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iOS 8.1 on iPhone 6 Plus: Impressions & Performance



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

See how iOS 8.1 performs on the iPhone 6 Plus.

See how iOS 8.1 performs on the iPhone 6 Plus.

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 upgrading to iOS 8.1 apps run well on the iPhone 6 Plus.

After upgrading to iOS 8.1 apps run well on the iPhone 6 Plus.

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.

Most users can install IOS 8.1 on the iPhone 6 Plus without worry.

Most users can install IOS 8.1 on the iPhone 6 Plus without worry.

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.

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. Lisa lipe

    10/20/2014 at 8:27 pm

    This update did not fix my Bluetooth connectivity issues between my iPhone 6 plus and my 2014 Chevy Camaro.

  2. Venkatesh

    10/20/2014 at 9:23 pm

    After updating to 8.1 i don’t see AirDrop and AirPlay options in control center

  3. Phil

    10/21/2014 at 3:10 am

    In vehicle Bluetooth connectivity is still a problem with 8.1 and iPhone 5

  4. Chris

    10/21/2014 at 4:47 am

    Update didnt fix wifi or Bluetooth issues, seemed to sort for approx 1hr and then back to the same problems plus new ones including freezing to a black screen and completely unresponsive until a hard reset performed. Currently have a useless iphone6 a week after purchase!!!

  5. Chris A.

    10/22/2014 at 9:56 am

    I’m having a problem with Facebook when trying to post a picture. When I click on the “photo” icon at the top of the screen, it takes me to my Camera Roll, but the photos are not from my Camera Roll; they are a huge jumbled up mess of all my photos. This is on a iPhone 6.

  6. Jim

    10/23/2014 at 6:19 am

    I had an issue with my iphone 5 when I updated to 8 where siri no longer can hear my voice. Don’t suppose anyone else had the same problem and has seen this resolved?

  7. Price

    10/23/2014 at 6:47 am

    Bluetooth is still not working with my 2014 Touareg after 8.1 upgrade.. I can manually dial and receive calls but the vehicle does not recognize my directory.

  8. Binge

    10/23/2014 at 5:52 pm

    Idownloader app has stopped workin now on ios8 and still isn’t resolved with any of the updates iPhones 4s

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