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Speed up iOS 8

Speed up iOS 8

If you’ve upgraded your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch to iOS 8, you may find it a bit sluggish. This article will show you how to improve iOS 8 performance.

Some users have found that iOS 8 slows down performance on older devices. This is most apparent with the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S. The main issue is that there are new features which decrease performance, as they are running in the background. These features not only consume CPU cycles, but also take up network bandwidth. With some minor adjustments, iOS 8 can perform just as well as iOS 7, even on the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S. I have been running iOS 8 on my iPad 2 since the day it was released. I don’t regret upgrading.

Follow “Speed up iOS 7” Instructions

iOS 8 inherited all of the features that came with iOS 7. If you installed iOS 7 and accepted the performance decrease, you may have many of these features running. If you want decent performance from your iOS device, I strongly recommend disabling these features. Before we begin performance tuning your device for iOS 8, follow these instructions.

Wait for Post-Upgrade Optimization to Run

Major iOS releases involve a post-upgrade optimization process. When you first use iOS 8, you may find it unbearably slow. Don’t worry, this is only temporary. Spotlight is indexing the content on your device. This facilitates faster searching. Since iOS introduces new search types to Spotlight, re-indexing is a necessity. There are other optimization processes running — iCloud also needs to exchange information with Apple’s servers. This slows the device by taking up network bandwidth and processor cycles.

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With most iOS releases, it usually takes a few minutes to a few hours for the post-optimization process to run. This process seemed to take about a day with iOS 8. I upgraded on the first day of the release. I imagine iCloud servers were overwhelmed, which may have slowed this process down. Expect an older iOS device to run slowly for up to a day after iOS 8 is installed.

There’s not much you can do but wait. In fact, the less you use your iOS device, the faster it will run this process. Don’t turn off your device. Simply ensure that it has enough battery life to run these background processes. Unfortunately, there is no way measure the progress of this process. You’ll know it’s done when your device operates faster.

Remove Recents from App Switcher

iOS 8 adds a new feature to the App Switcher — the ability to easily access recent contacts. This feature makes the App Switcher launch more slowly on older devices. I recommend turning it off. Tap on Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars and scroll down to Contacts. Tap on Show In App Switcher and then turn off Recents. For more information on the benefits of turning this feature off, please read “iOS 8: How to Remove Recent Contacts“.

Turn Off or Refine Spotlight Search Options

Spotlight is one of the most useful features on iOS. I use it to launch apps. I find it much easier than scanning dozens of icons. In fact, I cleared the icons off my first home screen, so I can enjoy an unobstructed view of my wallpaper. I just swipe down from the home screen, type in a character or two and launch an app.

iOS 8 adds more features to Spotlight. This means that it must index more content, and this is an ongoing process. Additionally, the more results that Spotlight returns, the slower it will operate. I recommend refining Spotlight to just search for apps. You can always change this back if you need to search for anything else. Most apps have their own search functionality. If you need to search email, you can do that with Mail. Searching for a song can be done within the Music app.

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Refining Spotlight search results is quite simple. Tap on Settings > General > Spotlight Search and uncheck every item except Applications. This will improve overall iOS performance and speed up Spotlight results. For more Spotlight tips, check out “Spotlight Search Tips for the iPhone“.

Do a Full Factory Reset

If you’ve had your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch for a long time, it has probably accumulated a lot of baggage. There are apps you don’t use. You may even notice that auto-correct has picked up some misspellings, mistaken for proper nouns. There may be some free space on your device that can’t be cleaned up. Having at least 1 GB of free space on your device is critical to performance.

It may be a good idea to do a full factory reset on your iOS device and re-install the apps and content that you really use. This will give you a fresh start. It will be like having a new phone. Just don’t expect your iPhone 4S to perform like an iPhone 6.

Be forewarned that a full factory reset is just that. All of the content on your device — apps, movies, TV shows, music, etc. will be deleted. If your content is purchased from Apple, there isn’t much to worry about. You can re-download any purchased items. If you buy content from other vendors, make sure it can be re-installed.

A full factory reset will also restore all settings to factory defaults. It may be a good idea to take screen shots of important settings and transfer them to a computer (using iCloud, iTunes or email). Your keyboard features, such as auto-correct and predictive text will have to re-learn your language usage. A factory reset is not a trivial endeavor.

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Before you do a factory reset, it is a good idea to backup your device. Please read this article to learn more about backing up your device.

Update Your Apps

After iOS 8 is installed, you should update all of your apps as soon as possible. Many developers have updated their apps to work with iOS 8. They are taking advantage of new features and the updated app will offer better performance on iOS 8. As an early adopter of iOS 8, I found that some critical apps were quite slow in the beginning. The developers eventually updated them to work with iOS 8. After updating, the performance of many apps was as good or even better than with iOS 7. You can update apps by launching the App Store. Next, tap the Updates button at the bottom and tap “update all”. Be forewarned, the update process will slow down your device and consume network bandwidth.

Turn Off Unnecessary Notifications

Whenever I launch a new app, I almost always opt-out of notifications. Let’s face it — we really don’t need notifications from the vast majority of our apps. These are not only obnoxious, but can drain battery life and performance. It seems like the least critical apps are the ones that spam us with the most notifications.

Before I turned off most of my notifications, I would see my iPhone or iPad turn on automatically to show some trivial notification. When I looked at my Notification Center settings, I was shocked to find that virtually every app has notifications turned on. When your device wakes up a few times a day to display notifications, it reduces battery life. Notifications also consume network bandwidth and processor cycles.

I don’t recommend disabling all notifications. It’s better to disable them on the vast majority of apps that just aren’t critical. If you have a lot of apps, this may take some time. You’ll probably be surprised at how many apps have notifications enabled, even if you opted-out when the app was first launched. First, tap on Settings > Notification Center. Next, tap on an app and then switch off Notifications. Go back and repeat this process until only a few critical apps have notifications enabled. You will see a remarkable increase in performance and battery life.

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Turn Off Location Services

Much like Notifications, Location Services are another iOS feature that constantly runs in the background. I recommend keeping Location Services activated on your iPhone, unless you have serious privacy concerns. If your iPhone is lost or stolen, it will be easier to find your device with Location Services turned on. Location Services could also save your life if you happen to drive off the road or become injured in a remote location.

I turned off Location Services on my iPad 2. The device rarely leaves my home and I just didn’t find it useful. I noticed an improvement in performance after deactivating Location Services. It also improved my iPad’s battery life. You can turn off Location Services by tapping Settings > Privacy > Location Services.

Upgrade to iOS 8.1.1

iOS 8 had a rocky start, but I actually think it was a smoother release than iOS 7. iOS 7 was plagued with problems from the start, and it took a few months before apps such as Mail and Calendar were reliable. Even then, I probably had about 10 app crashes in 2 months. That’s actually normal and expected with other mobile operating systems.

I didn’t have any app crashes with iOS 8. The most annoying bug was that copy/cut/paste didn’t work properly. iOS 8.1.1 fixes this defect and also improves performance on older devices, like the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S. I find that iOS 8.1.1 offers better performance than iOS 7. If you already upgraded to iOS 8 and avoided 8.1.1, I recommend installing it as soon as possible. It’s a great release. iOS 8 has managed to become stable and reliable, less than 2 months after its initial release. It took iOS 7 a little longer to attain this level of quality. For more information on iOS 8.1.1, check out this article.

Speed up Safari on iOS 8

Like many iOS users, Safari is the main web browser I use. It’s a great web browser, but Apple keeps cramming in features that can slow it down, especially on older devices or slow networks.

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iOS 8 introduces a Safari feature which preloads the top hit from search results. This assumes that the first search result is what you want. This often isn’t the case, but Safari is taking up network bandwidth and processor cycles to download something you might not even use. Even users with brand new iPads and iPhones notice that Safari seems to become unresponsive. Preloading the top hit is the reason why Safari seems to stall. You can turn this off by tapping Settings > Safari > Preload Top Hit.

By default, iOS 8 will also preload any new tabs that you open. This has the consequence of slowing down the tab you are currently viewing. It may be difficult to scroll. Other elements, such as embedded media, might not load properly. Fortunately, you can turn this off by tapping Settings > Safari > Open New Tabs in Background.

iOS 8 is Better Than iOS 7

iOS 8 is a major improvement over iOS 7. Early adopters of iOS 8 had a few issues to overcome. Overall, iOS 8 offers better quality and reliability than its predecessor. The tips in this article will improve your iOS 8 experience. You’ll find, even on an older device, the performance is as good, if not better, than iOS 7. I use my iPad 2 with iOS 8 several hours a week. I play high performance video games on this device. I don’t find it to be slower or less reliable than iOS 7. After a few months of using iOS 8, I don’t regret upgrading.


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