Apple finally delivered a fix to big iOS 8 problems on the iPhone 6 Plus with the iOS 8.1 release. This new software update brings the camera roll back to the iPhone 6 Plus, fixers many landscape issues on the new iPhone and unlocks support for Apple Pay.
With the iOS 8.1 release here, we are ready to take a look at the new update on the iPhone 6 Plus to see how well this performs and if it is worth installing. Here is our early iOS 8.1 on iPhone 6 Plus review.
Apple started testing the iOS 8.1 release in late September, as a solution to many iOS 8 problems that plagued the iPhone 6 Plus and other devices and as the update that adds support for Apple Pay. Apple Pay is a mobile payment service that lets users make payments using the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus at participating stores with supported banks.
The iOS 8.1 update arrived this afternoon and we installed iOS 8 in about 25 minutes, so that we could immediately start testing the iOS 8.1 update
Perhaps the best news is that the iOS 8.1 update did not break anything right off the bat, like the iOS 8.0.1 update that knocked out cellular service on my iPhone 6 Plus.
Apple’s iOS 8.1 changes include a large number of fixes for common iOS 8 problems, which makes it a very tempting update. After spending a few hours checking key areas here is how iOS 8.1 performs on the iPhone 6 Plus.
iOS 8.1 Installation
The iOS 8.1 installation was smooth for my iPhone 6 Plus. The iOS 8.1 download took about 15 minutes and the installation about 10 minutes. Although we saw some iOS 8.1 installation problems early on, they did not slow down or mess up my iOS 8.1 on iPhone 6 Plus installation. If you experience installation problems check out these possible fixes.
After the iOS 8.1 installation completed my apps were available, all log-ins preserved and I was able to start setting up Apple Pay.
iOS 8.1 on iPhone 6 Plus Performance
After installing iOS 8.1 on the iPhone 6 Plus I spent the last several hours trying common tasks and checking to see if Apple finally fixed most of my biggest iPhone 6 Plus problems. Although the experience will vary from one device to the next so far the iOS 8.1 on iPhone 6 Plus performance is good.
This is a general overview of iOS 8.1 on the iPhone 6 Plus after a few hours of use. I continue to test this update on the iPhone 6 Plus and will share a full iOS 8.1 on iPhone 6 Plus review in the near future.
iOS 8.1 Apps
After installing iOS 8.1 on the iPhone 6 Plus i quickly checked to see how my main apps like Gmail, Alien Blue, Hangouts, Safari and Tweetbot work. All of these apps perform as expected, with no crashes yet. One of my complaints about the iOS 8.02 update on the iPhone 6 Plus was that apps often froze, but that is not happening yet.
Apps are also no longer getting stuck in landscape mode. This was a huge problem on the iPhone 6 Plus as it is tougher to try anything in landscape with one hand and even switching back and forth is a challenge without using a second-hand. So far it looks like iOS 8.1 fixed this problem.
It’s always possible that some app will crash or that I will run into issues later on, but after a few hours things appear to be working well.
iOS 8.1 Battery Life
The iPhone 6 Plus iOS 8.1 battery life remains good so far. There is no abnormal drain after installing this update and at 5PM I still have 60% battery life left despite many phone calls and moderate overall use today. This is something I will continue to monitor.
iOS 8.1 WiFi, Bluetooth & LTE
The iPhone 6 Plus connectivity appears to be intact as well after the iOS 8.1 update. WiFi and LTE both work well on the iPhone 6 Plus. I can connect to AT&T LTE and to my home WiFi network at the same speeds as before updating.
Bluetooth connects to headphones, but I have yet to test this in my car to see if IOS 8.1 fixes the iOS 8 Bluetooth problems that prevented many users, including myself, from using the iPhone 6 Plus with a car in dash entertainment system.
iOS 8.1 Bugs & Issues
Apple fixed the iOS 8 landscape problem and an issue that routinely left some iMessages listed as unread as part of this big bug fix update. When a company fixes a lot of bugs there is always a chance that a new bug appears and brings down the user experience.
I set up Apple Pay without any problems, although only a few of my cards work. Some users with sup[ported banks report an Apple Pay error preventing card registration and activation. Hopefully Apple resolves this in the next several days.
It is far to early to say there are no iOS 8.1 bugs or issues, but after several hours of use it appears Apple delivered on the promise of bug fixes without delivering a new batch of iOS 8.1 bugs. We’ll keep a close eye on this over the next week.
iOS 8.1 Speed
The iPhone 6 Plus feels as fast on iOS 8.1 as it did on iOS 8 and iOS 8.0.2. This is not surprising considering how new the device is, but owners will be glad to know that everything runs smoothly so far. This includes switching apps, launching new apps, playing a game and other common tasks.
Should You Install iOS 8.1?
So far the iOS 8.1 on iPhone 6 Plus performance is very good with fixes to some of my biggest complaints and no apparent show stopping problems. If you can’t handle the iOS 8 problems that Apple didn’t fix on iOS 8.0.2 you should jump in and get the iOS 8.1 fixes now.
If you can wait a few days you’ll get more details about the iOS 8.1 performance and learn of any potential issues before you make the jump yourself. Most users can feel comfortable installing iOS 8.1 on the iPhone 6 Plus and enjoying the bug fixes and Apple Pay.