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iOS 8.1 iPad 2 Reviews: Should You Install iOS 8.1?



The iOS 8.1 update delivers fixes and many exciting new features, but one of the best parts isn’t listed in Apple’s official update changes.

Users can expect better iOS 8.1 performance on the iPad 2, returning the old iPad to the speeds and performance it delivered on iOS 7.1.2 for many users. Not everyone experienced the same boost in performance as we saw with other devices, so we’ll share both sides of the story.

That’s in addition to the iOS 8.1 update fixing WiFi problems, Bluetooth connectivity and other features. We experienced this iOS 8.1 performance boost on the iPad 3 and iOS 8.1 on iPad 2 reviews from users share similar reports. This is in line with iPhone 4s performance boosts on iOS 8.1, but some users report sub-par performance. There are more negative reports than on the iPhone 4s.

Big updates from Apple are often remembered for slowing down old devices, but it seems iOS 8.1 on the iPad 2 is at least a step in the right direction, delivering better performance to many and fixing some problems and crashes.

Here's a look at user iOS 8.1 iPad 2 reviews.

Here’s a look at user iOS 8.1 iPad 2 reviews.

Apple pushed the iOS 8.1 release out faster than we traditionally see a iOS x.1 update, and with these enhancements in tow that is a good thing. Apple does not list iPad 2 performance in the what’s new section of iOS 8.1, but users report improvements with the iOS 8.1 iPad 2 update.

Read: How to Boost iOS 8.1 Performance on iPad 2 & iPad 3

After three days here are the early iOS 8.1 iPad 2 reviews from users who live with this tablet every day. We’ll revisit this topic in the near future as more users update if any iOS 8.1 problems arrive.

iOS 8.1 Installation

We did not find a lot of iOS 8.1 installation issues from iPad 2 owners, but some did run into a very long update time. It’s not clear if this user ended up completely stuck and needed to plug-in to restore, but that is a possibility.

Make sure you have a working backup before you upgrade to iOS 8.1 on the iPad 2 in case this happens to you.

iOS 8.1 on iPad 2 Performance

Users are split about the iOS 8.1 iPad 2 performance. Some users share reviews saying the iPad 2 is as fast as it was on iOS 7.1.2, while others say it is almost there, but not quite. There are also negative reviews reporting even more slow downs than on iOS 8 or iOS 8.0.2.

iOS 8.1 Speed on iPad 2

Although not as overwhelming as the iPhone 4s iOS 8.1 reviews, there are some users who share that the iOS 8.1 iPad 2 update is a big improvement.

Reddit user Patinam shares a succinct iOS 8.1 iPad 2 review that highlights some improvements,

“I already had a poor experience 8.0.2 so I thought what the hell and updated it to 8.1. Things are ever so slightly better but i’m not sure if it’s just a placebo effect. Like 8.0.2, I’ve had to disable a lot of stuff to make it usable,”

Users are split on iOS 8.1 iPad 2 performance.

Users are split on iOS 8.1 iPad 2 performance.

Nerdlinger on Reddit also shares an account of iOS 8.1 iPad 2 performance,

“So I went ahead and took the plunge, as I figured that the only way things could get worse was if it bricked my iPad. So far things are a bit speedier and less laggy, and it seems a bit more stable (though it clearly hasn’t been enough time to fully vet that). However, they have not fixed all bugs. For example, the copy and paste issues I had before updating are still there.

Early bottom line: it’s one step forward. But as always, YMMV.

It’s better than 8.0*, but still worse than 7.whateverwewereat.”

It’s not all roses. Some users complain that the iOS 8.1 iPad 2 update delivers bad performance.

It’s shaping up as another update that varies from user to user.

iOS 8.1 Battery Life

With iOS 8.1 the iPad 2 battery life improved for one user, which is an important fix. You can check out our iOS 8.1 battery life fixes and tips for more on improving your iPhone battery life.

WiFi & Bluetooth

The iOS 8.1 update delivers a lot of fixes for WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity. We have not found any complaints yet about WiFi on the iPad 2 using iOS 8.1 or Bluetooth for that matter. We’ll continue to watch this.

Should You Install iOS 8.1 on the iPad 2?

If you're still on older versions of iOS, you may want to stay there.

If you’re still on older versions of iOS, you may want to stay there.

For users on iOS 8 or iOS 8.0.2, the iOS 8.1 update for iPad 2 is worth installing. There are enough fixes and most complaints are similar to the speed drop some user saw after upgrading from iOS 7.1.2.

For users still on iOS 7.1.2 or older, it may be a good idea to hold off on the update at this time. Without an overwhelmingly positive experience there isn’t enough reason for everyone to take the plunge and update yet.

You can see the new iOS 8 features listed below.

What’s New in iOS 8

iOS 8 vs iOS 7 Walkthrough - Home Screen

iOS 8 vs iOS 7 Walkthrough - Home Screen

We start our iOS 8 vs iOS 7 walkthrough with the iPhone home screen, which is where you'll start your iOS 8 experience after an update this fall. 

These screens are incredibly important as you see them anytime you turn on the iPhone or need to choose an app to launch. There is no way around using them, so Apple needs to make sure they work just right. 

As you can see in the iOS 8 vs iOS 7 comparison above, there is no change between the home screen in the new iPhone software. Apple changed the status bar and some other small visual changes in iOS 7, but there are no updates for iOS 8.  

We could see Apple change the home screen slightly for iOS 8 for the iPhone 6. The new iPhone will feature a larger 4.7-inch display with a higher resolution. This is something Apple may use to add more icons to the screen. Or they could stick with the current layout, it's tough to tell.  



  1. Russell

    10/23/2014 at 9:07 pm

    Ios8.1 on iPad2 made it slower and more non responsive than the crappy ios8

    I’ve had it with the fruit.

  2. scott

    10/24/2014 at 4:31 am

    this is bs i updated now my ipad 2 wont reboot because i forgot my username not my id they are not the same it wants my @me not my @live id wtf

  3. Alessio

    10/24/2014 at 9:01 am

    I have just downloaded 8.1 on my iPad 2. I had 8.0.2 which was an horrible ios slowing down the iPad. Fortunately and for the time being it seems a much better iOS. Surfed on Internet and it appears much faster now as much as it was on iOS 7. Happy for that!!! I read few comments that sometimes iOS 8.1 doesn’t bring any improvement, so was praying that it would have been fine for me. It did. Hope same for the rest of you.

  4. Mike

    10/25/2014 at 5:26 am

    Just updated iPad 2 to 8.1. No problems, might even be a bit quicker. I did have to do a soft reboot after installing. I am a bit disappointed the continuity feature will not work on iPad 2

  5. soul

    10/29/2014 at 4:24 am

    iPad 2 to 8.1. Facetime camera freezes. Send Feedback to Apple.. hope they read.

  6. Chris

    11/03/2014 at 4:47 am

    Wifi on iPad 2 is still not working properly and system is operating in a choppy manner.

  7. brianclair

    11/10/2014 at 10:14 am

    My iPad 2 iOS 8.1 issues: 1.) Performance if very bad. I feel like I’m operating on a 2400 baud modem, 2.) Pages on Safari take forever to load and when I leave Safari to go to another app and return, all pages start to refresh again, 3). Copy/Paste does not work correctly. It’s as if the copy buffer does not empty correctly and sometimes a paste will include something “out of the past”. Very strange. I hope 8.1.1 will fix these issues, otherwise I may have to dust off my laptop…

  8. Tom Santelli

    11/13/2014 at 11:54 am

    With the new 8.1 operating system my iPad has become nearly useless I am currently restoring it from a backup, speed drain, poor wifi, and several other issues left me wandering WTH is Apple doing. Not much homework done on their part…perhaps it’s time to switch to a Surface Pro. Apple you continue to tarnish your brand.

  9. JJ

    11/15/2014 at 6:37 am

    I have happy iOS 6 u/ IPAD 2 ser then I jumped fast for 8 and finally 8.1. And I WANT back to 6.
    8 huge disappointment, slow, full of bugs, 8.1 better but absolutely pushes me out from IPAD / IOS world. i.e I was planning for new IPAD purchases but now I’m moving to other platform due poor and slow performance and bad user experience. I.e any manufacturers should not give this kind experience for any customer !

  10. Rahul

    11/22/2014 at 1:37 pm

    I’d like to buy the 16GB iPad Air 2 for my mom who’s a senior. She doesn’t have a lot of music or download movies (mainly YouTube streaming). Wouldn’t the 16GB be sufficient?

  11. Malcolm Brooks

    12/05/2014 at 6:09 am

    I have an ipad 2 with iOS 6, I stupidly didnt upgrade to iOS 7 because I was using an old iPhone 4 and old almost 9 yo iMac with OS 6.8. Ive since got a new iMac and iPhone 6 Plus. After reading the review I thought maybe Id install 8.1 on my old iPad, but then reading the reviews ppl wrote it seems like everyone said it was a big mistake and not to do it. Now Im totally confused. It sucks that my $800 iPad 2 with 64 G bought in July 2011 is toast and outdated already!? I dont really use it often besides in bed, some reading and watching videos when I travel.I really hate to spend the money on a new one considering I just bought a new iPhone, MacBook Pro and iMac… Those are the times I guess when 4 years is a dinasour for these devices… Really though I blame myself for not putting iOS 7 on the iPad when I should have. I do wish there was a way to do that.

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