There's an old saying among computer users who tend towards the conservative — wait for the update to the update. It means that, when a new version of software comes out, they avoid it. They also avoid the urgent update that typically follows it. They avoid until the one comes out that's had time to address most if not all of the early issues. Then they jump on it. For iOS 8 holdouts, that update was iOS 8.1.1 and it was released last week. So, if you're still on the fence about installing the update, here's what you need to know!
If you're low on storage space
iOS 8 was a big update and some people found they simply didn't have enough storage space left to download and install it over-the-air using the on-device Software Update. So, they didn't.
With iOS 8.1.1, however, Apple has found a way to return some of that storage, especially to iPads. Run the update and you'll get approximately 500MB back.
On both iPhones and iPads, Apple has also fixed how caching works, so everything up to and including 4GB video files get cleaned out more regularly, potentially freeing up gigabytes more storage.
If you're already low on storage, getting onto iOS 8.1.1 will stay take some work — the best way is to use iTunes on your Mac or Windows PC to do the update — but once you're on it, your storage pains will get at least a little bit better.
If you're worried about change
People are funny. We feel bored but we're adverse to change. iOS 7 was an incredible visual change. Once the update completed, every pixel was different. Some people remember that and are now a little hesitant to do a big update again, lest everything look different again. Lest they feel lost on their own device.
Yet iOS 8 is the opposite of iOS 7. Almost all if its changes are on the inside. That means, if you download and install it, you'll see almost no overt differences. Great new features like Continuity and Extensibility are almost completely hidden unless and until you go looking for them.
That makes iOS 8 one of the easiest and most comfortable updates ever.
If you're concerned about bugs
Every new version of every new operating system has bugs. It's easy to forget, since the memories of old frustrations fade almost completely over time, leaving the new ones to feel, always, like "the worst ever!" Yet bugs also get fixed with time.
iOS 8.1.1 has had about two months worth of fixes and improvements now. Significant bugs, the ones you heard us and everyone else complaining about at launch, have by and large been fixed.
Specifically, performance on iPhone 4s and iPad 2 has been improved, and major bugs that affected all iPhones and iPads have been stomped out.
The bottom line
iOS 8 brings an incredible amount of new functionality to iPhones and iPads, not just for us but for developers too. Over time, more and more of our favorite apps are going to tie into that new functionality, and it'll only be available to us if we've upgraded to iOS 8. Some of the very best apps will only be available if we've upgrade to iOS 8.
Since Apple doesn't update older versions either, new bug fixes and security updates will also only be available if we've upgraded to iOS 8.
Given that, and how solid iOS 8.1.1 is, if you haven't yet updated, now's the time!