We’ve been using the iPhone 6 iOS 8.4 update for two weeks and today we want to tell you about a few of the most important things we’ve learned about the iPhone 6’s latest and greatest software upgrade.
Two weeks ago Apple finally released its iOS 8.4 update for iPhone 6 and other devices capable of running its iOS 8 operating system. The update had been available in beta form since April teasing those who weren’t a part of the developer beta program and who decided not to join the public Beta Software Program ahead of its release.
The iOS 8.4 that Apple released into beta and the iOS 8.4 update that it released on June 30th were different in that the public release arrived with Apple’s new streaming music service that’s embedded into the phone’s revamped Music application. The iOS 8.4 update is a big one for iPhone users and that’s why we’ve been taking a deeper look than we normally do with incremental iOS updates.
We’ve been using the iOS 8.4 update on several devices since release including Apple’s 4.7-inch iPhone 6, one of its most popular smartphones and a device that was plagued by iOS 8 problems in the months after its release in September. iOS 8.4 is an important update for the iPhone 6 and it’s one that we’ve spent a whole lot of time with.
Today, we want to revisit iOS 8.4 on iPhone 6 and tell you about a few things we’ve learned from Apple’s newest software upgrade.
iOS 8.4 Performance
The first thing we’ve learned about the iPhone 6 iOS 8.4 update is that it’s an extremely solid upgrade from a performance standpoint.
We’ve been focused on four key areas in our time with iOS 8.4. Those areas include app performance, speed of the UI, connectivity, and battery life. The iPhone 6 shines in all four of those areas after two weeks, a sign that performance is going to hold up rather nicely over the next few weeks as we wait for iOS 8.4.1 or the iOS 9 release in the fall, whichever comes first.
The exciting thing is that we’re seeing solid performance across all of our iPhone models, not just one. iOS update mileage always varies so it’s nice to see some consistency across several different variants of the iPhone 6.
This is a stable update on our iPhone 6 models and it’s an update that’s certainly worthy of your consideration if you’re dealing with problems or if you want the latest security updates.
Sometimes, Apple’s fixes don’t stick and problems come back with a vengeance days, weeks or months after an update arrives. That hasn’t been the case with the iOS 8.4 update on the iPhone 6.
The update has killed the issue wherein a specific set of Unicode characters caused the phone to reboot. It has fixed an issue that provided some GPS accessories from properly displaying location data, and it has also fixed a problem where deleted Apple Watch apps would reinstall.
It has also killed off some annoying iBooks bugs that some iPhone 6 users were running into in previous versions of the iOS 8 update.
There Are iPhone 6 iOS 8.4 Problems But…
While iOS 8.4 has delivered a solid performance on our versions of the iPhone 6, some iPhone 6 users are running into iOS 8.4 problems. We continue to see complaints on Apple’s discussion forum about iOS 8.4 problems but it’s worth noting that most, if not all of these problems, are isolated.
What we mean by that is, we haven’t seen any widespread iOS 8.4 problems affecting hundreds and hundreds of people. Instead, the problems that we have seen are affecting a tiny portion of the population.
It’s important to note that you always assume risk when you download and install new iOS software. It’s virtually impossible to predict if you’re run into issues ahead of time. So you’ll want to be extremely careful if you do decide that iOS 8.4’s fixes, Apple Music and the changes to iBooks are worth it.
iOS 8.4 Kills Off Home Sharing for Music in iOS
We’ve singled this out before and we’re going to single it out again today. iOS 8.4 kills off home sharing for music for iOS devices. If you’re not sure what this means, it means that it kills your ability to share your iTunes Library over Wi-Fi from your iOS-powered devices.
If this is a feature that you’ve relied on in the past, its absence is something that you need to consider before downloading and installing the iOS 8.4 update. We don’t rely on this feature but we know that many of you do.
Apple says that it’s working to bring the feature back in iOS 9 though it’s not clear if it will arrive in iOS 9 beta or if it will come back in the public release in the fall.
Either way, you’ll have to wait for the feature to return.
Now Is A Great Time to Buy The iPhone 6
Right now is a great time to buy the iPhone 6. Thanks to Apple’s iOS 8.3 and iOS 8.4 updates, most of the issues that were plaguing the iPhone 6 have been wiped out. iOS 8.4 is the most complete version of the iPhone 6’s iOS 8 software and it’s arguably the most stable.
Every single phone goes through some growing pains and the iPhone 6’s software is now mature thanks to Apple’s new iOS release pattern that includes tons of big updates and thanks to the company’s new beta process that includes the general public in the hunt for problems and issues.
We’ve owned the iPhone 6 since it came out in September and we’re absolutely thrilled about the condition that it’s in right now. It’s not showing any signs of age and that’s great for those of you who are just now getting around to looking for a brand new smartphone.
We’re Excited (And Nervous) About the Future
iOS 8.4 has us both excited and a bit nervous about the what’s next for the iPhone 6.
We’re excited because iOS 9 is following iOS 8.4’s footsteps with a lengthy beta that includes both a public and a developer beta. That should help Apple cut down on the number of iPhone 6 iOS 9 problems in the fall and beyond.
We’re also excited that there’s the potential for iPhone 6 to get better than this. iOS 8.4 is good but iOS 9 promises to deliver performance enhancements that include an hour of additional battery life. That would be huge for a device that’s already getting high quality performance on iOS 8.4.
And while we’re excited, there’s still a part of us that’s nervous. Nervous because iOS 8.4 is so good. iOS 8.4 delivers solid performance. It comes with every single iOS 8 feature. You can jailbreak it. It’s going to be a hard update to replace. The foundation is there, let’s hope that iOS 9 builds on it.
iPhone 6 iOS 8.4 Review: One Week Later
In the week since the update's release, we've been using the iPhone 6 iOS 8.4 update on several versions of the phone.
Over the weekend we published our full review of the iPhone 6 iOS 8.4 update that takes a look at the update's performance in several key areas including apps, speed of the UI, connectivity, and battery life.
We're now a full week into the iOS 8.4 update and our thoughts on the software haven't changed. This is a very solid update, both in terms of features and performance, and it's one that all iPhone 6 users must consider as we push toward the fall and the release of iOS 9.
At this point, we're not sure if Apple will release an iOS 8.4.1 update so you're stuck with iOS 8.4. So before installing it, we recommend gathering feedback from other iPhone 6 users on social media, Apple-centric forums and on Apple's own discussion forums.
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