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iOS 8.1.1: Worth Upgrading?

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iPhone iPad and Mac

This is one reason why most people can’t ditch their computer for a tablet or smart phone. Mobile operating systems are just too buggy. You can blame Apple, but the blogosphere is also at fault. Even flaws that don’t exist, such as the bending iPhone 6, are blown out of proportion. If Apple delayed the release of iOS 8 they would garner even more criticism.

iOS 8.1.1 Speeds up iPad 2 and iPhone 4S

If you’ve been disappointed with the performance of iOS 8 and regret upgrading, you will want to upgrade to iOS 8.1.1 immediately. Apple’s newest update speeds up performance on the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S. I have noticed better performance, but iOS 8 wasn’t that slow to begin with.

When you first install a major iOS upgrade, an optimization process is run. Spotlight is re-indexing your content. iCloud is doing some housekeeping. This will slow down your device for the first few hours. Unfortunately, first impressions are important. Users upgrading to iOS 8 experienced a slow device at first. After upgrading to iOS 8.1.1, I can honestly say my iPad 2 runs as fast as it did on iOS 7.

iOS 8.1.1 Offers Better Battery Life

After every iOS upgrade, many users complain about poor battery life. There are a few explanations. Sometimes, this is Apple’s fault. On occasion, they will introduce a bug that affects battery life. This is unusual. Typically, users either damaged their battery with excessive heat or they just need to calibrate the battery. I recommend calibrating your iOS device’s battery after every upgrade and also once a month, if necessary. If you are experiencing normal battery life, calibration is not necessary.

After upgrading to iOS 8.1.1, I am already seeing much better battery life. This leads me to believe that the performance issues were due to unnecessary background processes. By taming these processes, iOS is faster and the battery lasts longer. The performance gains were not achieved by over-clocking the processor, as that would result in noticeably poorer battery life.

After upgrading, I charged my iPad to 100%. I used it to play videos (over AirPlay) and action games for about 6 hours, and the battery life went down to 62%. That’s pretty amazing battery life for an almost-four-year-old iPad 2. I also turn off my iPad when I charge it. Heat damages lithium-ion batteries.

iOS 8.1.1 Portrait/Landscape Bug

Within a few hours of upgrading to iOS 8.1.1, I experienced the first obvious bug. My iPad is locked in landscape mode. While using Safari, the top status bar suddenly appeared on the left side of the screen. Soon the whole screen switched to the portrait orientation. This was easily fixed by restarting Safari. It’s not a severe bug, but it does show that iOS 8.1.1 still has some problems. I wouldn’t call this a “crisis”, as Forbes contends. It’s actually what I would expect from any mobile operating system.

iOS 8.1.1: Worth Upgrading?

iOS is not a high quality operating system. There are no high quality mobile operating systems. Fierce competition has resulted in cramming too many features into each release. It’s impossible to attain near-perfect quality when so many features are added to each release. If you want an almost flawless computing experience, use a Mac running Mavericks. With a few more updates, Yosemite will also be close to perfection.

If you have already upgraded to iOS 8, 8.1.1 is a welcome update. It is highly recommended for any iOS 8 user. There’s nothing to lose and it fixes some serious bugs. If you have put off upgrading to iOS 8, you might want to stick with iOS 7 until Apple releases a future update. So far, I have found an issue with screen orientation. That alone is reason to wait. There are probably other issues that will surface over time. If your iOS device is mission critical (you need it for work or it is essential to your life), I recommend waiting for iOS 8.1.2.

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