It had generally been hoped that the iOS 8.1.1 update will come with major bug-fixes for iPhone and iPad users. In particular, iPhone 4S and iPad Air 2 were expected to become more compatible with the iOS 8 platform. However, the much-anticipated upgrade has not turned out to be anything great.
Most mobile software analysts and app developers feel that iOS 8.1.1 is, by far, the most polished version of the new iOS 8 platform yet. That, sadly, is not saying much – considering how shambolic the first upgrade, iOS 8.0.1 was, and how unsatisfactory its follow-ups (iOS 8.0.2 and iOS 8.1) have been. We will here do a round-up of the most disruptive bugs and problems that still persist in this upgraded mobile platform version from Apple:
- Weak wi-fi connectivity – This has been a bone of concern mainly for users of older flagship Apple devices (iPhone 4S and iPhone 5) who have upgraded their devices. If the reports at online forums are anything to go by, iOS 8.1.1 has done absolutely nothing to wipe out this problem – which had been present from the day iOS 8 was released. In particular, connecting to corporate wi-fi networks is a huge issue. Connection breaks are common, and in general, the signal remains weak.
- Copy/define in Safari remains on – The overall performance and speed of the default Safari browser in iOS 8 have improved quite a bit, but a snag still remains. Plenty of people have confirmed that they are not being able to turn off the ‘copy/define’ functionality from their phone browser, even after repeated tries. It’s worth mentioning that some early adopters of iPhone 6 have experienced this problem as well.
- The mystery of the missing ringtones – This is a new bug that iOS 8.1.1 comes with. Once you upgrade your handset – you might be in for a nice little surprise, since all your ringtones and text tones might have disappeared. Thankfully, the problem is not a major one, and doing a complete iCloud Restore would help you get back the tones on the phone. Keeping the device synced with iTunes is also advisable.
- iPad Mini has become virtually unusable – General users as well as iOS app developers had been confident about the new upgrade solving the performance glitches in the iPad Mini that iOS 8 had brought about. If anything, iOS 8.1.1 has compounded things further – with random screen freezes, app crashes and erratic copy-paste functions becoming more frequent. Even the keyboard has remained slow and buggy. iPad sales trends are not their most robust levels at present, and the new upgrade has done nothing to increase its appeal.
- Excessive battery drain – Probably the least important of the bugs that are being reported about iOS 8.1.1. Experts from mobile app companies have repeated time and again that battery performance of smartphones take a hit, every time a major upgrade is installed on a device. Users who are experiencing significantly shorter battery life after moving on to iOS 8.1.1 probably have the auto-brightness and/or the background app refresh features on. Turn off all these features, keep track of the applications that are eating up too much battery juice – and you might not have to reach for the charger that often.
- The tablet becomes hot – Playing games on an upgraded iPad for a couple of hours at a stretch has become a problem as well. According to gamers, the tablet heats up rather quickly, which, in turn, slows down the device and affects gameplay. Most app companies are shying away from developing new iPad apps for kids as well, till this problem is solved. iOS fans have always mocked at how even high-end Android devices tended to heat up – but the shoe is on the other feet this time.
- Overconsumption of data plans – None of the versions of the iOS 8 platform has done any justice to the mobile data plans users opt for. Reports have poured in about how the rate of data consumption has grown higher than ever – even though no additional heavy iPhone apps or games are being used. Toggling the cellular data (i.e., turning it off and on) can serve as a temporary solution. Some users have reported that activating the Airplane Mode for a minute or so also helps in getting rid of this glitch, albeit for some time.
- Downloading mails over Wi-fi – Oh well, if the wi-fi is not working fine, you can hardly expect to get new mails on a real-time basis on the go. Right from users of upgraded iPhone 5 handsets, to owners of iPhone 6/6 Plus – everyone has faced difficulties in accessing their inboxes/downloading emails from any IMAP account. To give credit where it’s due, devices upgraded to iOS 8.1.1 work fine in the EDGE and the 3G environments.
- Installing iOS 8.1.1 has not been straightforward for many – Before taking your call on whether the new iOS upgrade is ‘good’ or ‘bad’, you will have to install it – and even that has proved to be a hassle for many people. There have been many cases of incomplete installations, particularly when done OTA. Software maintenance and mobile app development experts are of the opinion that doing a ‘hard reset’ makes the installation procedure easier and significantly quicker.
- Bluetooth connectivity errors – For majority of iOS 8 adopters, Bluetooth connectivity has not been a problem – but there is a murmur of discontent growing in a small community regarding this as well. It has been noted that a significantly large proportion of people reporting Bluetooth problems on iOS 8.1.1 own iPhone 5S handsets. This has made the option of upgrading older flagship iOS devices to the new platform even more of a dilemma.
- Non-compatible apps – Not all iPhone app development companies have been able to release iOS 8-compatible versions of their applications yet. As a result, users (who have switched off the automatic updates option in a bid to save battery) are frequently facing app-related problems (freezes, crashes, too much battery drain, etc.). If you HAVE to upgrade to 8.1.1, keep the auto-update option on, so that bug-free new app versions automatically get downloaded on your phone.
- Potential problems with iMessage – Wondering why this topic is even being raised, when iOS 8.1 has reportedly ‘done away’ with the iMessage bug? Well, not every user has been fortunate – and the bug has remained on certain devices, even after the installation of iOS 8.1.1. Doing a full reboot of the tablet generally makes iMessage fully functional. If the problem persists, iOS app agencies advise doing Settings → General → Reset → Reset Network Settings.
- General performance issues – iOS 8 has already drawn plenty of flak regarding its unsuitability on iPhone 4S. Even after upgrading to the 8.1.1 platform, owners of these older handsets have reported general device sluggishness, call outages, and a host of other problems. However, instead of blaming Apple for this, users can work around these issues by removing unnecessary animations, and (if required) restoring the factory settings. Users of iPhone 5 and iPad Mini who are facing similar performance problems after upgrading can follow the same steps to troubleshoot their devices.
- Unreliability of Hotspot – Yet another problem that had surfaced with the iOS 8.0.2 update, and has not been entirely solved by iOS 8.1.1. Adding to the frustrations of affected users is the fact that, help from carrier companies has not been forthcoming – since this is more of a ‘device issue’. Many upgraded iOS devices have been randomly rebooting as well.
Considering the series of problems iOS 8 has run into since its launch, it’s shockingly low adoption rate does not come as a major surprise. Within the first 45 days, less than 50% iPhone users have upgraded to the new platform, while over 80% people had moved to iOS 7 during the same time-frame. It seems like iOS 8 has to exorcise the influence of its predecessor first – before taking on its biggest rival, Android 5.0 Lollipop.
An iOS 8.2 update is already in beta stage, at the iOS Dev Center. However, it would be more focused on extending support for WatchKit (for Apple Watch), and it remains to be seen whether the above iPhone/iPad problems are also ironed out. For the moment, those who have found iOS 8.1.1 to be buggy have the option to downgrade to iOS 8.1. Let’s just hope that the forthcoming update (release date unknown) will fix most of the above bugs.
Have you faced any of the above problems?
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