Last week, Apple rolled out its brand new iOS 8.1.2 update for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The company’s new iOS 8 upgrade is a bug fixer, aimed at squashing lingering iOS 8 problems. Over the past week, we’ve spent some quality time with Apple’s new software and today we want to share our full iPad Air iOS 8.1.2 review.
Several months ago, Apple pushed out its iOS 8 update with new features and enhancements in tow. Almost immediately, iOS 8 problems started plaguing owners of the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. This is typical of a major iOS update and we, and many others, expected Apple to push out an iOS 8.0.1 update shortly after its arrival.
Sure enough, Apple pushed out an iOS 8.0.1 update with assorted bug fixes on board though it did not have the intended results. While it did deliver some fixes, it also broke cellular connectivity and Touch ID for some users. These issues forced Apple to quickly go back to the drawing board and a day later, the company conjured up an iOS 8.0.2 update that tackled those problems and delivered the rest of the fixes to those that did not upgrade to iOS 8.0.1.
Apple’s worked hard to squash many of these iOS 8 problems. First, the company pushed out a massive iOS 8.1 bug fixer. Then, the company followed that up with an iOS 8.1.1 update that, unlike most smaller updates, went through the beta program. In our eyes, iOS 8.1.1 was the most stable iOS 8 yet though Apple’s work is not done.
Earlier this month, Apple pushed out an iOS 8.1.2 update with even more bug fixes on board. iOS 8.1.2 is a tiny update but as many of you know, the tiniest iOS updates can make a huge impact on performance. In fact, we’ve been hearing about iOS 8.1.2 problems for just about a week now.
With those in mind, I’ve been taking a look at Apple’s iOS 8.1.2 update on a number of devices including the first-gen iPad Air. Today, I want to offer some feedback to those that might be leery of the update and to those that are already on iOS 8.1.2. This is my full iOS 8.1.2 on iPad Air review and it will attempt to answer the question that we’ve received many times over in the past week: Is iOS 8.1.2 worth installing? Let’s find out.
iPad Air iOS 8.1.2 Review
Since Tuesday, I’ve spent a ton of time with iOS 8.1.2 on the first-generation iPad Air. For those that don’t know, I’ve owned the iPad Air since the day it came out back in the fall of 2013. 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 8.1.2 is worth installing on your iPad Air.
Up until last week’s iOS 8.1.2 update, my app experience on the iPad Air had been virtually flawless. And fortunately, that experience remains the same after a week with Apple’s new iOS 8 update on board. Much like my experiences on the iPhone 5 and iPhone 6, my app experience on the iPad Air is still extremely stable. That’s all you can really ask for when it comes to these incremental software updates.
I have about 50 applications installed on my iPad Air. I regularly use about half of them but for the sake of this review, I’ve tried to use as many of them as possible, as frequently as possible, over the past week. So far, my third-party applications are all behaving. Chrome still crashes on occasion and I still get the occasional crash in Spotify and Facebook but those are all minor issues and they don’t happen frequently.
Apps like Instagram, Slack, Asana, Google Hangouts, Twitter, Dark Sky, Amazon, Netflix are all are functioning as advertised with iOS 8.1.2 on board the iPad Air. App performance has been solid for several months now and I’m hopeful that app developers continue to work hard to keep that stability going. I’m optimistic given how well apps have cooperated with iOS 8.
Here’s the deal. If you are having issues with applications right now, with iOS 8.1.2 or something else on board, my suggestion is to go ahead and install as many bug fix updates as you possibly can. Most of the time, they are going to help. You would also be wise to switch automatic updates on. In another life, I used to forget to install bug fixers. Now, I don’t even have to think about it. Do that and you should be much better off.
iOS 8.1.2 Battery Life
Over the past year, I’ve installed every single iOS update that Apple’s released for the iPad Air. From iOS 7.1 to iOS 8.1.2, I’ve been through them all. Not once have I run into battery life issues. Battery life is still extremely solid after the iOS 8.1.2 update and I’ve yet to detect any major problems with the software itself or any of the applications that I have on board.
I haven’t noticed any weird battery drain, something that often happens after smaller updates like iOS 8.1.2. I haven’t noticed a drop in the standby charge that I am heavily dependent on. And I haven’t noticed any slow charging issues. It still charges like it did a year ago. I’ve heard from a few people that are talking about potential battery drain but I haven’t seen any widespread complaining which leads me to believe that battery life is relatively stable for most iPad Air users.
Remember, updates like iOS 8.1.2 aren’t supposed to bring battery life problems along with them. Typically, bad battery life is caused by third-party apps or by, well, you guys. I’ve outlined a number of strategies to get better battery life inside iOS 8 and the same advice applies to Apple’s latest iOS 8.1.2 update. Have a look at those if you install iOS 8.1.2 and you start noticing something suspicious.
There’s no guarantee that those fixes will work for you and your iPad Air but at the very least, I recommend monitoring your applications to see if they’re the problem. Apps like Facebook have been known so burn a ton of battery life while in use and there’s a chance that a rogue app is causing problems on your device.
Wi-Fi, LTE & Bluetooth
I don’t own an LTE version of the iPad Air so I can’t speak to connectivity there. What I can speak to though are the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections that I use on a regular basis.
My Wi-Fi connectivity is still fast and efficient. I’ve tested it on a variety of routers, both public and private, and I haven’t stumbled on slow connections or unstable connections. I’ve also been able to connect the iPad Air to an assortment of Bluetooth accessories including speakers. Fast and stable is the best way to describe the experience there.
Now, just because I’m not running into iOS 8.1.2 problems doesn’t mean that others aren’t. That’s why I’ve put together a list of possible fixes for these problems. They’re a good starting point for those of you seeking fixes but again, there’s always a chance that you’ll need to look elsewhere for the fix that works for you. If all else fails, take the device to an Apple Store or contact the manufacturer of your router.
Bugs & Issues
My iOS 8 experience on the iPad has been far more stable than my iOS 8 experience on the iPhone. While I’ve run into an assortment of bugs on my iPhones, my iPads have been holding up extremely well over the past few months. This is well documented.
That experience continues with iOS 8.1.2. I simply haven’t stumbled into any major headaches in the week after the update’s release and my iOS 8.1.2 update appears to be very stable. I haven’t noticed any major bugs and I haven’t run into any minor headaches either. I’ve looked all over the software for problems, in every nook and cranny I could find. Nothing.
That’s the thing about iOS bugs though. Not everyone sees them and often times, they take a few weeks to jump out. So while I’m not seeing any after a week, it’s possible that things will fall apart sometime in the next two weeks. I’m confident that there aren’t any major bugs lurking around. Those types of issues typically jump out right off the bat.
There are definitely some isolated issues affecting iPad users but nothing has impacted my iPad Air. Yet. If you do stumble into problems, have a look at our rundown of bug fixes for iOS 8.1.2 problems. These are a good starting point but you’ll probably also want to gather fixes from other places as well. Remember, fixes are never guaranteed to work.
I’ve never had any speed issues on the iPad Air and fortunately, iOS 8.1.2 does nothing to foul that up. The software is still extremely quick and fluid and I’ve yet to notice any significant slowdown. Lag can be a problem after iOS updates, even small ones like iOS 8.1.2, but I still haven’t see anything in the days after the update’s release.
Is iOS 8.1.2 for iPad Air Worth Installing?
After spending a week with iOS 8.1.2, I am confident that the software does not introduce any major issues to the iPad Air. iOS 8.1.2 appears to be a very stable update that simply builds on the stability introduced with iOS 8.1.1. If you are dealing with iOS 8.1.1 problems or problems in another version of iOS 8, you probably want to get this software on board.
If you’ve been sitting on iOS 7, waiting for a stable version of iOS 8 to arrive, I think iOS 8.1.2 is going to be a safe bet. There’s always a chance that something will go wrong, no matter how hard you prepare, but from where I am sitting, iOS 8.1.2 is an extremely solid update for Apple’s first-gen iPad Air.
I recommend gathering as much feedback as you can before installing. I am just one man with one iPad Air and you’ll probably want to seek out several opinions before installing Apple’s new software.