iOS 8.0.2 Review: Is It Worth Installing?

Nearly two weeks have passed since Apple pushed out its third iOS 8 update, an update that naturally is called iOS 8.0.2. Over the past week and a half, we’ve spent quality time with iOS 8.0.2 on iPhone and iPad and today, we want to help you answer that ever so important question: Is iOS 8.0.2 worth installing on iPhone or iPad?

In mid-September, after a stint in Apple’s beta program, the company released the iOS 8.0 update for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. As expected, the iOS 8 update delivered a number of big time changes including improvements to the Photos app, iMessage, battery usage, accessibility, and more. In addition to these features though, it also delivered iOS 8 problems to iPhone and iPad users.

We detailed many of these 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 iOS 8.0.1 and iOS 8.0.2.

Apple’s first bug fix update was iOS 8.0.1, an upgrade that rolled out in late September and one that immediately caused problems for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users. Cellular connectivity died and Touch ID stopped working for thousands of users around the world. Apple pulled the plug on iOS 8.0.1 and promised to issue a fix.

Just 24 hours later, Apple made good on its promise to fix those iOS 8.0.1 problems. In late September, Apple pushed out iOS 8.0.2, an update similar to iOS 8.0.1 but one that came with fixes for those iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus problems. Despite the arrival of Apple’s iOS 8.1 beta, iOS 8.0.2 remains the current iOS 8 update for iPhone and iPad users.

We continue to get bombarded with questions about Apple’s iOS 8.0.2 update, especially now that iOS 8.1 is out, and the most popular question revolves around whether or not it’s worth a download. Today, we want to help answer that question for you as we run down our experiences on top iPhones and iPads as we offer you a definitive answer to one of the most popular iOS questions: Is iOS 8.0.2 worth installing?

Let’s find out.

iOS 8.0.2 Review

Over the past week and a half, we’ve spent a ton of time with iOS 8.0.2. And while we’re confident, we should note that mileage is going to vary from device to device, person to person. We probably don’t have the same apps installed and there’s a good chance that we stream more movies, use more LTE, and play more games than you do.

Consider these short reviews a guide to your final decision about whether to update to iOS 8 or iOS 8.0.2 or not. Ultimately, the final decision rests in your hands.

iPhone 6

iOS 8.0.2 on iPhone 6, so far, has been very solid. As we noted in our review last week, we’ve stumbled upon some annoying issues like getting stuck in landscape mode but core iOS features (speed, battery life, apps, connectivity) have been performing well inside Apple’s brand new update.

We’ve been experiencing Bluetooth issues when trying to use iOS 8.0.2 in the car. This is a well documented bug inside iOS 8 and one that Apple could fix at some point down the road given its prominence. We’ve also seen this problem on one iPhone 6 Plus model though not the other. It’s strange to say the least though it does appear to be a widespread problem.

For those iPhone 6 users seeking more information, our full review will go over these core features in greater detail about Apple’s brand new iOS 8 update.

iPhone 6 Plus

Our iOS 8.0.2 experience on the iPhone 6 Plus has been much worse. The software continues to be problematic about a week and a half after its release and iOS 8.0.2 did not fix some of the iOS 8 problems that we stumbled into after installing the update in mid-September.

Here's a closer look at iOS 8.0.2 performance on the large iPhone 6 Plus.

Here’s a closer look at iOS 8.0.2 performance on the large iPhone 6 Plus.

One annoying bug that we’ve seen across iPhones is an issue that causes devices to get stuck in landscape model. The problems happens most frequently on the iPhone 6 Plus. We should note that it was a problem inside iOS 8 as well. Apps continue to freeze and crash on the iPhone 6 Plus in particular as well. Just about every single app on our iPhone 6 Plus has frozen or lagged at one point or another.

Fortunately, just about everything else is working fine. Cellular data, Wi-Fi, battery life, and speeds are all top notch inside iOS 8.0.2. For a more in depth look, have a look at our iOS 8.0.2 on iPhone 6 Plus review.

iPhone 5s

For the most part, iOS 8.0.2 on the iPhone 5s has been solid. Battery life is good, it’s still running very smoothly, and over 50 apps on board are all performing as they were inside iOS 8.0 and below. We have, however, noticed issues with Bluetooth and the same landscape issue that’s plaguing both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

Important details to know about the iPhone 5s iOS 8.0.2 update.

Important details to know about the iPhone 5s iOS 8.0.2 update.

Those looking for more details regarding iOS 8.0.2’s performance on the iPhone 5s will want to check out our full review that went up over the weekend. It will offer detailed insight into the things that iOS 8.0.2 does good and the things that iOS 8.0.2 does poorly.

iPhone 5

iOS 8.0.2 on the iPhone 5 is performing surprisingly well. Older devices typically falter after major updates so it was nice to see battery life, connectivity and iOS 7’s speed remain intact after Apple’s latest update.

We’ve seen some abnormalities inside iOS 8.0.2 though including keyboard lag, Mail app crashes, a random reboot out of nowhere, and the landscape issues that we simply cannot escape.

For more information on the iPhone 5’s iOS 8.0.2 update, see our full review.

iPad Air

While we’ve been having a number of issues on the iPhone, the iOS 8.0.2 experience on the iPad, particularly the newer iPads, has been a lot smoother. The iPad Air’s iOS 8.0.2 update is running beautifully and it has been a pleasure to use over the past week and a half. Take a look at our full review for more information about Apple’s latest update to its current 9.7-inch iPad.

iPad mini with Retina

Same goes for the iPad mini with Retina Display. It’s stable and reliable and everything (apps, battery life, connectivity, speed, and overall stability) are all up to snuff. The review reads pretty much the same as the iPad Air review but those still looking for more depth will want to take a look at our full length review of the software.

iPad 3

We haven’t posted our full iOS 8.0.2 for iPad 3 review just yet but what we can tell you is that the iPad 3 would probably benefit from a new iOS 8 update. Like the iOS 8.1 update that’s rumored for October. Battery life and connectivity are good but there’s an overall slowness that pervades the software after the iOS 8 update.

Should You Install iOS 8.0.2?

All of that sets up our response to your burning question about whether or not it’s worth installing iOS 8.0.2 at this time.

If you own an iPad Air or an iPad mini with Retina Display, you’re probably going to be in the best shape. Both of those iOS 8.0.2 updates are running very smoothly and we haven’t stumbled onto anything major in our week and a half with the software. If you’re having a terrible experience with iOS 8.0 or below, iOS 8.0.2 is probably worth an installation.

iPhone 6

Unless you’re dealing with a ton of iOS 8.0 issues or issues in iOS 7.1.2 or below, we recommend holding off on the iOS 8.0.2 update. While performance is good for the most part, there are a number of annoying bugs baked into Apple’s software. The Bluetooth issues appear to be indisputable at this point and they seem to have a hold on many iPhone users.

Those of you running a stable iOS 8.0 update or below need only wait a few weeks because it looks like Apple’s planning to push out an iOS 8.1 update sometime this month. The update is in the beta process and it’s release date has been rumored for mid-October.

Like iOS 8.0.2, it’s expected to deliver a number of bug fixes and that means there’s a good chance that it will be more stable than iOS 8.0.2.