Earlier this month, Apple delivered its second major iOS 8 update in the form of iOS 8.1. iOS 8.1 delivers new features and bug fixes to iPhone users including owners of the aging iPhone 5. With iOS 8.1 moving into its second week of existence, we want to take a look at the five most important things iPhone 6 users need to know about their iOS 8.1 update.
Several weeks ago, Apple released the iOS 8.1 update into the beta program. For several weeks Apple, and its developer partners, poked and prodded the update ahead of its public release date. In mid-October, Apple took the stage to announce several new products and there, it confirmed an October release for the highly anticipated iOS 8.1 upgrade for iPhone and iPad.
A week ago, Apple’s iOS 8.1 update rolled out to iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users all over the globe and, as we’ve noted in our reviews, the iOS 8.1 update for these devices seems to have tackled some of the annoying problems that emerged last month in iOS 8.0. However, it appears that the iOS 8.1 update failed to squash them all.
These iOS 8.1 issues have left some iPhone users wavering. iPhone 6 users have been vocal about their struggles and we’ve heard from several who are having trouble deciding between their current software and iOS 8.1. This comes as no surprise. The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus both struggled after the iOS 8.0, iOS 8.0.1 and iOS 8.0.2 updates.
With you iPhone 6 users in mind, we want to take a look at the most important things that iPhone 6 users need to know about their iOS 8.1 update, an update is small in size but one that has a ton of potential.
iOS 8.1 Fixes Some iOS 8 Problems
I’ve been using the iPhone 6 and iOS 8 since the day that they came out. For the most part, I’ve enjoyed my experience with Apple’s brand new smartphone. However, I encountered some frustrating issues inside iOS 8 that put a damper on things in the days after the device’s arrival. Fortunately, iOS 8.1 fixed many of those issues.
I’ve been saying this for a week now and I’ll say it again here. iOS 8.1 is the update that Apple should have released with the iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 6. Sure, it would have still needed to release a bug fix here or there but this software is clearly more ready for prime time. It’s far more stable and far more reliable than the previous three iOS 8 updates.
The iPhone 6’s software still isn’t perfect but it’s much better with iOS 8.1 on board. I solved many of my initial issues and I have a feeling that it will solve many of yours as well. For more information on what’s new in iOS 8.1 on the iPhone 6, have a look at my full length review.
Landscape Issues Persist
iOS 8.1 is more stable than iOS 8.0.2 and iOS 8.0 but that doesn’t mean that it’s not without its own issues. Over the past week, I’ve run into an extremely annoying problem. Landscape issues where the iPhone 6 would get stuck in landscape mode after moving from portrait mode existed in iOS 8.0. and iOS 8.0.2. iOS 8.1 killed part of the problem but it did not cut off the whole head.
While the problem is not happening as frequently as it once did, I’m still getting stuck in landscape mode when using iMessages. It’s extremely annoying and the only way that I’m able to get it unstuck is by closing iMessage by double tapping the home button and bringing up the multitasking screen. This happens at least 20-30 times a day, I’m on Messages a lot for work, and so far I haven’t found any kind of a permanent fix.
Resetting my iPhone 6 seems to have toned the problem down a bit but it’s still happened several times in the last hour. I hope Apple permanent squashes this bug in iOS 8.1, it’s why I am bringing attention to it here.
If your iOS 8 problems are persisting in iOS 8.1, have a look at our fixes for common problems.
More iOS 8.1 Issues
I’ve also been dealing with a number of other iMessage issues. Yesterday, I saw a group thread split into three different group threads for the first time. The issue happened after one person turned on Do Not Disturb and shortly after someone changed the group threads name. I’m not sure if those caused it but I started seeing three of the same thread in the minutes after those changes.
Then, this morning, I got a flurry of iMessage alerts indicating that iMessages I sent out yesterday had not been received even though the person I was talking to had clearly received them. I know this because he responded to my comments. I did not see any of these issues inside iOS 8.0.2 or iOS 8.0 and I’m hoping that they do not become a regular occurrence.
I will say that my own iMessage fixes seem to have alleviated the problems, at least for now. The first thing I did was toggle iMessage off and on. After that, I rebooted the phone. And then, just to be sure, I reset my network settings.
To do that, head into Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings. The phone will reboot, and while the stored Wi-Fi networks will be lost, reentering a Wi-Fi password is a small price to pay for working iMessages. I haven’t experienced any iMessage hiccups since then.
I’ve also started getting dead Wi-Fi signals. Resetting my network settings also seemed to fix that issue but consider this a warning if you’re experiencing good Wi-Fi connectivity in either iOS 8.0.2 or iOS 8.0.
You Don’t Need to Install iOS 8.1 Right Now
Remember, you do not need to install iOS 8.1 right now. In fact, some of you probably shouldn’t install iOS 8.1 right now. iOS 8.1 for iPhone 6 isn’t going anywhere any time soon and there’s no reason to rush into things. Take your time, prepare for the update and things will probably go a lot smoother.
As I noted in my review though, iOS 8.1 is probably worth the download for most of you. iOS 8.0.2, iOS 8.0.1 and iOS 8.0 are all buggy in one way or another and while iOS 8.1 does have some issues, I think you’re going to be better off with it in board. Just don’t rush into it because you have time.
Apple Pay has been a godsend for me and honestly, bugs and performance aside, Apple Pay alone might be worth the upgrade. It’s really that good and it’s only going to get better.
iOS 8.1.1 Nowhere in Sight
Finally, we should note that there is no iOS 8.1.1 update in sight. iOS 8.1.1 is presumably going to be the first update to fix iOS 8.1 problems though it remains unannounced and firmly in the shadows. We haven’t even seen a pick up in our analytics, something that typically happens as Apple ramps up testing ahead of a release.
So what does this mean for iPhone 6 users? Well, it means that those of you currently experiencing iOS 8.1 problems are going to need to rely on temporary fixes. Our fixes for common iOS 8.1 problems should help at least some of you overcome the difficulties you’re having with your brand new iOS software. I’ve also detailed a few fixes above.
Apple will continue to improve the iPhone 6 over time and app developers will continue to release updates that bring performance enhancements for the iPhone 6’s larger display. Most already have and we should see updates continue as we head into the holiday shopping season, one that should be huge for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
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