The highly anticipated iOS 11.1 update for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch is finally live and Apple’s first milestone upgrade delivers a mix of new features, fixes, and security updates.
Apple continues to refine iOS 11 and its latest release delivers a long list of exciting changes including new emoji characters for the iOS keyboard, a fix for a Reachability dock overlap issue, the return of the 3D Touch App Switcher gesture, and a fix for a serious Wi-Fi vulnerability called KRACK (Key Reinstallation Attack).
The iOS 11.1 update is a milestone upgrade which means it’s a significant download for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users. The iOS 11.1 update is 200-400MB for those upgrading from iOS 11.0.3.
If you’re currently running an older version of iOS, your download will be bigger due to the features and fixes you skipped along the way. The features and fixes from the update’s you missed are baked into your version of iOS 11.1.
If you’re upgrading to iOS 11 for the first time, you can expect a pretty substantial iOS 11.1 download.
The iOS 11.1 update is an exciting release, but we’re already hearing about problems. Some users are reporting iOS 11.1 installation issues, others are reporting immediate battery drain and issues connecting to Bluetooth devices.
Our iOS 11.1 update walkthrough goes over the most important things to know, right now, about the iOS 11.1 update. It includes our impressions of the iOS 11.1 update on the iPhone, a brief look at early iOS 11.1 problems, fixes for iOS 11.1 problems, the iOS 11 downgrade, and what you can expect from Apple going forward.
iOS 11.1 Review
The iOS 11.1 is the first iOS 11 milestone upgrade and that means iPhone, iPad and iPod touch owners are looking at a pretty significant download.
The iOS 11.1 update is 305MB for the iPhone 7 if you’re coming to it from iOS 11.0.3. The iOS 11.1 update is 312MB for the iPhone 7 Plus, 329MB for the iPhone 8, and 246MB for the iPhone SE. It’s a 250MB download for new iPhone X users.
The download should only take you a few moments provided you’re connected to a high-speed Wi-Fi network. The installation will likely take between 5-10 minutes.
If you are updating from an older version of iOS 11 or iOS 10, your download size will be bigger and you installation could take a lot longer. For more on timing, take a look at our walkthrough.
We’re currently running iOS 11.1 on the iPhone 8, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 6s, and iPhone SE. We’ve only been using it for a few minutes, but here are a few thoughts about its performance.
We didn’t run into any installation issues on any of our devices. If you want to install the iOS 11.1 update right now, you should be able to do so without long download times.
Battery life is holding up right now. We haven’t noticed any weird battery drain on any of our iPhones. Connectivity (LTE, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi) is also strong.
We haven’t noticed a decline in app performance though it’s still very early. UI speed appears to be good across the board. We noticed a bit of keyboard lag on the iPhone SE, but it’s disappeared.
iOS 11.1 feels stable right now, but that could definitely change down the road and you’ll want to approach the update with caution.
If you need additional feedback about iOS 11.1 and iOS 11, take a look at our reasons to, and not to, install the iOS 11.1 update on your device right now.
We’re in the process of updating our mini iOS 11 reviews. Once they’re live, you’ll be able to find them here for the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 5s, iPhone SE, and the iPad Air 2, iPad Air, and iPad mini 2.
iOS 11.1: What’s New
The iOS 11.1 update is more than just a collection of bug fixes and security patches. Apple’s latest iOS 11 update brings some new features to iOS 11 users.
The most exciting change for most iOS users are the new emoji characters. iOS 11.1 delivers more than 50 new emojis and also includes a long list of redesigned characters.
Unfortunately, only iOS 11.1 users can see these emojis. Friends and family on iOS 11.0.3 or below will see a series of lines or a rectangle with a question mark in place of the new emoji characters.
The iOS 11.1 update fixes a Wi-Fi vulnerability called KRACK (Key Reinstallation Attack), an exploit that targets the common WPA2 encryption protocol.
In addition, it comes with a fix for an annoying Reachability issue and it restores the 3D Touch App Switcher gesture that disappeared when Apple released iOS 11 in September. Those are just a few of the highlights, here’s Apple’s full iOS 11.1 change log:
The iOS 11.1 update fails to deliver the company’s new Apple Pay Cash program. Apple employees were testing the service on a special iOS 11.1 beta, but it looks like it still isn’t ready for primetime.
For more on iOS 11.1 and its changes, take a look at our in depth iOS 11 walkthrough. It’ll take you through the key differences between iOS 11.1 and the previous versions of iOS.
iOS 11.1 Problems
We’re (currently) having a solid experience on iOS 11.1, but others are running into trouble with Apple’s latest iOS 11 update. Some of these issues carried over from the iOS 11.1 beta, others carried over from previous versions of iOS. Some of them are new.
iPhone and iPad users are noticing installation problems, Bluetooth problems, weird battery drain, issues with first and third-party applications, Wi-Fi issues, and UI lag.
If you’re already noticing bugs or problems, take a look at our list of fixes for the most common iOS 11 problems. Our list covers abnormal battery drain, Bluetooth issues, and more.
iOS 11.1 Downgrade
If the iOS 11.1 update starts acting up on your device, you can downgrade to an older version of iOS 11.
As of right now you can drop back down to iOS 11.0.1, iOS 11.0.2, or iOS 11.0.3. Downgrading to one of these updates will cause you to lose access to iOS 11.1’s features, but it could improve your device’s overall performance.
Apple’s closed off the iOS 11.0 and iOS 10 downgrades which means there’s no going back to iOS 10. If you’ve already moved your device to iOS 11, you’re stuck.
The company will stop signing off on iOS 11.0.1, iOS 11.0.2 and iOS 11.0.3 so those of you interested in downgrading will need to move quickly. Apple won’t make an announcement ahead of time and these loopholes could close at any time.
Our iOS 11.1 downgrade guide will take you step-by-step through the process.
The iOS 11.1 update fixes some of iOS 11’s more annoying issues, but it’s far from perfect. Unfortunately, it could be a few days before we get a new bug fix update from Apple.
Apple hasn’t confirmed an iOS 11.1.1 update though a release is certainly possible. Apple’s first three iOS 11 bug fix updates arrived without any warning from Apple.
An iOS 11.1.1 release is up in the air, but Apple will release an iOS 11.2 update for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Apple recently released put its second milestone iOS 11 update into beta testing.
Apple hasn’t confirmed an iOS 11.2 release date, but it could arrive in December alongside the company’s new HomePod speaker.
The iOS 11.2 introduces SiriKit for the HomePod. It also includes performance improvements and bug fixes for lingering iOS 11 problems.
If you’re dealing with iOS 11 problems, be on the lookout for new iOS 11.2 betas as we push through the fall. Apple will likely tack on additional fixes and tweaks to the beta.
Install iOS 11.4.1 for Better Security
Apple's iOS 11.4.1 update comes with 15 patches for potential security issues. If you value your security, you should think about installing it today.
iOS 11.4.1 also comes with a USB Restricted Mode that disables the Lightning port on your iPhone or iPad if a device hasn't been unlocked or connected to a computer using a passcode within a certain amount of time.
The new setting is located in Settings > Face ID/Touch ID & Passcode. There you’ll see a new toggle for USB Accessories. It's toggled off by default.
This provides an added layer of protection and prevents the use of cracking tools like GrayKey.
If you skipped iOS 11.4, your iOS 11.4.1 update comes with 30+ patches aimed at improving your device's security. This makes it an essential download for most iPhone and iPad users.
If you missed any of Apple's previous iOS updates, your iOS 11.4.1 update comes with a lot more.
If you skipped iOS 11.3.1, your version of iOS 11.4.1 comes with iOS 11.3.1's four security patches.
If you skipped iOS 11.3, your iOS 11.4.1 update comes with 27 additional patches for potential exploits. Those of you lingering on iOS 11.2.6 would be wise to make the move sooner rather than later.
If you missed iOS 11.3, your iOS 11.4.1 update also includes a new privacy feature. When an Apple feature wants to use your personal information, an icon now appears with a link to access detailed information about how your data will be used and protected.
If you're running iOS 11.2.5 or older, you're currently exposed to an issue that lets people send a specific character that will crash an iOS-powered device and block access to the Messages app. It can also block apps like Facebook Messenger, Gmail, Outlook, and WhatsApp.
The iOS 11.2.6 update's main purpose was to patch up this issue. If you skipped iOS 11.2.6, you'll get these enhancements with iOS 11.4.1.
If you're running iOS 11.2.2 or below and receive a certain GitHub link through your Messages app, your iPhone or iPad can lockup or respring. The Messages app will also become unusable.
Apple's iOS 11.2 update fixed several problems, but it also brought problems of its own including a potentially nasty zero-day iOS HomeKit vulnerability.
The vulnerability, discovered by Tian Zhang, allowed for unauthorized control of HomeKit accessories including garage door openers and smart locks.
Apple quickly rolled out a server-side fix, but the company restored full functionality with the release of iOS 11.2.1. If you skipped iOS 11.2.1 and use HomeKit, you should download iOS 11.4.1 right now.
If you skipped iOS 11.2, you'll get a few more patches with your iOS 11.4.1 update. Apple's iOS 11.2 update delivered 11 patches including one for Mail and one for Wi-Fi.
The iOS 11.2 and iOS 11.2.1 updates also patched up a widespread security issue called "Meltdown." Apple says its analysis suggests it "has the most potential to be exploited."
Meltdown affects all iOS 11 powered devices so we highly recommend downloading iOS 11.4.1 if you skipped iOS 11.2.
If you skipped iOS 11.1.2, iOS 11.1.1, and iOS 11.1, you'll get additional patches with your iOS 11.4.1 update.
The iOS 11.1 update delivered eight security patches including a fix for a serious Wi-Fi vulnerability called KRACK or Key Reinstallation Attack. KRACK is an exploit that targets the common WPA2 encryption protocol.
If you're just now making to move from iOS 10 (or whatever you're on) to iOS 11, your iOS 11.4.1 update will come with even more security-related features.
In iOS 11 you can't establish trust with a PC using fingerprints alone. You'll also need to put in a full passcode in order to gain that trust.
If you want to protect the data you store on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you should make your move to the latest version of iOS. This is particularly important for those of you running older versions of iOS.
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