Apple’s pushed an iOS 14.8.1 update to the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus and the point upgrade could have a big impact on your device’s performance.
The iPhone 6s iOS 14.8.1 update is a very small upgrade. The new firmware brings important security patches to both of these devices.
Many users have already made the jump to iOS 14.8.1 which means we’re getting a lot of feedback about the software’s performance. A lot of the feedback is good, but we’ve also heard about various bugs and performance issues.
If you decide to install iOS 14.8.1 on your iPhone, note that it requires a fairly small download if your device is currently running iOS 14.8.
If you’re running an older version of iOS on your iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus, your download will likely be much larger because the features and fixes from iOS updates you skipped are baked in.
With that in mind, we want to take you through the most important things to know, right now, about the iPhone 6s iOS 14.8.1 update.
- iPhone 6s iOS 14.8.1 Review
- You Should Prepare for iOS 14.8.1
- iPhone 6s iOS 14.8.1 Problems
- How to Fix iPhone 6s iOS 14.8.1 Problems
- How to Downgrade iPhone 6s Software
- iPhone 6s iOS 14.8.1 Changes
- Next Software Update for iPhone 6s
- iPhone 6s iOS 14.8.1 Jailbreak
Our walkthrough will take you through the software’s initial problems, the downgrade status, the iOS 14 jailbreak, and the iPhone 6 iOS 14.8.1 update’s performance.
We’ll start with the software’s performance. We’ve been testing iOS 14.8.1 on the iPhone 6s update for a few days now and here’s what we’ve learned thus far.
iPhone 6s iOS 14.8.1 Impressions & Performance
We installed iOS 14.8.1 on an iPhone 6s that was previously running iOS 14.8. The download and installation took around nine minutes to complete.
iOS 14.8.1 is currently running well. Animations and transitions are snappy and apps open up quickly. While the user interface would sometimes lag on early versions of iOS 14, that hasn’t been the case on iOS 14.8.1.
We haven’t noticed any lag in problem areas like Control Center or Notification Center. That said, we have seen the occasional hangup when using the keyboard in Messages.
Battery life is currently stable. We haven’t seen any abnormal battery drain and that’s a really good sign as we push away from the release.
Our core applications, which include Slack, Asana, Spotify, Chrome, and Gmail, are all stable. Developers are still rolling out iOS 14 support updates so if you’re having issues with one of your apps, make sure you’re running the latest version.
iOS 14.8.1 is running smoothly on our device. We haven’t run into any game-changing bugs or performance issues, but we’ll let you know if that changes in the days ahead.
Given what’s on board, we recommend iOS 14.8.1 to most iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus users. If you’re feeling leery, have a look at our reasons to, and not to, install iOS 14.8.1 right now.
You Should Prepare for iOS 14.8.1
If you plan to install iOS 14.8.1 in the near future, make sure you prepare yourself, and the device, for the move.
While some of you might see a performance boost after moving up from your current version of iOS, others will run into trouble. This is why it’s important to prepare.
If you don’t know where to start, we’ve released a pre-installation guide that will take you step-by-step through the process we typically use before we install new iOS software on our iPhones. If you’re new to the iPhone and iOS, or you just want to play it safe, it could help.
At the very least you’ll want to make sure all of your data is backed up before installing new firmware on your phone.
iPhone 6s iOS 14.8.1 Problems
We haven’t run into any major issues during our time on iOS 14.8.1, but some iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus users have.
The current list of iOS 14 problems includes abnormal battery drain, UI lag, issues with first and third-party apps, Touch ID issues, touchscreen problems, Exchange issues, Wi-Fi issues, Bluetooth problems, and more.
If you’re nervous about the current state of iOS 14 problems, you might want to hang back and wait for Apple’s next batch of bug fixes.
How to Fix iPhone 6s iOS 14.8.1 Problems
If you run into an issue on your current version of iOS 14, be it iOS 14.8.1 or an older version, you might be able to fix the problem(s) on your own.
If you don’t know where to look, our list of fixes for the most common iOS 14 problems is a great place to start.
If you start noticing horrendous battery life after the move to iOS 14.8.1, our tips should help you improve battery life going forward.
And if you’re experiencing bad performance (lag, slow download speeds, etc), take a look at our guide to fixing bad iOS 14 performance.
iOS 14.8 Downgrade Closed
If you move your iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus to iOS 14.8.1, and you run into bugs or performance issues, note that you no longer have the ability to downgrade your phone’s software.
Apple stopped signing on iOS 14.8 which means you can’t drop your iPhone 6s’ software back to the previous version of iOS 14 in an attempt to improve its performance.
You can’t drop back to iOS 14.7.1, iOS 14.7, iOS 14.6, iOS 14.5.1, iOS 14.5, iOS 14.4.2, iOS 14.4.1, iOS 14.4, iOS 14.3, iOS 14.2, iOS 14.1, iOS 14.0.1, iOS 14.0 or iOS 13 either.
So if you’re currently weighing a move to iOS 14.8.1, and you’re having an excellent experience, proceed with caution. Once you move your iPhone to the latest software, there’s no getting back.
If you’re unfamiliar with the downgrade process, take a look at our guide.
iPhone 6s iOS 14.8.1 Update: What’s New
The iOS 14.8.1 update brings 12 security patches to the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. It doesn’t have any known bug fixes or features on board.
If you want to learn more about iOS 14.8.1’s patches, head on over to Apple’s security site.
If you missed Apple’s iOS 14.8 update, you’ll get its security patches with your upgrade. You can learn more about them over on Apple’s website.
If you skipped the iPhone 6s’ iOS 14.7.1 update you’ll get a fix for an issue where iPhone models with Touch ID couldn’t unlock a paired Apple Watch using the Unlock with iPhone feature with your upgrade.
iOS 14.7.1 also delivered a new security patch and you can read all about it over on Apple’s security site.
If you skipped iOS 14.8, iOS 14.7.1 and iOS 14.7, iOS 14.8 will bring iOS 14.7’s features, bug fixes, and patches to your iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus. Some of the highlights include upgrades to the Weather app, Apple Card, and Podcasts.
If you skipped iOS 14.6, you’ll get its changes with your upgrade to iOS 14.8.1. iOS 14.6 brought new features to the iPhone including support for Apple Card Family, upgrades to the Podcasts app, and enhancements for AirTag users.
The software also included bug fixes and 30+ security patches to help protect the devices from harm. If you’re interested in the particulars, check out our guide.
If you skipped iOS 14.5.1, you’ll get its changes with iOS 14.8.1. iOS 14.5.1 was a small maintenance upgrade for the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus and it carried three changes: One bug fix and two security patches.
The bug fix is a remedy for an issue with App Tracking Transparency where some users who previously disabled Allow Apps to Request to Track in Settings may not receive prompts from apps after re-enabling it.
The two security patches are related to WebKit and you can read more about them over on Apple’s security site.
If you skipped iOS 14.5, you’ll get its changes with your upgrade. iOS 14.5 was a huge upgrade for the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. If you’re interested in the particulars, have a look at our list that covers the best features.
If you skipped iOS 14.4.2, you’ll also get its security patch with your upgrade to iOS 14.8.1. If you’re interested, you can read about right here.
If you’re moving up from iOS 14.4, you’ll also get iOS 14.4.1’s security patch with your upgrade. You can learn more about that change on Apple’s security website.
If you skipped iOS 14.8, iOS 14.7.1, iOS 14.7, iOS 14.6, iOS 14.5.1, iOS 14.5, iOS 14.4.2, iOS 14.4.1 and iOS 14.4, you’ll get iOS 14.4’s features and fixes with your upgrade. Our guide goes over those changes.
If you skipped iOS 14.8, iOS 14.7.1, iOS 14.7, iOS 14.6, iOS 14.5.1, iOS 14.5, iOS 14.4.2, iOS 14.4.1, iOS 14.4, and iOS 14.3, you’ll get iOS 14.3’s changes with iOS 14.8.1. iOS 14.3 also had a blend of new features and enhancements and you can learn more about the milestone upgrade in our walkthrough.
If you skipped iOS 14.8, iOS 14.7.1, iOS 14.7, iOS 14.6, iOS 14.5.1, iOS 14.5, iOS 14.4.2, iOS 14.4.1, iOS 14.4, iOS 14.3, and iOS 14.2, you’ll get iOS 14.2’s features and fixes with your upgrade. Learn more about iOS 14.2’s changes in our guide.
If you skipped iOS 14.8, iOS 14.7.1, iOS 14.7, iOS 14.6, iOS 14.5.1, iOS 14.5, iOS 14.4.2, iOS 14.4.1, iOS 14.4, iOS 14.3, iOS 14.2, and iOS 14.1, you get iOS 14.1’s bug fixes with your upgrade. If you’re interested, you can read more them in our roundup.
If for some reason you’re moving up from iOS 14.0, you’ll also get iOS 14.0.1’s bug fixes with your upgrade. Here’s what iOS 14.0.1 fixed:
- Fixed an issue that could cause default browser and mail settings to reset after restarting your iPhone
- Fixed an issue that could prevent your iPhone from connecting to Wi-Fi networks
- Resolved an issue that could prevent sending email with some mail providers
- Addressed an issue that could prevent images from appearing in the News widget
As for the operating system itself, the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus got a pretty stacked version of iOS 14. While the devices do miss out on a few features, the key features are all there.
Some of the highlights include Widgets on the home screen, improvements to Messages and Maps, the new Translate app, and a laundry list of changes to Siri.
Next iOS Update for iPhone 6s & iPhone 6s Plus
Apple’s pushed its iOS 15 update to the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus and most users will want to upgrade right or in the near future.
That said, if you want to keep your iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus on iOS 14 you can do so. Apple will continue to push new iOS 14 updates though they most likely will be focused on security.
In other words, if you don’t upgrade to iOS 15, you’ll miss out on new iOS features. For more on the benefits of iOS 15, check out our guide.
We don’t know when Apple will push the next version of iOS 14 , but we’ll likely see a new version arrive alongside new iOS 15 software. Keep an eye out as we push through the month.
iPhone 6s iOS 14.8.1 Jailbreak
You’ll want to avoid iOS 14.8.1 if you’re jailbroken or want to jailbreak your iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus.
The developer teams behind the Checkra1n and unC0ver jailbreaking tools have released versions that are compatible with newer versions of iOS 14. It doesn’t look like they’re compatible with iOS 14.8.1. Not yet at least.
We’ll let you know when we learn more.
Install iOS 15.2.1 for Better Security
If security is important to you, think about installing Apple's iOS 15.2.1 update right away.
iOS 15.2.1 brings a security patch to iPhone users. You can learn more about the change over on Apple's website.
If you missed Apple's iOS 15.2 update, you'll get its 30+ security patches with your upgrade. You can read all about them over on the company's security site.
iOS 15.2 also included some important upgrades to privacy. The software brought the company's App Privacy Report to Settings. This lets you see how often your apps have accessed your location, photos, camera, microphone, contacts and more during the last seven days. You can also see their network activity.
In addition, iOS 15.2 brought Apple's communication safety features for kids. You'll find these features in the Messages app, in Siri, in Spotlight, and in Search.
If you missed iOS 15.1, iOS 15.2.1 will bring its security patches to your iPhone. You can read more about them on Apple's website.
If you missed iOS 15.0.2 you'll also get its security patch with your upgrade. You can learn more about it right here.
iOS 15.0 also brought numerous security patches to your iPhone. If you'll be moving up from iOS 14 and you're interested in the exact nature of these improvements, you can read about them over on Apple's security website.
Apple's updated its website with new information about iOS 15's batch of security patches. The company now says the software patched up an issue that could have exposed a user's private Apple ID information and in-app search history. It also says iOS 15 patched up an issue that allowed apps to override Privacy preferences.
If you skipped iOS 14.8 or any older versions of iOS, you'll get the security patches from those updates with your iOS 15.2.1 update as well.
In addition to those patches, iOS 15 comes with some security and privacy upgrades including improvements to Siri. Requests made to Siri are now processed on the device itself using Neural Engine. This makes it more secure.
If you're an Apple Card user, you'll now get a security code that changes regularly to use when you make online transactions.
Apple's also included a built-in authenticator that's similar to Google Authenticator. This will let you generate verification codes for enhanced sign-in security under your Passwords.
There's also a Mail feature that hides your IP address. The company will add a new App Privacy report feature in the next version of iOS 15 that will tell you when an app has accessed sensitive information.
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