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iPhone 5 iOS 9.1 Update Review: Should You Install?



Last week, Apple released its iPhone 5 iOS 9.1 update into the wild bringing bug fixes and new features to the 4-inch former flagship. We’ve been using the company’s latest update and today we want to help you decide if the iPhone 5 iOS 9.1 update is worth installing.

In June, Apple confirmed an iOS 9 release for the iPhone 5. Many people still swear by the iPhone 5 so the announcement was a cause for celebration. The iPhone 5’s software life would be prolonged for another year, at least.

In September, Apple delivered on its promise. On September 16th, Apple rolled out the iPhone 5 iOS 9.0 update. The update brought tons of new features and enhancements to the iPhone 5 but it also caused problems for many owners, myself included.

A few days later, Apple pushed iOS 9.0.1. A few days after that, it released iOS 9.0.2. The two updates fixed a ton of glaring iOS 9 problems but they failed to fix them all.

Last week, Apple rolled out iOS 9.1, the first milestone upgrade to iOS 9. iOS 9.1 is much bigger than iOS 9.0.1 and iOS 9.0.2 and it brings new emojis, bug fixes and more to the iPhone 5 and Apple’s other iOS 9 powered devices.

In the buildup to the iOS 9.1 release, I heard that the iOS 9.1 update would bring performance improvements to the iPhone. After my first day with the update, performance was looking good. But how has it held up?

I’ve been using the iPhone 5 iOS 9.1 update for just about a week now and today I want to take a look at how the update is performing.

iPhone 5 iOS 9.1 Update Review

Before I get started, it’s important that I point out a few things. First, I moved my iPhone 5 from iOS 9.0.2 to iOS 9.1. Second, mileage always varies when it comes to iOS 9 updates so you’ll want to use this review as a general guide.

I encourage all of you to seek out second or third opinions about the merits of the iPhone 5 iOS 9.1 update. You absolutely must do this if you are moving from an update that’s older than the iOS 9.0.2. YouTube is a great starting point for additional feedback.

Finally, while I’ll touch on a few iOS 9.1 features, this review focuses on the iPhone 5 iOS 9.1 update’s performance in several key areas. If you want to learn more about iOS 9 and iOS 9.1, take a look at our walkthrough.


Aside from a few crashes, I haven’t experienced any problems with my iPhone 5’s set of stock and third-party applications.

iOS 9.1 came with some stability improvements for Music and Photos. I don’t use Apple Music but I do use Photos, a lot, and I haven’t experienced any issues after the iOS 9.1 update.

I use a core set of applications on a daily basis. Asana, Slack, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Gmail, Hangouts, Chrome, Dark Sky, Amazon, SoundCloud, Facebook, Spotify, and Xbox One Smartglass are all working fine with iOS 9.1 on board. I’ve seen the occasional crash from Twitter, Facebook and Chrome but that’s normal. Frustrating, but normal.

This could just be my luck but I think it probably has something to do with the fact that I’ve installed every single bug fix update these developers have thrown at me and my iPhone 5. All of these apps have been updated in the weeks since the iOS 9 release and those updates have almost certainly helped stabilize these apps.


If you are seeing an issue or you’re nervous about running into a problem after installing iOS 9.1, research the bug fix updates available to you. Facebook recently issued a fix for battery drain issues and Instagram just released an iOS 9 support update. These should help.

If reviews are bad or you’re still noticing issues after installing the bug fixer, try reinstalling the application to see if that helps. You might also want to try restarting your iPhone 5.

If that doesn’t work, get in touch with the developer and let it know about the problem you’re having.

iPhone 5 iOS 9.1 Battery Life

Some iPhone 5 users are experiencing odd battery drain after moving to the iOS 9.1 update. The Facebook battery drain issue probably was the root cause of a lot of these problems.

My iPhone 5 and its three year old battery are holding up well after the iOS 9.1 update. I haven’t seen any apps go rogue and I’ve been using my phone like I normally would. I’ve been able to get a full day of use out of the phone when using a mixture of LTE and Wi-Fi.

While it’s easy to blame Apple for your iPhone 5 battery woes, there’s a good chance that it’s an app (or your horrible habits), not iOS 9.1, causing your battery to drain faster than it should.

I’ve put together a list of fixes and tips that should help you get the most out of iOS 9.1 and your iPhone 5. iOS 9.1 isn’t causing widespread battery problems for iPhone users so you’re going to have to be extremely proactive if you do see something. Most of you probably won’t encounter any serious problems though.

Wi-Fi, LTE & Bluetooth

I’ve been using the iPhone 5 on AT&T’s LTE and 4G networks for about a week now and I haven’t run into any problems. Both connections are as fast as ever and I haven’t experienced any weird drops.

I’ve been testing the iPhone 5 iOS 9.1 update with a number of Bluetooth products including speakers (Bose Soundlink) and headphones and so far I’ve had no problem pairing the device. (Can’t say the same for everyone though.)


I haven’t been able to test it in a car just yet. I’ve heard mixed things about Bluetooth in the car but I always hear mixed things about Bluetooth in the car.

I’ve tested the update with several different routers (Verizon FiOS, Belkin, TP-Link) and I haven’t noticed any issues with Wi-Fi. Speed and range all seem normal.

Connectivity issues can emerge at any time and they can be extremely hard to fix. If you do see something, take a look at our list of fixes for these problems. This is first place I’ll turn if I do run into something down the road.

Bugs & Problems

I didn’t run into that weird iOS 9.1 installation issue that’s breaking alarms and I haven’t run into any bugs in my week with the iPhone 5 iOS 9.1 update.

I’ve been digging and digging and nothing has jumped out at me. Maybe I’m lucky, maybe it’s because I take really good care of my iPhone 5, or maybe it’s because the bugs are just lurking waiting for the opportune time to strike. I’m not sure.

There are iOS 9.1 problems and iPhone 5 users have been complaining about various bugs and problems but I haven’t noticed anything. Still, you’ll want to be very careful. I’m one person with one version of the iPhone 5. These devices have a ton of moving parts and bugs have plenty of places to hide.

If you need help, start with our list of fixes for common iOS 9.1 problems.

UI Speed

Finally, my iPhone 5 is fast again.

It only took a year but it looks like my UI lag issues are gone. My iPhone 5 isn’t as fast as my iPhone 6s but the iOS 9.1 is an improvement over the iOS 9.0.2, iOS 9.0.1, iOS 9.0 updates. It’s also an improvement over every iOS 8 update that came after iOS 8.1.


With iOS 9.1 on board, I haven’t experienced any slowdown when I’m opening up my folders or when I’m scrolling across my home screens. Animations and transitions are fluid and opening apps feels a little bit faster than it did with the previous versions of iOS 9 on board.

I was skeptical last week but I’m a believer now. I’ve spent a ton of time stress testing the phone and its passed with flying colors.

Should You Install the iOS 9.1 Update?

If you’re already on iOS 9.0, iOS 9.0.1, or iOS 9.0.2, I think the iOS 9.1 is probably going to be worth it. It’s performing well a week after release and the new emojis are fantastic.

If you’re having problems on one of those updates, iOS 9.1 is worthy of consideration. It comes with security patches and it also comes with a laundry list of bug fixes for some of iOS 9’s most annoying problems.

If you’re on iOS 8 or something older than that, I think iOS 9 at this stage is worth investigating. iOS 9.1 is stable and it will bring tons of new enhancements and features to the phone.

iOS 9.1 is the best iOS 9 release yet and it’s worthy of consideration.

Next up? iOS 9.1.1 or iOS 9.2.

10 Things to Know About the iPhone 5 iOS 9.1 Update

iPhone 5 iOS 9.1 Update Two Weeks Later

iPhone 5 iOS 9.1 Update Two Weeks Later

I've been using the iPhone 5 iOS 9.1 update for two weeks and the software continues to perform well on the phone I bought all the way back in 2012. 

Up until the iOS 9.1 release, I had been experiencing horrible lag issues on my iPhone 5. Folders would open up slowly. Control Center would lag. And the UI would frequently slow down and skip. It was extremely annoying.

iOS 9.1 isn't perfect but it's 10x better than many of the updates that came before it. Apps still open slowly but everything else feels much, much faster. It's a complete 180 for a phone that I thought I was going to factory reset and sell. 

If you're on an older version of iOS 9 and you're having problems, I recommend the iOS 9.1 update. If you're on something older than iOS 9, you'll want to be extremely careful. iOS 9.1 is the best iOS 9 update but it has the potential to cause problems. I'm liking iOS 9 now that I have iOS 9.1 on board.



  1. J S

    10/27/2015 at 11:25 am

    iPhone 5 on iOS 9.1 cannot make outward call thru phone app. Apple Store also says it’s a bus issue. It’s a huge issue affecting major phones

  2. arrianadaviscoleman

    11/04/2015 at 5:26 am

    Thanks for the article. Netflix, Hulu and BBC App is great on iPhone. If live outside USA, you can use tools like UnoTelly to getNetflix, Hulu and BBC on your iPhone.

  3. Mark perry

    12/27/2015 at 11:41 am

    Having major issues with game centre on ios 9.1. Black screen when try opening the app & frozen screen when going through settings route. Any help would be greatfully accepted

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