This week Apple launched iOS 8.2 and it is the biggest iOS 8 upgrade yet. It also has a couple of troubling issues, so the question remains: should you upgrade? Let’s break it down.

The Deal Breakers

Before we get into the nitty gritty of what iOS 8.2 brings to the table, it is important to point out two aspects which could be immediate deal breakers for some:

1. WiFried Lives On

Sadly the most high profile bug in iOS 8 has not been fixed in iOS 8.2. By far the biggest iOS thread on Apple Support Communities, the so-called ‘WiFried’ issue causes phones to drop wireless connections and/or refuse to connect to wireless networks at all. It also results in massive battery drain, killing some devices in just 4-6 hours.

For WiFried sufferers the misery goes on. As such there is little downside or benefit to affected users installing iOS 8.2, but for those still holding off on iOS 8 altogether the fear of the lack of a fix will likely be enough to make them hold off yet again.

Read more – Apple iOS 8.2 Has Two Nasty Surprises

iOS 8.2 update – available now. Image credit Gordon Kelly
iOS 8.2 update – available now. Image credit Gordon Kelly

2. More Bloatware

Do you plan to buy the Apple Watch? If not, Apple doesn’t care. All iOS 8.2 upgraders (excluding the iPhone 4S which is incompatible with the Watch) will get a new Apple Watch app installed when they upgrade and it cannot be removed.

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For many this app will just be added into an ever expanding ‘iCrap’ folder and never be seen again. Then again owners of the 8GB iPhone 5C and 16GB iPhones may want to hold off until the size of the Apple Watch app is revealed. Mysteriously Apple doesn’t list the app alongside others in settings so its size has yet to be determined. For those who find every megabyte counts, they’ll want to hold off.

Apple Watch app – a mandatory install on iOS 8.2 – image credit Apple
Apple Watch app – a mandatory install on iOS 8.2 – image credit Apple

So What Do You Get?

Putting those two aspects behind us, what iOS 8.2 delivers is compelling.

The New Stuff

Apple Watch – as the mandatory new app implies, the big news is iOS 8.2 brings compatibility with the Apple Watch which will go on sale in April. Quite simply if you want one you have no choice but to upgrade to iOS 8.2 because the Apple Watch doesn’t work without being paired with a compatible device.

HealthKit Upgrades – In addition iOS 8.2 makes a number of changes to HealthKit that, in all honesty, should have been there from the start. On top of UI tweaks, it is now possible to add and visualise workout data from third party apps, turn off motion tracking and switch between metric and imperial measurements.

Read more – Apple iOS 8.1.3 Release Will Again Anger Users

The Fixes

HealthKit Fixes – Apple’s fitness platform didn’t only get upgrades, iOS 8.2 also addresses bugs when refreshing and importing data and adding Medical ID images.

Goodbye ‘GMT Bug’ – a deal maker for many. While WiFried gets the most publicity, right behind it is the GMT Bug. This switched calendar entries to the GMT timezone causing chaos with scheduling, alarms and reminders. For affected users the chaos is over.

GMT Bug in action – image credit Apple Support Communities
GMT Bug in action – image credit Apple Support Communities

Bluetooth Cracked – like WiFried and the GMT Bug, Bluetooth bugs have haunted iOS 8 since it was released in September. The primary problem was making calls over Bluetooth with in-car kits particularly badly hit. iOS 8.2 calls these out specifically: ‘Fixes a Bluetooth calling issue where no audio is heard until the call is answered’. So again here an upgrade is a no brainer.

Maps, Mail, Music – all three core apps get stability upgrades, notably Apple Maps when using the 3D Flyover feature but Apple has not revealed any more specific details. Users of Made For iPhone hearing aids should also see more reliable connectivity.

A full feature list for iOS 8.2 can be found here.

So how smoothly are upgrades going? Well, not everything is rosy…

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Reference: forbes
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