultimately, these issues forced Apple to release a couple of bug fix updates in the forms of iOS 8.0.1 and iOS 8.0.2, both of which emerged just days after the arrival of iOS 8.0.

iOS 8.0.2 is Apple’s current update and an update that we’ve dug into extensively over the past couple of weeks. We’ve been using the update on the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 5, iPad Air, iPad mini with Retina Display, and iPad 3 and we’ve encountered a mix bag of results. While performance is solid on some devices, other devices have experienced an array of problems that have put a damper on the whole experience.

With that in mind, we want to revisit the iOS 8.0.2 update at the two week mark and offer some feedback ahead of Apple’s October 16th launch event, an event that could serve as the launch pad for its iOS 8.1 update. This iOS 8.0.2 on iPad Air review will help you decide whether you should install right now or wait for Apple’s launch event and its presumed iOS 8.1 bug fixer.

iOS 8.0.2 on iPad Air Review

Over the past two weeks, I’ve spent a ton of time with iOS 8.0.2 on iPad Air. Before getting into the review, 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 or my home screen more than you do. So, consider this a general guide.

When it comes to the performance of iOS updates like iOS 8.0.2, I like to look at five different areas in particular. Those areas are: Applications and how they’re performing post update, battery life and whether there is abnormal drain, random bugs or hiccups, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth performance, and overall speed. Here’s how those stack up after a fortnight of use.

iOS 8.0.2 Apps

In my iOS 8.0.2 reviews for the iPhone 5 and iPhone 6, I noted that I’ve been experiencing infrequent issues with some different third-party apps. Troublemakers include Google Chrome, Facebook and Twitter. What’s interesting is that app performance on the iPad Air, Apple’s current 9.7-inch iPad, is much much better.

All of my applications on the iPad Air, which include popular apps like Instagram, Angry Birds, Spotify, The Weather Channel, and more, are all working properly. Netflix has occasionally been slow but Netflix always has problems and I can’t attribute the occasional slow down or random issues to the iOS 8.0.2 update. At least not yet.


Apps are opening up fast and I’ve yet to see a single one crash. Google Chrome, an app that crashes rather frequently on the iPhone 5, hasn’t crashed once on the iPad Air. I can’t explain what’s different between the iPad and iPhone updates but again, my app experience on the iPad is far more stable than that of the iPhone.

If you’re having issues with apps inside iOS 8.0.2 or below, update them. If an app doesn’t have support for iOS 8 yet, there’s a good chance that when that update arrives, it will smooth out some of your issues. Not all of them, but some of them. I keep automatic app updates on so that I don’t have to worry about manually updating. Something to think about going forward.

iOS 8.0.2 Battery Life

iOS 8.0.2 doesn’t seem to have any sort of impact on my iPad Air battery life, positive or negative. It’s about the same as it was inside iOS 8.0.1, iOS 8.0. and iOS 7.1.2. That is to say that it’s great.

I tend to use my iPad mostly at night though during the past two weeks I’ve tried to use it as much as possible to give those of you that are hardcore users some thoughts on its performance throughout an entire day. I can still get more than a full day out of the iPad Air when browsing the web, playing games, and answering emails. If you’re primarily using LTE, that could be part of your problem.


If you are experiencing problems, have a look at our fixes for common iOS 8 problems. These tricks might help you get more battery life out of your iPad Air and perhaps your other devices as well.

iOS 8.0.2 Wi-Fi, Cellular Data & Bluetooth

I have nothing new to report here. Wi-Fi is still working normally and I’ve been able to connect to all of my Bluetooth devices. I’ve heard about issues with both though I myself have not run into them.

It’s clear that there are iPad users of all shapes and sizes struggling with major Wi-Fi issues and Bluetooth problems. And while I can’t offer a cure all fix to you, our fixes for common iOS problems might be able to help.

Wi-Fi issues have been prevalent inside iOS for years, same goes for Bluetooth issues. In other words, you’ll want to investigate these temporary fixes because there’s a good chance that Apple will fail to address these in future iOS 8 updates.

Assorted iOS 8.0.2 Bugs & Issues

Smooth sailing thus far. Not even the landscape issue that I’ve detailed in my previous reviews has shown up on the iPad Air. iOS 8.0.2 on the iPad Air may not be flawless but I haven’t discovered any bugs or issues that have hampered my overall experience. It could be because I take of my device (installing updates, cleaning up unnecessary files, etc) or it could be that the iOS 8.0.2 update for iPad is more stable than the update for the iPhone.

iPad Air Review -  15

I’ve noticed a number of issues on my iPhones, some small, some large, but I haven’t run into anything on Apple’s tablet from last year. At least not yet. Bugs have a funny way to poking their head out in the weeks after an update’s release so I’m not in the clear yet.

iOS 8.0.2 Speed

iOS 8.0.2 is fast. Transitions and animations are still fast after two weeks and it’s a much smoother experience than iOS 8 on a device like the iPhone 5. I haven’t seen any random reboots or freezing and iOS 8 remains fast on Apple’s latest iPad.

Is iOS 8.0.2 Worth Installing?

While I’ve told iPhone 6 and iPhone 5 users to hold off, the iPad Air iOS 8.0.2 update appears stable enough to install. Those of you having issues in iOS 8.0 or below will want to consider it.

iPad Air Outdoors

If you’re having a fantastic experience in an older update, it might be worth holding out for a weeks. Apple’s expected to deliver an iOS 8.1 update, an update that’s currently in the beta process and one that comes with an assortment of bug fixes on board.