iOS 8.1.1 was released yesterday. The release notes did not indicate much beyond the usual “bug fixes”. They don’t really elaborate on what those are, but I can tell you there are at least three that have been driving me crazy for weeks. In fact, I think iOS 8.1.1 is the first 8 release I am actually happy with. New features are great, but I need the software to work, and work reliably. Yesterday’s release is the closest iOS 8 has come to this. The big three fixes are as follows.
Since the very first release of iOS 8 it has been possible to reorder your extensions within the share sheet. Say you are in Safari and you tap the share button. Maybe Instapaper and Evernote are more important to you than Messages or Mail. So you reorder to put the more important apps at the front of the list. Great, until you exit the app. You would come back to find the order had reset. This bug persisted through multiple updates, major, minor, and disastrous alike. Finally in iOS 8.1.1, it functions correctly.
I mentioned this on an episode of Technecast. A bug found its way in to iOS 8.1 that caused some iCloud connected apps to freeze, and then crash at launch. But only some apps, sometimes. It wasn’t consistent. But it was incredibly annoying. Developers of iCloud connected apps had to go to some lengths to work around these issues. Thankfully this bug seems quashed.
Hanging App Deletions
This is another one that has affected me since the initial iOS 8 release. When deleting an app, most of the time after tapping the x the whole interface would become unresponsive for some length of time, sometimes reaching into minutes. Eventually the confirm dialog would appear, but I actually got to the point of saving apps I didn’t want just to avoid this annoyance. Since 8.1.1 app deletion has returned to its normal snappy self.
Some major issues remain. The largest is HealthKit. Syncing remains very hit or miss. Opening the Health app will still sometimes lead to an empty dashboard. It remains the most frustratingly unreliable part of iOS 8. Given that iOS 8.2, with support for the Apple Watch entered beta today, this really needs to be fixed. The Watch features Health integration, in fact it is a headlining feature. If it doesn’t work by then a lot more people than me will notice this glaring problem.
Overall though this update is low key, but really improves the experience. It’s not causing any issues that have been reported, so its time to get out and upgrade.