November 19, 2014 Last Updated 9:01 am

Benefits from latest update for iOS seen in older devices

iPhone 4s and iPad 2 owners report that the release of iOS 8.1.1. is fixing their WiFi issues which began soon after the last Apple iOS update

Probably the best operating system update I have installed in the past few years was Mountain Lion. The Mac OS didn’t bring that many new features so much as it seemed to trim down the OS a bit, had few initial bugs, and actually took up a bit less space on one’s Mac. It was not, contrary to what is often seen, bloatware.

iOS8-icon-featureOn Monday, Apple released what looked like a minor update to iOS. iOS 8.1.1 is said to fix some bugs and improve the performance of iOS 8 on the iPad 2 and iPhone 4s – devices that are getting a bit long in the tooth. Most tech sites ran small little reports on the update on Monday, then ignored the update altogether on Tuesday as they acted as one body to beat up on Uber (Uber deserves it, but come on!)

Users of the older devices were finding their phones and tablets almost unusable, a situation many face when trying to keep their operating systems up to date. Underpowered devices and PCs suddenly seem slow, have performance issues involving WiFi and other features, etc. The “upgrade” turns out to actually be a downgrade.

Device owners flocked to the Apple support pages immediately following the release of iOS in September, but complaints really accelerated earlier this month.

“Just another guy with an iPhone 5S that can’t seem to keep a WiFi connection to my dlink router,” one customer complained. Many thought the problem had to do with Angry Birds, which many users were obviously fond of. But that didn’t seem likely, as many pointed out.

“I agree! Its probably not the AngryBirds app itself that is the problem, but the way iOS8 handles memory,” another wrote.

Whatever was causing the issue, Apple’s software team seemed slow to get on the issues. The reason is probably that Apple does what many developers do: work with the latest devices, not testing their updates on older models.

The releaser of iOS 8.1.1 seems to be fixing many of the issues owners of older iPhones and iPads were experiencing. But the update is a reminder that thorough testing is essential and that publishers should keep those older iPads and iPhones around the office when creating their app updates. New versions of iOS tend to break apps, as we have too many times seen. But sometimes the fixes break things for owners of older devices.

As know that most smartphone users (at least in the U.S.) tend to keep their devices for two years before upgrading. But tablet owners are keeping their devices longer. That means there are still a lot of iPad owners with non-retina displays, still more with slow processors and only 16 GB of storage. Keeping those issue file sizes down to a modest level, and making sure their apps function as designed on older devices will go a long way towards keeping those digital subscribers. After all, with Apple sending out those monthly renewal notices, and sometimes issuing buggy updates, a media app developer already has their work cut out for them!

Comments are closed.