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iOS 8.1.2 iPad mini Review: Three Weeks Later



Three weeks ago, Apple pushed out its current iOS 8 update, iOS 8.1.2. iOS 8.1.2 is a small bug fix update but it’s one that’s had both a positive and negative effect on iOS 8 powered iPhones and iPads. With that in mind, we want to revisit Apple’s iPad mini iOS 8.1.2 update three weeks after the software’s release.

In mid-September, Apple’s iOS 8 update pushed out and almost immediately after the company’s push, iOS 8 problems started plaguing owners of the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. This is typical of a major iOS update and we, like many others, expected Apple to push out a bug fix update immediately after iOS 8’s release.

On cue, Apple pushed out an iOS 8.0.1 update with assorted bug fixes on board though it did not have the intended results. While it did deliver some fixes, it also broke cellular connectivity and Touch ID for some users. These issues forced Apple to quickly go back to the drawing board and just one day later, the company cooked up an iOS 8.0.2 update that tackled those problems and delivered the rest of the fixes to those that did not upgrade to iOS 8.0.1.

In the days after the arrival of iOS 8.0.1 and iOS 8.0.2, complaints about iOS 8 continued. And over the last couple of months, Apple’s worked hard to squash the remaining iOS 8 problems.

iPad mini

First, the company pushed out a massive iOS 8.1 bug fixer. Then, the company followed that up with an iOS 8.1.1 update that, unlike most smaller updates, went through the company’s beta program. And then, nearly three weeks ago, Apple pushed out iOS 8.1.2, a small bug fixer aimed at countering a problem with iTunes ring tones.

We continue to get bombarded with questions about iOS 8.1.2’s stability and questions about whether or not its worth an install. In other words, people still want feedback and many others want to know if it’s worth the risk. I’ve spent a solid three weeks with the iOS 8.1.2 iPad mini 2 (second-gen) update and today I want to relay feedback to those of you in need.

iPad mini 2 iOS 8.1.2 Review: Three Weeks Later

From December 9th up to today, I’ve spent a ton of time with iOS 8.1.2 on iPad mini 2. The iPad Air is my daily driver but I’ve tried to use the iPad mini 2 as much as possible over the past few weeks.

Before getting into this updated review and my impressions, I should note that mileage is going to vary from device to device, person to person. That is to say, I probably don’t have the same apps installed and there’s a chance that I use Google Chrome, play more games, and use my home screen more than you do. So, consider this a general guide as you try to decide whether iOS 8.1.2 is worth installing on your iPad mini.


I have about 50 or so applications on the iPad mini 2 and I typically use about 10 to 15 of those applications on a daily basis. For the sake of this review, I’ve used all of them as regularly as humanly possible to try and weed out bad apples. So far though, I’ve been unable to do that as my experience has been extremely stable.

In the past three weeks, I’ve seen Google Chrome crash a few times but other than that, the apps on board are working phenomenally. Core applications like Netflix, Asana, Slack, Instagram, Amazon Instant Video, Facebook, Twitter, Weather Channel, and Amazon are all working fine in the weeks after the iOS 8.1.2 update’s release.

iPad mini

The performance isn’t at all surprising. I’ve been getting solid performance out of most of my applications in the weeks since the iOS 8 update’s release back in September. I’ve updated my applications on a regular basis ensuring that the latest compatibility updates and bug fixes are on board the 7.9-inch slate.

This has probably helped keep problems to a minimum and I highly recommend getting the latest bug fixes installed on your device. They aren’t a guaranteed fix but there’s a very good chance that they will help alleviate some of the problems you’re having on iOS 8.1.2 or below.

iOS 8.1.2 Battery Life

Battery life on the iPad mini 2 remains solid three weeks after installing iOS 8.1.2 on the tablet. I’ve been using the iPad mini extensively over the past three weeks, because of the review and due to frequent travel, and I haven’t noticed anything out of the ordinary, at least not yet.

I’m able to get more than a full day of use when I am mostly using Wi-Fi. On the occasion that I switch to LTE, the battery drains slightly faster but that’s nothing new. Even with a mixture of both I’m still able to get more than a full day of use, essential for when I travel.

I haven’t heard or seen too many complaints about battery drain which is typically a good sign. Often, I’ll get an inbox full of complaints and Apple’s Discussion forums will fill up with similar notes about horrible charges. There are isolated issues but it appears that iOS 8.1.2 is very stable on Apple’s second-generation iPad mini.

As I’ve noted many times, iOS updates like iOS 8.1.2 aren’t supposed to bring battery life problems along with them. Typically, bad battery life is caused by third-party apps or by users themselves. I’ve outlined a number of strategies to get better battery life inside iOS 8.1.2 and I recommend taking a look at those tips if you do run into problems after getting the update on board.

Wi-Fi, LTE & Bluetooth

I own the AT&T version of the iPad mini 2 which means that I have access to LTE data. So far, that LTE data has been performing admirably as I’ve needed to rely on it during my travels this holiday season. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are also performing well in the weeks after the iOS 8.1.2 update’s arrival and I don’t see that changing any time soon.

iPad Tips and Tricks - iPad mini

If you’re running into problems, take a look at our list of possible fixes. There’s no cure-all fix but there’s a chance that one of the fixes listed there will help the problems you might be having with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or cellular data.

Bugs & Issues

iOS 8.1.2 is still very stable on the iPad mini 2. I haven’t encountered any large bugs on board and I’ve yet to encounter any smaller issues. Smaller bugs are a lot harder to spot, they’re often tucked away deep down in the software, so there’s a chance that I missed something in my travels. What I will say though is that I’ve been on the hunt and I’ve explored much of iOS 8. I’ve yet to encounter anything serious.


There’s always a chance that I’ll stumble into something down the line but given my overall experience with iOS 8 (very good), I’m hopeful that iOS 8.1.2 will continue to keep bugs and issues at bay.


The iPad mini 2 is still very fast with iOS 8.1.2 on board. Animations and transitions are all still fluid and I’ve yet to encounter any serious slowdown or sluggishness.

Is iOS 8.1.2 for iPad mini Worth It?

At this point, I recommend iOS 8.1.2 to those of you dealing with problems on iOS 8.1.1 and below. iOS 8.1.2 may not come with a massive change log but it has the potential to relieve issues that aren’t listed there. If you can’t find a permanent fix, you might want to install the software and see if it helps. I haven’t heard about or run into any major problems so I think the risk is low.

Gelaskins iPad mini Retina Skins

If you’re not experiencing any issues, it’s entirely up to you. There’s always a chance that iOS 8.1.2 will cause problems but again, I think the odds for most people are slim. If you want the latest security updates and bug fixes, grab it. If you don’t care, wait for iOS 8.1.3 or iOS 8.2, both of which should be coming next year.



  1. yonghing

    12/31/2014 at 8:12 am

    A plea – any author of any review of any version of iOS8.x.x who writes iOS 8.x.x is “better than…, an improvement on…, so update asap” should clearly state if he/she means it is better than 8.0.1, or better than 8.0.2, or better than 8.1, or better than 7….. to help the individual reader; who has or had not as yet upgraded.
    Furthermore the title and subtitle of your piece whiplashes between iPad mini and iPad mini2.

  2. yonghing

    12/31/2014 at 8:19 am

    A plea – any author of any review of any version of iOS8.x.x who writes iOS 8.x.x is “better than…, an improvement on…, so update asap” should clearly state if he/she means it is better than 8.0.1, or better than 8.0.2, or better than 8.1, or better than 7….. to help the individual reader; who has or had not as yet upgraded.
    Furthermore the title and subtitles in this piece states it is about iPad mini AND iPad mini2.

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