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iOS 8.1 iPhone 4s Reviews: Should You Install iOS 8.1?



Apple’s iOS 8.1 update brings many fixes to or big iOS 8 problems and according to the early iOS 8.1 on iPhone 4s reviews it is an update that packs in better performance and fixes to some problems like battery life and crashes.

After using iOS 8.1 on the iPhone 4s for almost two days the early reviews from users are overwhelmingly positive. Much like we saw performance improve with iOS 8.1 on the iPad 3, iPhone 4s owners report better performance and fewer crashes.

Apple’s major iOS updates are known for knocking out battery life and performance on older devices, which is something that users complained about with iOS 8 and iOS 8.0.2, but so far iOS 8.1 delivers much needed improvements.

User reviews rave about the iOS 8.1 iPhone 4s performance.

User reviews rave about the iOS 8.1 iPhone 4s performance.

The iOS 8.1 release is smaller and more focused on fixes and performance improvements on the iPhone 4s and other devices. You can check out what’s new on iOS 8.1 to see what Apple added, but you won’t see any specific mentions of iPhone 4s performance. That’s OK. Many times Apple delivers better performance without mentioning it and admitting performance was lacking on a previous update.

We’ll revisit this as more users share their iOS 8.1 on iPhone 4s reviews, but the early reviews are very positive. If you’ve held off installing iOS 8 on the iPhone 4s it’s time to look again.

iOS 8.1 Installation

The best news is that we did not hear about major iOS 8.1 installation problems on the iPhone 4s. One user reports his iOS 8.1 install took about 30 minutes, which is average for most iPhones.

Some users may run into iOS 8.1 installation problems that require a restore using iTunes and a USB cable, so make sure you have a backup handy.

iOS 8.1 on iPhone 4s Performance

Overall it looks like the iOS 8.1 iPhone 4s update delivers better performance for most users and we are not seeing an overwhelming number of complaints about battery life, apps or connectivity. These iOS 8.1 reviews come from users on Twitter and Reddit. iOS 8 slowed performance on the iPhone 4s and even though we shared a trick to speed it up this free iOS 8.1 update does a better job.

iOS 8.1 iPhone 4s performance is much better than iOS 8 or iOS 8.0.2 according to users.

iOS 8.1 iPhone 4s performance is much better than iOS 8 or iOS 8.0.2 according to users.

iOS 8.1 Apps

Not many users talked about apps on the iPhone 4s running iOS 8.1. This is good considering many times complaints are easier to find and those users are more vocal. One user reports that random crashes are gone, which relate to overall performance or to apps.

You can count on an overall good performance of apps on iOS 8.1 on the iPhone 4s based on what we could find.

iOS 8.1 Speed on the iPhone 4s

Users overwhelmingly report great iOS 8.1 iPhone 4s speeds. Many of the users below compare it to the performance of iOS 7.1.2, the last update before iOS 8. This means a number of iPhone 4s owners now have their old iPhone experience back, plus the new iOS 8 features. If you are still on iOS 7.1.2 this is great news and another reason to upgrade.

Not all users enjoy the iOS 8.1 update, but this is something we see on all devices. Typically you should focus on the what happens to the majority of devices, but you cannot discount these complaints. IF you experience bad iOS 8.1 performance on the iPhone 4s you may need to reset settings or start over with a clean installation.

iOS 8.1 Battery life

While there are not  lot of iOS 8.1 iPhone 4s battery life reviews from users, one owner on Reddit shares his wonderful battery life after updating to iOS 8.1. Over five hours of usage and nearly 19 hours of standby with 1% battery life left is very good for an older device like this. The user jumped straight from iOS 7 to iOS 8.1 and still enjoys the performance.

WiFi & Bluetooth

At this point there are not significant reports of any iOS 8.1 WiFi or Bluetooth connection problems from iPhone 4S owners. Connectivity problems can plague users after small updates like this, so we may see some additional reports roll in, but Apple did focused on fixing some WiFi problems and Bluetooth problems with the iOS 8.1 release.

Should You Install iOS 8.1 on the iPhone 4s?

Most users should install the iOS 8.1 on the iPhone 4s.

Most users should install the iOS 8.1 on the iPhone 4s.

If you’ve been waiting for a stable version of iOS 8 to install on the iPhone 4s it looks like the iOS 8.1 iPhone 4s update is the one you are waiting for. Overall users enjoy the improved performance and there are not many complaints about the new update.

If you are on iOS 8 or iOS 8.0.2 this is a no brainer. You should upgrade to iOS 8.1 soon to gain the speed boost and fixes to other problems.

For users on iOS 7.1.2 or older, this is still a very good update that is worth installing, but keep in mind you cannot go back to iOS 7 after upgrading.

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. Tim

    10/22/2014 at 8:16 am

    I updated my 4s a little over a week ago from iOS 6 to iOS 8.0.2. Worst decision ever. All bugs aside, I hate 8. It’s ugly in every way and user-friendliness went Dow the toilet by comparison. The only reason I left 6 was I needed to block a few numbers and that was the only way to do so.

    I experienced the same overwhelming wave of bugs as everyone else, which didn’t help me feel any better.

    Yesterday I decided I’d give 8.1 a try and subsequently discovered a new bug not reported: 8.0.2 won’t allow me to back up my phone to iCloud. With every attempt, or of two things happens: either I get repeated “sign in” windows or back up failure messages. It won’t go five seconds after initiating a back up.

    When I finly have up after 20 or so attempts, I then learned that my efforts resulted in another bug: my contacts got screwy/disappeared and my email went crazy (I couldn’t delete any and I had several that had changed over to “no sender” status). A soft reboot was necessary to fix that.

    So…since I have no access to iTunes, and even have to borrow wifi, it looks like I’m stuck with this until I can afford a new phone.

    • leArt (@leArt78)

      10/27/2014 at 12:49 pm

      OMG from ios 6 to ios 8, i feel sorry for you, im on 7.1.1 4s and if i could i wold go straight to ios 6 again, you updated by purpose :D :D

      • Tim

        10/27/2014 at 1:15 pm

        Right?! The only reason I did it was because a former employer of mine wouldn’t remove me from two different group text loops. And it wasn’t acceptable to receive 30 or more texts from them a day, two months after I left the job. I needed to block the numbers and this was the only option.

        Still…I don’t know what Apple was thinking leaving the look and feel of ios 6 behind in favor of 7 and 8. That wasn’t a step in the right direction at all.

        Aside from that block, I haven’t benefited from the update. I have been inconvenienced for certain.

  2. Wynand Mans

    10/22/2014 at 11:10 am

    Ios 8.1 greyed out my wifi/bluetooth.
    Reset/reboot of no avail
    Please help

    • Peter

      10/28/2014 at 2:34 pm

      Same here, wifi is greyed out. Randomly when I restarted ONE time it was on but almost immediately disconnected from the network and wouldn’t find it again. Restarted and it was greyed out, where it has remained. This after erasing everything and doing a clean install of 8.1

      God knows how an issue could be so random across the same device.

  3. Marwan Yassin

    10/22/2014 at 11:20 am

    iOS 8.1 on iPhone 4S fixed some of the stupidest bugs I’ve ever seen in iOS updates, WiFi was always dimmed, Home button had a crazy behaviour, battery had other stuff to do other than powering the device and restarting randomly, iOS 8.0 till iOS 8.0.2 felt like an android phone

    • Jean

      11/15/2014 at 11:36 am

      Moron, Android is way better as shitty Apple iOS without jailbrake…

  4. Jack

    10/22/2014 at 11:30 am

    up to I looked at the paycheck which was of $5388 , I didn’t believe …that…my mother in law was realy taking home money in there spare time from there pretty old laptop. . there great aunt started doing this 4 less than sixteen months and just now cleard the depts on there place and bought a gorgeous Chevrolet Corvette . see ….. Fox92.Ƈom

  5. D. Keith McKenzie

    10/22/2014 at 3:42 pm

    …Geez … I bought a “very good” used unlocked 4s on eBay back on Oct 2 … it arrived with iOS 8 installed … AT&T folks told me not to load that SW when I went in to move my SIM from an Android phone to the iPhone … when the saw it was already loaded they were amazed that it would even start up … but it seemed fine until I got home and tried to set-up my WiFi … all kinds of problems … which led to upgrade to 8.01 and then to 8.02 … all the while hoping to see some fixes … but things went from not so good to terribly bad … Bluetooth was off .. and the option to start it was greyed out ( but the little rotating gear continues to run constantly – can’t stop that ) … similarly the WiFi option was off and and was likewise greyed out and inaccessible … then messaging was no longer accessible … and to top it all off the phone now discharges in 2-3 hours … even when powered off … kind of scary … but on Mon the 20th I was able to download iOS 8.1 to my Windows XP iTunes (took almost 6 GB to do that – downloads a huge file and then has to extract it, before installing it — and instead of getting rid of the mess it makes, it puts the no longer needed files in the recycle bin taking up more space — took me 6 hours to get thru all of that …. and all for naught … still nothing works … tried resetting networking … resetting everything … useless … even drove 10 miles to a Starbucks to get a different WiFi … but nothing works … I have an iPad Air with 8.0 installed … mostly OK … some APPS struggle, but that is probably the APP developer not quite up to speed …. It seems crazy that Apple lets these kind of PR nightmares occur … a simple solution might be to allow users to download and install older iOS versions until fiixes can be made … WHY … WHY ???

    I am a rather large Apple stockholder … and would hate to see class-action lawsuits … but it may come to that !!!

  6. wass90

    10/23/2014 at 2:06 am

    guys i update to ios 8.1 but my phone is not openin just shows the apple icon :(( what should i do??!! help pelase

  7. Chris

    10/23/2014 at 4:22 am

    Ars Technica review tells the exact contrary. Performance is not better on the 4s

  8. ios5

    10/23/2014 at 5:25 pm

    has anyone compared IOS5.1.1 to IOS8.1 on 4S? I have my 4S running on the good old 5.1.1 working lightning fast. I would like to compare cold start of mail, safari, maps, waze, facebook, etc and also common actions like tapping new email button, opening new safari tab, etc. if you’re interested to take a video snap and combine them into one drop me a sign at mailing lists 35 at gmail dot com

    • Tim

      10/23/2014 at 5:39 pm

      If you are happy with iOS 5, stuck with it. ios 6 is very similar so I wouldn’t go beyond that if I were you unless there are just features in 8 that you feel you would love to have (for me, nber blocking was my only reason). I don’t need and feel inconvenienced by many of the newer feature and a reduction in user friendliness. Also, I loved the graphics and visuals in general of 5 and 6. 7 and 8 are boring, two dimensional imitations that do nothing to improve the looks of the phone.

      Everything worked better when I was on 5 and 6. I can’t claim a comparison here with 8.1 though because 8.0.2 won’t let me access iCloud for a back up.

    • Al

      10/29/2014 at 10:09 pm

      I also have IOS 6.1.3 on 4S and I can say it is fast as new and almost same speed as my new iPhone 6+. The only reason me getting the iPhone 6+ is to have IOS 8 without bricking my 4S and I would love to keep IOS6 on 4S forever. I need IOS8 to use some apps now and having some big screen helps me to be bit more productive. Other than those reasons I would probably can use 4S for another few years as a smartphone.

  9. satswamiSwami

    10/24/2014 at 2:16 pm

    Just upgraded to 8.1 in my iPhone 4s and it should be lil better. but still there are issues with performance. Just giving a note. There are still keyboard lags and home screen takes a lag while coming up, some connectivity issues,

  10. Digs

    10/25/2014 at 9:47 pm

    Wifi greyed out, clocking continuously next to the 4G symbol and who knows what else after upgrade to 8.1. Powered down, reset network settings, zip, zero, nada. Battery gone in 2 hrs on this 4s that was working very nicely.

  11. wong ts

    10/27/2014 at 3:43 am

    ios 8.1 gave my iphone 4s an unsuccessful update problem.My phone shown the pic of cable needed to be connected to itunes. but after do so the itunes keep on saying need to restore or update.After follow the instruction, it download and update fail half way for so many time or should i said for several days. Tonight i will try to troubleshoot my iphone 4s, again.

  12. Pam

    10/27/2014 at 10:15 am

    After 8.1 update my iphone 4s is having to be rebooted each day in order to use Safari.

    • Pam

      10/31/2014 at 10:38 am

      After reading the article on how to solve 11 problems with the 8.1 update, I “reset all settings” then powered off then back on. So, for 3 days now everything is working very well. Battery retention is better than it was with ios 7 and I am able to use Safari and successfully charge the battery.

  13. Wendy

    10/27/2014 at 11:59 am

    I have a 4s. Having trouble forwarding a text or a pic. Freezes or have to reboot. Any way to fix this?? Thanks!

  14. Elaine Thomas

    10/28/2014 at 1:21 pm

    Hasn’t solved my wifi issue – drops out, won’t connect again for days, then might connect for about 5 minutes then drops out again. Is eating into my 3G usage big time. Thought it might just be with my router, but won’t connect to any wifi. Have now done the suggested network reset – dropped out almost straight away. So not impressed!

  15. g2-15ccb4cf1462263778f8eb7d789394ff

    10/29/2014 at 1:34 pm

    Part of contacts disappeared from all iOS devices!!!!!!! :-<

  16. Jujhar

    10/29/2014 at 9:00 pm

    Hlo frds pls tell me ios 8.0.1 vs 8.1 whose is best

  17. Gopi

    10/31/2014 at 8:17 am

    I have updated my iphone5 OS from 8.0 to8.1 immediately shifting to 8.1 my phone started restarting restarting automatically in a range of every 2 minutes .

    IOS 8.1 screwed my phone .even I visited Apple’s so called one of service provider for the quality check of device on the issue .One of the engineer did some test & said nothing to worry there is some software issue & after taking day time they called me and said there is a hardware crash in your phone do you need to go for complete device for replacement with the cost of 25K

    Please don’t go for 8.1

    • Tim

      10/31/2014 at 8:23 am

      I’m afraid you posted your story with the wrong article, friend. This is about iOS 8.1 updates for the iPhone 4s. There are seperate articles for each of the iPhone’s’ experiences to keep them organized by model.

  18. Lisa

    11/01/2014 at 8:46 pm

    My iPhone 4s says to update but when I tried it said I didn’t have enough storage so went to storage and purchased an additional 20 GBP for 99¢ per month extra but says extra storage went to cloud and I’m still not able to get my update to his 8.1??
    I am not computer savvy!! Need help:)

  19. Eric

    11/04/2014 at 12:51 pm

    After installing the iOS 8.1 update on my iPhone 4S almost 2 weeks ago, I noticed a considerable improvement in performance over the prior iOS 8.x.x iterations, which is exactly what I was hoping for. Everything was smooth sailing. However, a few days ago, the phone began to run at high temps, & experiencing severe battery drain at a very observable rate…as in, I can watch the available battery charge tick away, at an average rate of 1% per 1-2 minutes.

    By way of a diagnostic monitor that I use, I can see the CPU & RAM usage consistently spiking through the roof, regardless of whether the phone was in use, or just sitting idle. I’m no stranger to this OS…I have tried everything to narrow down & rectify the culprit, & the only remaining direction to point the finger at is a bug/process at the CPU level, in the way that the OS is interacting with the hardware.

    The only thing that I have yet to try is wiping the entire phone clean as a “new” device…but based on other reports that I’ve read of individuals experiencing the same problem, restoring as “new” doesn’t fix it either. I’ve read many accounts across multiple forums, that over the past week or so, this has been a commonly surfacing issue, specifically on iPhones. Given everything that I (& others) have tried, I really don’t see a solution to this, short of Apple fixing their damn code.

  20. Danny

    11/14/2014 at 9:55 pm

    Updated my 4s to 8.1. Since install I have no wifi or Bluetooth. Tried everything but complete factory reset. Very frustrating. Don’t update yet, by far I’m not the only one.

    • pam

      11/15/2014 at 6:17 am

      One suggestion was to reset settings. Go to Settings-General-Reset- “Reset all settings” . It worked for my phone. It was some work re-setting things but you don’t lose contacts, favorites, etc. Now my 4s is working fine on the new update. Also, did you try turning it off completely then back on after 5 minutes? This helped me restore the wifi and bluetooth on the first ios 8 update.

  21. Sriram

    11/16/2014 at 8:56 pm

    I still have 6.1.3 in my 4s. I like the 3d effect which the ios 7 and 8 dropped. Apart from this do u guys think I should update my phone to ios 8.1? And the only reason I even think about loosing the 6.1.3 by updating to 8.1 is because I can’t download some applications. It’s asking at lease ios7.0 .

    • Tim

      11/16/2014 at 11:13 pm

      If I were you, I’d stay right where you are. I made the same leap you’re debating and regret it every day.

    • pamels

      11/17/2014 at 6:23 am

      I had more trouble with ios 7 than I do now with 8.1, so don’t do 7! 8.1 is working good on my 4s but follow the instructions in the article on how to prepare your phone before you update to ios 8.1. Also, I hear that another update is due soon, but this time I will wait awhile to see how that is going.

  22. شفيع اكسير

    12/08/2014 at 9:38 am


  23. شفيع اكسير

    12/08/2014 at 9:48 am

    Send me iOS8.0.2

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