The iOS 7.0.6 update for iPhone and iPad has been out for about a week now which means that it’s time to revisit Apple’s latest iOS 7 update, the update that surprised a lot of people when it arrived ahead of the highly anticipated iOS 7.1 release.
Back in November, Apple pushed out iOS 7.0.4, an update that received mixed reviews amongst iPhone and iPad owners. On one side you had iPhone and iPad owners like myself who didn’t experience any major issues with Apple’s fourth iOS 7 update. I did experience some lag with my iPad 3 but the software performed well on my iPad Air.
On the other side, you had iPhone and iPad owners dealing with a number of issues including broken Wi-Fi and in the case of my colleague Warner Crocker, random reboots.
Those experiencing issues in iOS 7.0.6 unsurprisingly took to social media and Apple forums to express their frustration and plead with Apple for an upgrade to iOS 7.1.
iOS 7.1 entered Apple’s beta program right around the time iOS 7.0.4 touched down and many believed that it would be the next update for the iPhone and iPad. Unfortunately, iOS 7.1 and its many enhancements and bug fixes remains in the beta process, with a public release rumored for next month.
Instead of iOS 7.1, iPhone and iPad users are now on iOS 7.0.6, a brand new update that patches up a major security hole inside the iOS operating system.
I installed the update immediately after its arrival late last week and have been using it every day on my iPhone and iPad Air. I’ve already revisited iOS 7.0.6 on the iPhone and now it’s time to take another look at how the iOS 7.0.6 update is performing on the iPad Air, a week after its release for iPhones and iPad across the globe.
iOS 7.1 Performance
For those reading one of these reviews for the first time, here’s how I do it. These incremental iOS updates are small which means that there typically aren’t any big additions. They fix bugs and often times, bring bugs of their own. That said, I tend to focus on five key areas when reviewing an update like iOS 7.0.6. Here are the big questions I ask of these updates:
- Do my apps work?
- How is my battery life?
- Are there any major bugs?
- How’s Wi-Fi, 4G LTE and 4G?
- And finally, is my phone still fast?
Here are my answers to those questions.
The lifeblood of the iPad is its software. iOS, yes, but also the applications that populate it. I use a number of iPad applications on a daily basis but because this is meant to be a wide sweeping review, I’ll focus on some of the more popular ones.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Chrome, Spotify, YouTube, and Netflix. Those are some of my most used applications and they are applications that other iPad Air owners probably use on a regular basis as well. All of them, fortunately, are working well inside of iOS 7.0.6.
As I noted in my iOS 7 experience on the iPad 3, I ran into some issues with Netflix after installing the update back in September. Things gradually improved over time but the experience still wasn’t stable. On the iPad Air, I haven’t seen any of the locking up or the freezing. It’s an extremely smooth experience.
I’m seeing similar inside of iOS 7.0.6. For my core third-party applications, it’s business as usual. Apple’s applications also seem to be performing as intended. I tend to use Maps, Photos, and Mail the most and all three of them have been performing admirably.
My hope is that developers can offer the same kind of experience inside iOS 7.1. I dread these larger updates because they often break applications but I think the beta process should make for a pretty smooth transition. Only time will tell.
iOS 7.0.6 Battery Life
One of my favorite iPad features is its battery life. One of the things I hate about my smartphone is that I am constantly looking at the battery. I never have to do that with the iPad. I play games, watch a flick, write some email, and browse the web and I never find myself looking at the battery meter. Apple has instilled that confidence in me.
Of course I, like many others, am always leery of incremental iOS updates. I’ve heard and see the complaints and I know that these updates can often wreck havoc on the battery life of iPhones and iPads.
I believe I’ve come out unscathed after iOS 7.0.6. The iPad Air isn’t showing any signs of abnormal battery drain and it’s able to hold down its usual charge. I even made sure that the device is still charging as fast as it does normally.
Those who are dealing with battery drain or another problem probably want to take a look at our iOS 7 battery life tips and tricks. Often times, a setting change can make a world of difference.
Every time Apple updates iOS, iPhone and iPad owners run into problems. It’s a fact of life. After the arrival of iOS 7.0.6, my inbox immediately saw an influx of complaints about the new software and over the past week, I’ve heard from a number of iPhone and iPad owners about a wide range of issues.
Most recently, an iPad owner wrote into tell me that he is no longer to close applications through the multitasking screen. Double tapping the home button apparently doesn’t work for him anymore. That’s a pretty serious issue and there is, at the moment, no way to fix it. A hard reset could work but that’s a last resort.
Point is, there seem to be some bugs inside iOS 7.0.6. But if there are, I haven’t seen any. That goes for smaller issues and hero level bugs that require immediate fixes. I haven’t seen anything out of the ordinary and iOS 7.0.6 seems to be extremely stable on the iPad Air.
I don’t own a 4G LTE version of the iPad Air so I can’t speak to cellular connectivity. However, I can say that my Wi-Fi connectivity has been par for the course after installing Apple’s latest iOS 7 update.
I’ve heard from a number of iPhone and iPad owners who say that their Wi-Fi simply stopped working after installing iOS 7. It appears that iOS 7.0.6 has had the same effect on some people as well. These people probably aren’t lying but I’m not either. I’ve been getting fantastic download and upload speeds and I don’t expect that to change.
While I had major lag issues with iOS 7 on the iPad 3, the update is a lot better on the iPad Air. To be expected given that the iPad Air is equipped with the latest hardware including a 64-bit processor.
That said, I’m always nervous about these incremental updates because there is no telling how they might impact the overall speed of the software. One of the final iOS 6 updates for my iPhone 3GS basically turned it into a giant paperweight. It was that sluggish.
iOS 7.0.6 for the iPad Air is not sluggish. It’s fast, fluid and dependable. Opening apps is quick and opening folders isn’t clunky. iOS 7.1 is bringing performance enhancements along with it so it will be interesting to see how it impacts performance. It’s hard to imagine it being any faster than it already is but I suppose there is always room for improvement.
Why You Should Install iOS 7.0.6 Right Now
After spending a week with iOS 7.0.6, I’ve answered all five of my usual questions. Yes, apps are working properly. Yes, battery life is stable. No, I haven’t discovered any hero level bugs. Yes, connectivity is solid. And yes, the software on my iPad Air is extremely fast.
I understand that’s probably not going to be enough to convince some iPad owners, especially those that have been burned by incremental updates in the past. This, on the other hand, should convince just about everyone to install it.
Remember the security vulnerability that Apple nonchalantly mentioned in the iOS 7.0.6 change log? Yeah, it’s a major issue and one that puts iPad and iPhone owners at risk.
Those who use public Wi-Fi networks and don’t want their passwords and credit card information stolen probably want to install iOS 7.0.6 right now. It’s the smart thing to do.