The iOS 8.4 update on the iPhone 6 Plus adds Apple Music to the already fine-tuned performance of iOS 8.3 for a positive overall experience, with only a few problems that will impact users with an in-car entertainment system.
After using the iOS 8.4 update on the iPhone 6 Plus this week and testing out the free Apple Music trial, here is our iPhone 6 Plus iOS 8.4 review that will help you decide if you should upgrade to iOS 8.4 now or wait for iOS 9 this fall.
The huge push for Apple Music is driving many iPhone and iPad owners to install the iOS 8.4 update. You cannot use Apple Music without iOS 8.4. This update did not include a lot of bug fixes, but it does stop the iMessage bug that broke some iPhones and a few other small fixes.
Although not as feature packed as iOS 8.3, the iOS 8.4 update is essential for music lovers, iBooks users and the overall iOS 8.4 performance is solid.
This is our full iPhone 6 Plus iOS 8.4 review, focusing on this device specifically. By the end of this review you will know the answer to the question, “Should I install iOS 8.4 on the iPhone 6 Plus.
iPhone 6 Plus iOS 8.4 Review
After downgrading from the iOS 9 beta to install iOS 8.4 on the iPhone 6 Plus I quickly switched this device to my primary iPhone, leaving the iPhone 6 with less use during the last week. I normally switch between the two, but with iOS 9 previously installed I was using the iPhone 6 Plus less over the last month.
The iOS 8.4 update performs well on the iPhone 6 Plus, but some of the unannounced new features dealing with how the iPhone connects to accessories over lightning are forcing me to change how I use the iPhone if I want to use Apple Music and Siri in my car.
After testing my favorite iphone 6 Plus apps on iOS 8.4 over the last several days I did not encounter any major problems with third-party apps. There are some Apple Music problems and crashes, but after the first two days of stress from new users Apple Music is performing better.
I use Audible for audiobooks, so the new iBooks audiobook feature and other changes don’t impact my day-to-day use.
Apps like Facebook, Netflix, Tweetbot and Spotify all work fine on iOS 8.4, to highlight a few of the high-profile apps that I use.
iOS 8.4 Battery Life
The iPhone 6 Plus battery life is unchanged from iOS 8.3, which is to say the iOS 8.4 battery life is good. Even with mixed hotspot use and a little Siegefall, the iPhone 6 Plus battery lasts a full day without any problems.
It is especially good to know that there is no fast battery drain that can indicate a major problem. If your battery life isn’t up to par, learn how to fix bad iOS 8.4 battery life.
WiFi, Cellular Data & Bluetooth
Connectivity is key for iPhone users, and with each update I pay special attention to how the iPhone connects to WiFi, Bluetooth and LTE.
The iPhone 6 Plus personal hotspot and LTE connectivity are solid after the iOS 8.4 update. This is an AT&T iPhone 6 Plus and all is working well. WiFi connectivity is good, with a fast and reliable connections at home and to public WiFi networks.
I am using Bluetooth more often due to a Lighting and Apple Music compatibility problem in my car. The Bluetooth connection is working great.
Bugs & Issues
Even though the overall iOS 8.4 performance is good, there are some annoying bugs that take away from the overall experience.
Apple removed Home Sharing from iOS 8.4. This is not a feature I use often for music, but it is one that iPhone 6 Plus owners need to consider before upgrading.
While using the iPhone 6 Plus connected to my car with a Lightning cable Siri will try to activate over the “Dock connector” instead of using Bluetooth and I cannot change this setting to Bluetooth when plugged in.
Confirmed. Apple Music and iOS 8.4 hate Ford Sync. pic.twitter.com/hDk7mN0qA7
— Josh Smith (@Josh_Smith) July 2, 2015
Another problem is with Apple Music and the lightning connector. When plugging the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus in to Lightning it is impossible to use the Up Next feature because Apple Music shows an error saying this accessory does not support Up Next.
iOS 8.4 is fast on the iPhone 6 Plus, just like it was on iOS 8.3 and on other recent updates. Switching apps and opening apps happens quickly. Using apps is just as quick, and the performance inside games is quick. We don’t expect a major change in performance on an iPhone that is less than a year old, especially with a smaller update like iOS 8.4, so you can expect similar performance on all of your devices.
Should You Install iOS 8.4?
Everyone’s situation is different, but most iPhone 6 Plus owners can install iOS 8.4 without any worries. If you rely on Home Sharing or must use a lightning connection in your car, you may want to wait to see if Apple addresses these problems with a small iOS 8.4.1 update or in iOS 9.
If you upgrade to iOS 8.4 and then decide that you do not like it there is still time to downgrade to iOS 8.3, but Apple will close this option up soon. There is also a iOS 8.4 jailbreak that allows users to install iOS 8.4 themes and Cydia tweaks to do more.
In all, the iPhone 6 Plus iOS 8.4 update is a good move for most users. If you don’t care about Apple Music or iBooks changes and iOS 8.3 is running perfectly on your iPhone 6 Plus, you can wait to see what changes come in the next few weeks. The free Apple Music trial isn’t going anywhere.
Apple Music Streaming
The new Apple Music app includes the new Apple Music streaming service designed to take on Spotify, Pandora and other services. The iOS 8.4 update enables this new app and includes a free three-month trial of the Apple Music service.
With Apple Music you can pay $9.99 a month for an individual or $14.99 a month for a family of up to six members and enjoy full albums on demand and save music for offline playback.
Apple Music uses your musical tastes to pick new music that you might enjoy listening to in a new For You section of the music app that will help you find new music to listen to. The video above shows how this works.
This new app replaces the Music app from iOS 8 and earlier. Apple is not adding another app you cannot install from the iPhone or iPad, just updating one that is already on your device.
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