Its been a month since Apple released its iOS 8.3 update for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. And in that month, we’ve seen a number of new iOS details emerge for current iOS 8.3 users and prospective iOS 8.3 users. With the month of April coming to a close, we want to take a look at the five most important things iPhone and iPad users need to know about Apple’s current iOS 8 update.
Earlier this year, Apple released its iOS 8.3 beta to developers and to the general public. Several weeks later, the company took the iOS 8.3 update and its features out of the beta program and delivered them to iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users all over the world. The iOS 8.3 release date took place a month ago and in those four weeks, we’ve seen a number of important details emerge.
The iOS 8.3 update is a big one but it’s not going to be Apple’s last iOS 8 update before the arrival of iOS 9 and perhaps, a public iOS 9 beta for iPhone and iPad in June. Still, iOS 8.3 is an important update and one that iPhone and iPad users must contend with until Apple pushes out its next iOS 8 upgrade. And that’s precisely why we continue to dive deep into the iOS 8.3 release.
With just a few days to go before the calendar flips to May, we want to take a look at five pieces of vital iOS 8.3 information that current and prospective uses should absorb as we push closer to the release of another major iOS 8 update and an iOS 9 announcement at WWDC 2015 in June.
iOS 8.3 Review: One Month Later
Over the past four weeks, we’ve engaged with several versions of the iOS 8.3 update. Specifically, we’ve been testing the software on the iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5, iPad Air 2, iPad Air, iPad 3, and iPad mini 2. After a month of use, we’ve come away impressed by the company’s most current version of iOS 8.
After four weeks, we still haven’t run into any significant bugs or problems with iOS 8.3. We also haven’t heard about any major problems plaguing the software. The iOS 8.3 problems that we have seen are isolated.
This doesn’t come as too much of a surprise given Apple’s beta releases and the fact that the iOS 8.3 update packs a ton of bug fixes and enhancements. Performance is solid across the board and iOS 8.3 actually wiped out some of the pesky iOS 8 problems we had been dealing with on the iPhone. Landscape issues on the iPhone 6 haven’t returned and Wi-Fi, which had been acting up, is very stable.
After spending a month with iOS 8.3 on these devices we can say, with confidence, that the update is going to be worth the install for most people. The update’s security enhancements, bug fixes and emojis have helped to make it the best incremental iOS 8 update to date.
Remember, you need iOS 8.2 or iOS 8.3 to use the Apple Watch. So if you’re expecting a shipment, you probably want to get acquainted with one of these sooner rather than later.
You Can Still Downgrade to iOS 8.2
Surprisingly, Apple is still signing off on the iOS 8.2 update. What this means is that you can still bump up to iOS 8.3 and then drop back down to iOS 8.2 if you aren’t liking the performance or the new emoji keyboard.
Apple typically keeps this loophole open for two weeks before closing it up so this is a little out of the ordinary. Our best guess is that the decision had something to do with the Apple Watch release. The Apple Watch runs a modified version of iOS 8.2.
If you’re on iOS 8.3 and you want to drop down, have a look at our guide to downgrading.
iOS 8.3 Jailbreak Release
The iOS 8.3 jailbreak release is still missing in action and at this point, we’d put big money on a release for iOS 8.4 instead of iOS 8.3. Nothing is set in stone but given the presence of iOS 8.4 (an update that will likely have better longevity than iOS 8.3) and an iOS 8.4 jailbreak, there’s a very good chance that developers will wait to burn their exploits.
We haven’t seen any critical movement in the past few weeks so those of you that are looking to jailbreak iOS 8.3 or iOS 8.4 will need to remain patient as we push into the month of May.
One other note. If you need to unjailbreak your iPhone for the Apple Watch, we’ve put together a guide that will take you through the process. Again, you’ll need iOS 8.2 or iOS 8.3 to pair the Apple Watch with the iPhone.
iOS 8.4 Release Date Inching Closer
iOS 8.3’s likely successor, iOS 8.4, is moving closer to a release. Yesterday, Apple released its second iOS 8.4 beta, iOS 8.4 beta 2, a sign that the company and its developers are making progress with the next big iOS 8 update.
While the iOS 8.4 release date is inching closer, we still don’t know when Apple plans to release it to the public. The company hasn’t confirmed how many beta updates it plans to release either. Typically, we see a two week gap between releases so we probably won’t see anything emerge during the month of April.
This is important to note because it means that iPhone and iPad users still on iOS 8.2 or below have options. You can install iOS 8.3 now or you can wait what will probably be a few weeks for iOS 8.4. The update offers a revamped Music application that’s expected to tie-in with Apple’s new streaming service. The company is expected to debut the service at WWDC which means that we could see an iOS 8.4 release arrive in and around the start of summer.
You Can Try iOS 8.4 Right Now
Finally, if you’re not feeling iOS 8.3 or if you just want to help Apple, know that the iOS 8.4 beta is available to anyone that wants to try it. The iOS 8.4 beta 2 was accompanied by a public iOS 8.4 beta release that can be installed by anyone with an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch running iOS 8.
There are some reasons why you might not want to install the iOS 8.4 beta so make sure you cover all of your bases before making the decision to skip or bump up from the iOS 8.3 update in April or May.