With the iOS 8.4.1 release date getting closer and Apple not expected to reveal a release date ahead of time, we want to take an updated look at what we expect from Apple’s upcoming iOS 8.4.1 release for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.
In June, Apple rolled out an iOS 8.4 update for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The update delivered a number of bug fixes, enhancements and its new Apple Music platform. With an iOS 9 update confirmed for the fall, some believed that the iOS 8.4 release would be Apple’s last iOS 8 upgrade.
Shortly after iOS 8.4’s release, Apple confirmed a new iOS 8 update dubbed iOS 8.4.1. The update is currently in the company’s developer beta and it continues to inch closer to its unknown release date. Apple rarely rolls out the red carpet for small incremental updates and we don’t expect Apple to outline the iOS 8.4.1 release in detail ahead of time.
With iOS 8.4 problems continuing to emerge and an iOS 9 release getting closer, many iPhone and iPad users are curious about Apple’s iOS 8.4.1 update. With eyes starting to shift from iOS 8.4 to iOS 8.4.1, we want to make some final predictions about the iOS 8.4.1 release.
Our goal here is to help set your expectations regarding the iOS 8.4.1 update. It’s something that Apple probably won’t do.
No More iOS 8.4.1 Betas
Last week, Apple released a new iOS 8.4.1 beta 2 to developers in its paid beta program. Over the past few days we’ve learned that the iOS 8.4.1 beta 2 isn’t much different than the iOS 8.4.1 beta 1.
Developers have had a hard time tracking down changes in the latest beta. To us, it’s a sign that the iOS 8.4.1 release is probably getting closer.
At this point, we’d be surprised if Apple released another iOS 8.4.1 beta ahead of the update’s release. If an iOS 9 release wasn’t on the horizon the call might be a little different but with an iOS 9 release rumored for September, we wouldn’t be surprised if Apple wants its beta testers (and engineers) to stay focused on iOS 9 and its problems. And there are a lot of problems plaguing the iOS 9 beta.
We’d be surprised if there was another iOS 8.4.1 beta before its release. A month in testing is a lot for an update that doesn’t seem to be much more than a maintenance release.
Few iOS 8.4.1 Rumors, If Any
While we typically see rumors about larger iOS updates (iOS 9, iOS 8.3 for example), smaller incremental updates typically don’t get the same kind of treatment ahead of time. Don’t expect a flood of iOS 8.4.1 rumors to emerge ahead of time.
iOS 8.4.1 Release Date in August
It’s extremely difficult to predict incremental iOS release dates because their release is dependent on Apple and testing behind the scenes. Our best guess at this point is that Apple will release the iOS 8.4.1 update by late August.
Apple typically puts a few days in between beta releases so we’re expecting the iOS 8.4.1 beta 2 to stick around for the moment so that developers and Apple can ensure a smooth transition from iOS 8.4.
A release by late August also puts some space between it and the iOS 9 update that’s expected to roll out sometime between September 8th and September 28th.
It wouldn’t surprise us if Apple used the iOS 8.4.1 release to take some wind out of Samsung’s sails. The company has a Galaxy Note 5 launch coming up in a few days (August 13th) and a new iOS update could take some attention away from its big announcements.
With the update seemingly ready for public consumption (developers haven’t found major issues with the beta 2), we’d be surprised if the release missed August.
Bug Fixes: General & Apple Music
If the public iOS 8.4.1 release is anything like the iOS 8.4.1 beta, the change log is going to be pretty barren. So far, developers have been unable to spot much and that points to iOS 8.4.1 being a small maintenance release for iOS 8 powered phones and tablets.
We do not expect iOS 8.4.1 to bring any major features to iPhones, iPads or iPod touches ahead of the iOS 9 release. Our best guess at this point is that it will focus on two things. Bug fixes and security updates.
We’d expect iOS 8.4.1 to include few bug fixes on board as Apple ties up loose ends ahead of the iOS 9 release. iOS 8 is stable now but there are still iOS 8 problems out there.
iOS 8.4 users have been pointing out numerous flaws in Apple’s new Music application. We wouldn’t be surprised if Apple’s iOS 8.4.1 update focuses on Apple Music problems.
We also expect Apple to deliver security enhancements. Apple’s iOS updates almost always come with a lengthy list of security patches and we should see iOS 8.4.1 deliver some changes there.
Broken iOS 8.4 Jailbreak
Right now, we’re expecting the iOS 8.4.1 update to kill the iOS 8.4 jailbreak. This isn’t confirmed but we’d be surprised if it didn’t plug up the exploits used by the TaiG iOS 8.4 jailbreak.
Those of you who want a new version of iOS 8 to pair with a jailbreak would be wise to upgrade to iOS 8.4 in the near future. And if you’re already on iOS 8.4, we’d be very careful when iOS 8.4.1 arrives.
No Home Sharing for Music for iOS
Apple killed its Home Sharing for Music for iOS devices with its iOS 8.4 update. The company promised to bring it back with iOS 9 and the latest iOS 9 beta brought the feature back into the fold.
iOS 8.4.1 beta 2 didn’t come with the feature and because of that, we’d be surprised if the feature returned before the release of iOS 9. We hope we’re wrong though.
iOS 8.4.1 Release Time Around 9AM PST
We doubt Apple will change up its release protocol with a small iOS 8 update. The iOS 8.4.1 update will almost certainly arrive sometime between Monday and Friday at or around 9AM PST. We don’t expect any big surprises here.
Isolated iOS 8.4.1 Problems
After many iOS 8 updates and iOS 8 betas, Apple’s iOS 8 has stabilized for most people and most devices. Users on iOS 8.4 and below are still encountering some problems but the problems that we’ve seen are isolated. We haven’t seen any widespread problems emerge, at least not lately.
We expect Apple and the iOS 8.4.1 beta to catch the update’s biggest problems ahead of release. We don’t expect them to catch every single problem though. We’ll almost certainly see iOS 8.4.1 problems emerge though our expectation is that they will all be isolated to a small group of people.
You always assume some risk installing a new iOS update on your device and that’s why we recommend doing some prep work for the iOS 8.4.1 update. We’ve put together a game plan that focuses on some things to do before installing iOS 8.4.1 and some things to do on the update’s release day.
Excellent Performance on Most Devices
We’re expecting iOS 8.4.1 to deliver an excellent performance on the latest devices in Apple’s arsenal.
iOS 8.3 and iOS 8.4 treated devices like the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and iPad Air extremely well and we just can’t see a tiny update, especially one going through a beta, killing performance on Apple’s newest devices.
We expect iOS 8.4.1 to be solid on the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 5s, iPad Air 2, iPad Air, iPad mini 3, and probably the iPad mini 2 as well. We expect battery life, connectivity, app performance, and UI speed to hold on these iPhones and iPads.
We expect performance on older devices to be a little more mixed but we still expect a majority of iPhone 5, iPhone 4s and iPad 2 users to come out of the iOS 8.4.1 update feeling good. Apple’s initial iOS 8 releases were a little unstable on older devices but the software has stabilized with the past three iOS 8 updates.
Last iOS 8 Update
We wouldn’t expect an iOS 8.4.2 update unless Apple manages to bungle the iOS 8.4.1 release. We’d expect iOS 9 to follow iOS 8.4.1.