Updated December 19th, 2015.
Thanksgiving is more than a week away, but Apple’s given iPad 2 and iPhone 4s owners something to be thankful for today: a fresh new iOS update, with performance improvements galore. It’s iOS 8.1.1, the best version yet, and if you’re on 8.anything it behooves you to get the iOS 8.1.1 update now.
iOS 8.1.1’s release notes are a little on the vague side:
“This release includes bug fixes, increased stability and performance improvements for iPad 2 and iPhone 4s.”
Some have interpreted this to mean that the update is meant only for iPad 2 and iPhone 4s but this is not the case. There’s something for i-everyone, but especially there are performance improvements for iPad 2 and iPhone 4s.
I can tell you from personal experience that the iPad 2 and the iPhone 4s are much, much snappier with 8.1.1 than they’ve been with any other version of 8. If you have an iPad 2 or an iPhone 4s (or both. like me) and were a little disappointed after upgrading them to iOS 8 because the performance was lousy (also like me), 8.1.1 is the upgrade for you. (It’s also the upgrade for everyone else with iOS 8 installed. You might not notice dramatic performance improvements but one of those “bug fixes” from the release notes might solve a problem for you.)
Naturally you’re wondering “well, how much faster is it?” I don’t know. I’m wondering too. But, I can tell you that the iPad 2 was a real drag to use under 8.0, 8.0.2, and 8.1, with slow-motion responses to Home button presses, slow-motion app launching, slow-motion rotation… and now it’s as good as new. Same with the iPhone 4s. “Snappy” is as much about how something feels as anything else, and believe me, with 8,1.1, everything FEELS faster. A lot faster.
iOS 8.1.1 is an upgrade I completely recommend.
Here’s a handy link to Apple’s site, explaining the two ways of installing 8.1.1. There’s “over the air” which is sort of the lazy way to do it, and there’s “via iTunes” which is a bit more work but could be your only option if your iPhone or iPad is close to full. I just barely was able to upgrade the iPhone 5s and the iPad 2 over the air as I use those devices a lot and they were almost out of storage space. The iPhone 4s had plenty of room. All three devices updated without a hitch.
The update from 8.1 to 8.1.1 is not very big in terms of space taken up on your device but it delivers big improvements. If you’re already on 8.0.2 or 8.1, the 8.1.1 upgrade is a no-brainer, so go get it. If you’ve been waiting on the sidelines for a really stable, really fast version of iOS 8, wait no longer– unless you’re Mom, in which case you can wait for me to do the upgrade for you, when I come to put up your Christmas lights.