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iOS 9.1: Worth Upgrading?

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iOS 9.1: Worth Upgrading?

Apple’s newest iOS release still leaves a few rough edges. This article examines whether it’s worth upgrading to iOS 9.1.

It’s been a rough past year for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users. iOS 8 was riddled with defects and never seemed to attain the level of quality Apple users are accustomed to. Apple promised to focus on stability, performance and battery life with iOS 9. Unfortunately, even with iOS 9.1, I am experiencing browser and Mail crashes, in addition to sluggish Spotlight performance. The App Switcher has greatly improved and no longer stalls.

iOS 9.1 still isn’t good enough to install on my iPhone 6. I am sticking with iOS 8.4.1 on my iPhone. It’s not perfect, but it is more stable than iOS 9.1. If you have already upgraded to iOS 9, iOS 9.1 is better than 9.0.2. It’s faster, more stable and offers better battery life.

Installing iOS 9.1

I always test iOS upgrades on my iPad 2 before installing them on my iPhone 6. If you have an older iOS device, I highly recommend following this practice. You can find out if it’s worth upgrading to a new iOS release by installing it on an older, non-essential device. You can also just wait for my reviews. I’m not a fanboy. I won’t cover up any flaws to protect the largest corporation on the planet. I think consumers need information more than Apple needs favorable iOS 9 upgrade statistics.

iOS 9.1 is a moderately sized update. At about 100 to 300 MB, the update takes about an hour, depending on your device and how often you have been upgrading. If your Internet connection is slow or Apple’s servers are busy, it could take longer. The update was only 111 MB for my iPad 2, as it has fewer features than newer iOS devices.

Backup any critical information, using iCloud or iTunes, before you install iOS 9.1. For more information on best practices for upgrading iOS, please read “How to Upgrade iOS”.

Tap on Settings > General > Software Update and then tap Download and Install to begin the process. You will be asked to accept the legal agreements before you begin.

Read and Accept Terms and Conditions to Install iOS 9.1 Upgrade

You can just let your device run the update unattended, if it has more than 50% battery life after the download. You can also run the update with your device plugged in to a charger.

I don’t recommend using the automatic overnight update process if you use your iOS device as an alarm. Users have reported problems with this when upgrading to iOS 9.1. Specifically, the iOS clock app will fail to sound an alarm.

After the update process has finished, users are greeted with a welcoming Hello screen.

iOS 9.1 Hello Screen

iOS 9.1 is a major update, so it requires some initial configuration. On my iPad, I was only required to sign in to iCloud.

Enter iCloud Password After Upgrading to iOS 9.1


Although iOS 9 offers improved performance over iOS 8, iOS 9.1 isn’t any faster than 9.0.2. The primary Geekbench scores for iOS 9.0.2 and 9.1 are identical. Integer and memory performance are slightly lower on iOS 9.1, but 9.1 offers slightly better floating point performance. The detailed scores in the breakdown vary by 1 point. They are insignificant differences. For all intents and purposes, iOS 9.1 and iOS 9.0.2 offer the same performance.

iOS 9.1 Has Same Geekbench 3 Score as iOS 9.0.2

iOS 9.1 Improvements

iOS 9.1 offers many bug fixes and improvements. The new update fixes a bug in Live Photos that captured raising and lowering the camera. It now sense when the camera is raised and lowered, excluding these events from Live Photo. iOS 9.1 also adds over 150 new emojis, including the infamous middle finger. The update improves stability for Apple Music, Photos, CarPlay, Spotlight Search and Safari. For more information on bug fixes and improvements, check out Apple’s release notes. You can also read these on your iOS device when upgrading to iOS 9.1. (continue…)

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iOS 9.1 Release Notes

UPDATE: Forbes reports iOS 9.1 is introducing problems with Touch ID. Several users are reporting that Touch ID is unreliable and sometimes does not work at all. Resetting the device or restoring it to factory settings does not solve the problem. Affected users can turn off Touch ID by tapping Settings > Touch ID & Passcode and then turn off the feature for all services. Apple is already working on the iOS 9.2 release.


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