The iOS 11.2 update delivers a long list of new features and fixes, but its also brought problems to many iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch owners.
If you’re upgrading from the iOS 11.2 update, your version of iOS 11.2.1 comes with a short change log and a tiny download. iOS 11.2.1 is only a few MB for the iPhone X, iPhone 7, and others.
If you’re upgrading from an older version of iOS 11, your iOS 11.2.1 update will be much larger thanks to the updates you skipped. If you skipped iOS 11.2, your iOS 11.2.1 update will be several hundred MB.
iOS 11.2.1 is a small download, but it could have a significant impact on your device’s performance. You could see a performance boost, but there’s a chance you’ll encounter problems. Current issues include severe battery drain, abnormal amounts of lag, and issues with first and third-party applications.
Our guide to iOS 11.2.1 includes our impressions of iOS 11.2.1 on the iPhone and iPad, information about the iOS 11.2.1 downgrade, and a look at what’s next in Apple’s iOS 11 pipeline.
iOS 11.2.1 Review
If you’re currently running iOS 11.2, you should be able to download and install the iOS 11.2.1 update in less than 10 minutes.
The iOS 11.2.1 update is just a few megabytes for most devices. The iPhone X iOS 11.2.1 update is just 68.7 MB. It’s about the about the same on the iPhone 7, iPhone SE, and many others.
All in all it took about 7 minutes for the download and installation to complete on the iPhones and iPads in our possession.
If you’re moving up from an older version of iOS , you can expect a long download time and a lengthier installation. Remember, the features and fixes from the iOS updates you skipped are baked into iOS 11.2.1.
For more on the exact timing for your device, take a look at our walkthrough.
We haven’t noticed a sharp drop in battery life on the iPhone or iPad. We haven’t noticed any issues with Bluetooth or Wi-Fi and we were able to connect to our routers, eero, headsets and speakers.
Our core apps are performing fine and we haven’t noticed any catastrophic issues with popular apps like Slack, Asana, Gmail, Chrome, or Spotify.
We have stumbled upon significant amounts of user interface lag on older devices like the iPhone 5s and iPhone 6. Animations are often choppy. We experienced the same on iOS 11.2 and iOS 11.1.2.
While most people should install iOS 11.2.1, those of you using older devices should proceed with caution.
If you need additional feedback about iOS 11.2.1, take a look at our reasons to, and not to, install the iOS 11.2.1 update on your device right now.
We’ve put together mini iOS 11.2.1 reviews and you can find them at these links for the iPhone X, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6, iPhone 5s, iPhone SE, and the iPad Air 2, iPad Air, and iPad mini 2.
iOS 11.2.1: What’s New
iOS 11.2.1 doesn’t come with a massive change log like iOS 11.2. The list of changes is short and focused on fixing issues plaguing the company’s HomeKit platform.
iOS 11.2 users discovered a zero-day iOS HomeKit vulnerability inside iOS 11.2. The vulnerability allows for unauthorized control of accessories including garage door openers and smart locks.
Apple rolled out a server-side fix last week, but the company’s restored full functionality with the release of iOS 11.2.1 for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
The iOS 11.2.1 update also fixes an autofocus issue on some iPhone X, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus models. We didn’t notice the issue on iOS 11.2, but some users noticed their camera was unable to focus properly while running the previous version of iOS 11.
iOS 11.2.1 Problems
The iOS 11.2.1 update is a bug fix update, but it’s causing issues for many iOS 11 users.
iPhone and iPad users are complaining about installation and download issues, issues connecting to Bluetooth, weird battery drain, and problems with apps. We’re also hearing about issues with Touch ID, Face ID, lag, and Wi-Fi.
If you’re noticing iOS 11.2.1 issues on your phone or tablet, take a peek at our list of fixes for common iOS 11 problems. We’ve also released tips to improve iOS 11 performance and tips to improve iOS 11 battery life on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
If you can’t find a fix for your issue, you can try downgrading to an older version of iOS 11.
Apple is currently signing off on just one version of iOS 11: iOS 11.2. This means you can drop back to it if iOS 11.2.1’s problems are too much to handle.
Unfortunately, there’s no going back to anything older than iOS 11.2. Apple’s permanently closed off the other downgrade loopholes.
iOS 11.2.1 Jailbreak
Jailbreak developers recently released a working iOS 11 jailbreak for iOS 11.0-iOS 11.1.2. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with Cydia and it’s incompatible with iOS 11.2, iOS 11.2.1 and iOS 11.2.5.
If you’re currently jailbroken on iOS 10 or below or you think you might want to jailbreak your phone or tablet, you’ll want to avoid iOS 11.2, iOS 11.2.1, and iOS 11.2.5.
For more on the iOS 11 jailbreak status, take a look at our roundup.
It looks like Apple might skip over iOS 11.2.2, iOS 11.2.3, and iOS 11.2.4 in favor of iOS 11.2.5.
The company’s confirmed an iOS 11.2.5 update and the software is currently in beta ahead of an unknown release date. It’s unclear why the company has jumped ahead two versions.
We assume the name could be a placeholder in case Apple releases additional bug fix updates.
The iOS 11.2.5 update appears to have more than just fixes and patches on board. It should bring upgrades to Siri and it could deliver Apple’s long-awaited AirPlay 2 solution.
We expect iOS 11.2.5 to roll out alongside the new HomePod speaker so keep an eye out for its release as we push into the new year.
Install iOS 11.3.1 for Better Security
Apple's iOS 11.3.1 update comes with four known security patches for all iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch models capable of running iOS 11.
If you skipped iOS 11.3, your iOS 11.3.1 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 11.3.1 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 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 11.3.1.
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.
If you're on iOS 11.2.1, your iOS 11.3.1 update includes security improvements to Safari and WebKit to mitigate the effects of Spectre. If you're running an older version of iOS, your iOS 11.3.1 update will come with a lot more.
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 11.3.
If you skipped iOS 11.2, you'll get a few more patches with your iOS 11.3.1 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 11.3.1 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 11.3.1 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 11.3.1 update will come with even more security 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 skipped older versions of iOS, your iOS 11.3.1 update will come with an even longer list of security patches.
Apple's iOS 10.3.3 update delivered 24 security patches addressing potential issues with Contacts, Messages, Notifications, and Safari. It also included a patch for a potentially dangerous Wi-Fi exploit called "Broadpwn."
If you skipped iOS 10.3.2 you'll get 23 additional patches with iOS 11.3.1. And if for some reason you missed iOS 10.3, you'll get 60 security patches with your iOS 11.3.1 update.
If you want to protect the data you store on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you should make your move to iOS 11 and iOS 11.3.1 soon.
This is particularly important for those of you running older versions of iOS.