Apple’s confirmed a new iOS 11.1 update and today we want to take you through what you can expect if you decide to download the iOS 11.1 beta on the iPhone 6s.
Earlier this week Apple released a iOS 11.0.1 bug fix update for the iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and other devices capable of running iOS 11. iOS 11.0.1 fixes issues with Exchange mail and it’s worth a look if your iPhone 6s is struggling on iOS 11.0.
The iPhone 6s iOS 11.0.1 update was treating our device pretty well, but we decided to move the device to a newer version of iOS 11.
Apple’s new iOS 11.1 update is in beta for developers and those in the company’s Beta Software Program ahead of an unknown release date. As of right now, we expect iOS 11.1 to be released in late October, but that’s unconfirmed.
The iOS 11.1 beta is pre-release software which means it’s unfinished and buggy. We, and others, are already noticing issues with the milestone update. It’s also lacking big time features.
The first iOS 11.1 beta doesn’t include the new emojis or Apple Pay Cash though we could see Apple Pay Cash roll out in a future beta or with the final release later this year.
It doesn’t offer much, but some of you might be thinking about jumping to the new version of iOS 11 right now or in the future.
There are some good reasons to consider installing beta software (you’ll help Apple squash bugs, you work in IT) and there are some reasons to stay on official software (it’s buggy, you can’t go back to anything older than iOS 10.3.3).
This is guide focused on the iOS 11.1 beta’s performance on the iPhone 6s, the 4.7-inch model. If you’re on the fence about the beta, these quick impressions could help push you to one side of the fence or the other.
iPhone 6s iOS 11.1 Beta Installation
Before we get into our impressions of the first iOS 11 milestone update, a few quick notes about the iOS 11.1 beta installation process on the iPhone 6s.
We made the jump from iOS 11.0.1 to iOS 11.1. The download only took a few moments and the installation took just around four minutes. All in all, the process took around six minutes to complete. It could take longer if you’re moving from an older version of iOS.
We haven’t seen a ton of complaints about the installation, but you’ll still want to be careful, particularly if this is your first time installing pre-release software on an iPhone.
If it is your first time installing beta software, take a look at our iOS 11.1 beta download guide. It’ll help you get through the process problem-free.
Now for some quick thoughts about the update’s performance.
We haven’t noticed anything interesting in the battery life department yet. This isn’t a bad thing.
We were getting solid battery life from iOS 11.0.1 and iOS 11.0 and iOS 11.1 battery life is just as stable. We haven’t noticed any significant drain (at least not yet) and the device appears to be holding a solid charge.
We’ve been using a mixture of cellular data and LTE and we’ve been able to squeeze a pretty full day of work and playing the occasional game out of the iPhone 6s and iOS 11.1. Hopefully this translates to the final release.
We aren’t seeing any battery issues but some iOS 11.1 beta testers are. If you decide to try the iOS 11.1 beta or if you simply want to be prepared, take a look at our guide to fixing iOS 11 battery life.
If nothing there works you might want to downgrade from the beta. Currently, you can downgrade to iOS 11.0.1, iOS 11.0, or iOS 10.3.3. Nothing older than that.
Our connectivity was strong on iOS 11.0.1, but we’ve experienced a few hiccups while running the iOS 11.1 beta.
Cellular data and Wi-Fi are working normally, but we’ve run into issues pairing the iPhone 6s with Bluetooth devices. Namely, a Bose Mini SoundLink speaker and a pair of QC35 Bose headphones. These might be isolated incidents, but Bluetooth was flawless for us on iOS 11.0.1.
If you rely on Bluetooth to get you through work, your commute, or travel, it might be a good idea to stick around on official iOS software.
We’ll let you know if anything changes.
Apps & Services
App performance often takes a hit when a device is running pre-release software so it hasn’t been surprising to see some apps act up during our short time with iOS 11.1 beta.
Slack, Twitter, and Chrome, three of our core applications, have crashed. Podcasts, Mail, Gmail, Spotify, and The Weather Channel app have also crashed. We haven’t seen any serial crashers yet but that could of course change as we extend our stay on the beta.
This is a completely different experience than iOS 11.0.1 where our apps were stable. If you rely on your apps, or if you use services like Exchange for work, you might want to avoid iOS 11.1. It’s too unpredictable.
The iPhone 6s is our backup device and an install on our primary device, the iPhone 7, is out of the question.
Our iPhone 6s is surprisingly fast. Lag, lockups, and freezes are common iOS beta problems, but the iOS 11.1 beta feels as fast as iOS 11.0.1 did.
Animations and transitions remain fluid and we haven’t noticed any issues when tapping on our folders, opening up apps, pulling up Control Center from the bottom of the screen, or pulling down the Notification panel from the top portion of the iPhone 6s’ display.
If you start noticing performance issues or if you want to prepare, take a look at our guide to improving iOS 11 performance. It could help.
Should You Install the iPhone 6s iOS 11.1 Beta?
We haven’t run into any major problems with the iOS 11.1 update. That said, you’ll still want to avoid it if your iPhone 6s is your primary device. It’s a little buggier than iOS 11.0.1.
The first iOS 11.1 beta doesn’t have much on board either. Apple could add new features in upcoming betas, but there’s no guarantee.
For now, most iPhone 6s users should avoid iOS 11.1 beta and stick to the official versions of iOS 11.
Install iOS 11.3.1 for Better Security
Apple's iOS 11.3.1 update comes with four known security patches for all iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch models capable of running iOS 11.
If you skipped iOS 11.3, your iOS 11.3.1 update comes with 27 additional patches for potential exploits. Those of you lingering on iOS 11.2.6 would be wise to make the move sooner rather than later.
If you missed iOS 11.3, your iOS 11.3.1 update also includes a new privacy feature. When an Apple feature wants to use your personal information, an icon now appears with a link to access detailed information about how your data will be used and protected.
If you're running iOS 11.2.5 or older, you're exposed to an issue that lets people send a specific character that will crash an iOS-powered device and block access to the Messages app. It can also block apps like Facebook Messenger, Gmail, Outlook, and WhatsApp.
The iOS 11.2.6 update's main purpose was to patch up this issue. If you skipped iOS 11.2.6, you'll get these enhancements with iOS 11.3.1.
If you're running iOS 11.2.2 or below and receive a certain GitHub link through your Messages app, your iPhone or iPad can lockup or respring. The Messages app will also become unusable.
If you're on iOS 11.2.1, your iOS 11.3.1 update includes security improvements to Safari and WebKit to mitigate the effects of Spectre. If you're running an older version of iOS, your iOS 11.3.1 update will come with a lot more.
Apple's iOS 11.2 update fixed several problems, but it also brought problems of its own including a potentially nasty zero-day iOS HomeKit vulnerability.
The vulnerability, discovered by Tian Zhang, allowed for unauthorized control of HomeKit accessories including garage door openers and smart locks.
Apple quickly rolled out a server-side fix, but the company restored full functionality with the release of iOS 11.2.1. If you skipped iOS 11.2.1 and use HomeKit, you should download iOS 11.3.
If you skipped iOS 11.2, you'll get a few more patches with your iOS 11.3.1 update. Apple's iOS 11.2 update delivered 11 patches including one for Mail and one for Wi-Fi.
The iOS 11.2 and iOS 11.2.1 updates also patched up a widespread security issue called "Meltdown." Apple says its analysis suggests it "has the most potential to be exploited."
Meltdown affects all iOS 11 powered devices so we highly recommend downloading iOS 11.3.1 if you skipped iOS 11.2.
If you skipped iOS 11.1.2, iOS 11.1.1, and iOS 11.1, you'll get additional patches with your iOS 11.3.1 update.
The iOS 11.1 update delivered eight security patches including a fix for a serious Wi-Fi vulnerability called KRACK or Key Reinstallation Attack. KRACK is an exploit that targets the common WPA2 encryption protocol.
If you're just now making to move from iOS 10 (or whatever you're on) to iOS 11, your iOS 11.3.1 update will come with even more security features.
In iOS 11 you can't establish trust with a PC using fingerprints alone. You'll also need to put in a full passcode in order to gain that trust.
If you skipped older versions of iOS, your iOS 11.3.1 update will come with an even longer list of security patches.
Apple's iOS 10.3.3 update delivered 24 security patches addressing potential issues with Contacts, Messages, Notifications, and Safari. It also included a patch for a potentially dangerous Wi-Fi exploit called "Broadpwn."
If you skipped iOS 10.3.2 you'll get 23 additional patches with iOS 11.3.1. And if for some reason you missed iOS 10.3, you'll get 60 security patches with your iOS 11.3.1 update.
If you want to protect the data you store on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you should make your move to iOS 11 and iOS 11.3.1 soon.
This is particularly important for those of you running older versions of iOS.