Earlier this week, Apple delivered its brand new iOS 8.1.1 update for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Apple’s new iOS 8 update is a bug fixer, aimed at squashing iOS 8 problems and improving performance. We’ve spent some quality time with Apple’s new upgrade and today we want to present our full iPad Air iOS 8.1.1 review.
Several months ago, Apple rolled out its revamped operating system for iPhone and iPad dubbed iOS 8.0. iOS 8 is not the overhaul that last year’s iOS 7 update was but it still brings some important new features to the table including improved notifications, Apple Pay, big changes to iMessage, a new keyboard, and a whole lot more.
The update also delivered iOS 8 problems to iPhone and iPad users around the world and over the past few months, Apple’s slowly chipped away at the issues plaguing its new software. First, it rolled out iOS 8.0.1, an update that fixed some issues but left the company red faced after cellular data and Touch ID blunders. Next, it pushed out iOS 8.0.2, a bug fixer that fixed the problems from iOS 8.0.1.
After that, the company released the iOS 8.1 update, an update that arrived with a number of fixes and Apple Pay but one that also delivered some new problems to iPhone and iPad users. So, it was only a matter of time before the company pushed out another iOS 8.1 update and on Monday, that update arrived in the form of iOS 8.1.1.
iOS 8.1.1 is not a big update, it comes with fixes and enhancements, but as iPhone and iPad users know, small updates can have a huge impact on the overall performance of a device. That’s why we’ve been putting a tiny update through its paces over the past week and that’s why we want to offer up our thoughts on this update after extensive use.
Today, we offer up our iOS 8.1.1 review for iPad Air, last year’s 9.7-inch slate that’s still in the hands of millions of people around the world. This review will attempt to answer the question that we’ve received many times over in the past week: Is iOS 8.1.1 worth installing? Let’s find out.
iPad Air iOS 8.1.1 Review
From Monday up until now, I’ve spent a ton of time with iOS 8.1.1 on iPad Air. Before getting into this detailed review and my impressions, 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, play more games, and use my home screen more than you do. So, consider this a general guide as you try to decide whether iOS 8.1.1 is worth installing on your iPad.
App developers have done a good job updating their applications with support for iOS 8 and bug fixes to correct problems that emerged in the weeks after the iOS 8.0 release. The experience on my iPad Air has been nothing short of fantastic and that extends to the iOS 8.1.1 update. Over the past five days or so, I’ve yet to encounter any major issues with any of my applications.
That’s a testament to developer preparation and it probably helps that Apple stuck the iOS 8.1.1 update in the beta program for a few weeks just to be sure that the public release was going to be stable, not just for users, but for developers as well. Even problem applications like Netflix, a piece of software that’s been known to be problematic on iPad, is working flawlessly after the iOS 8.1.1 update.
Now, I can’t speak for every app on the App Store but I will say that I have over 50 apps on my iPad Air including apps like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Chrome. I also have top games like Monument Valley, Angry Birds, Tiny Wings, and others installed. None of the apps on my iPad Air have given me problems after this update. That’s big now that we’re a week in.
If you install iOS 8.1.1 and you encounter problems, you should consider installing the latest bug fix updates. They will almost certainly help deliver a better experience on your iPad. I have auto update turned on so that I never have to remember.
iOS 8.1.1 Battery Life
Battery life is a key component to a device like the iPad and fortunately, Apple’s delivered a superb experience in that area over the course of many iOS 7 and iOS 8 updates.
The iOS 8.1.1 has done nothing to negatively impact the battery life on my iPad Air. I’m still getting the same great all day battery life that I’ve gotten for more than a year now. I haven’t noticed any abnormal drain, the device charges as fast as it did with iOS 8.1 on board, and the device is still holding a quality charge in standby. The only complaint I have is that it didn’t give me a significant battery boost but beggars can’t be choosers.
That said, if you do struggle with battery life, and you might, I’ve cooked up some fixes that could help you overcome those struggles. If you decide to install iOS 8.1.1, it’d be wise to have those handy.
Wi-Fi & Bluetooth
I don’t own an LTE model so I can’t speak to cellular data but what I can speak to are Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Both essential to the iPad experience. Over the past five days, I haven’t noticed any problems with either connection. Wi-Fi is strong and stable and Bluetooth is still connecting normally. That’s not the case for some iPad users though.
I’ve heard from several iPad Air users that are dealing with Wi-Fi problems, Bluetooth problems or both. If you do encounter these, in iOS 8.1.1 or something else, be sure to check out our list of possible fixes before throwing the device against the wall. You also might want to consider upgrading your router if you’re consistently having problems. Newer devices and new iOS updates have been known to present difficulties for those with older routers.
Bugs & Issues
This is going to sound crazy to a lot of you but it’s the honest truth. Over the past five days or so, I still haven’t run into any noticeable bugs or issues on board the software. That’s not to say that there aren’t any bugs on board the software, there might be, I’m just saying that I haven’t noticed any abnormalities in my time with the update.
iOS bugs have a habit of showing up late so it’s possible that I’ll run into something a little later on this month. Who knows. For the moment though, iOS 8.1.1 appears to be a very stable update and that’s exactly what you want from an incremental update. Again, if you’re dealing with iOS 8 problems, have a look at our potential fixes.
Speed is also an essential piece of the puzzle and the iPad Air remains very fast and fluid with iOS 8.1.1 on board. Animations are snappy, transitions are smooth and the overall feel of the software is, in a word, fast. It zips around like it should. I’ve yet to encounter any sluggishness or slow down after getting the iOS 8.1.1 update on board.
Is iOS 8.1.1 for iPad Air Worth Installing?
If you’re struggling with issues on iOS 8.1 or below, you probably want to at least think about installing this update right now. It comes with bug fixes and it doesn’t appear to break anything on its own. If you’re not struggling, and you’re already on iOS 8.1, you can take your time. There’s really no rush. I haven’t noticed any big differences between the two.