iPad Air 1 on iOS 8.x...upgrade to iOS 11?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by ericinboston, Mar 2, 2018.

  1. ericinboston macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    #1
    Hi. I have an iPad Air 1 WIFI only 32GB and use it basically for email, youtube, Netflix, and my MP3 collection. That's it. I have about 12GB free and 90% of my storage is consumed by MP3s.

    It has iOS 8.x installed and tells me I can update to iOS 11.x

    However, lately, the web browsing has gotten not only slow as molasses (it's not my wifi) but the webpages crash fairly often or don't render 100% simply because it's been 5 years and browser/web technology has changed just enough that Safari on iOS 8.x is cranky. So I am forced to upgrade to a completely new iOS (rather than just a new version of Safari because of course Apple would never do that). Sites I visit are CNN, boston.com, weather.com, slashdot.org, and Macrumors.

    My questions:

    1)Since I am only being offered iOS 11.x, is it true that it is impossible for me to get iOS 9.x or 10.x? Does Apple only offer users "the latest and greatest" iOS or is there a way for me to pick and choose other versions in between? Obviously if I had upgraded last summer, I would have gotten 10.x...and if I had upgraded a year earlier I would have had 9.x. So why not now?

    2)Will iOS 11.x bring this iPad to it's knees? I will deal with some not so great web surfing if it means that everything else performs great. But, I do understand that I'm very limited on what apps I can install/upgrade due to being on iOS 8.x (youtube, netflix being my most crucial).

    3)Is there a way to revert back to iOS 8.x if 11.x is terrible? I believe I can do some kind of full iPad backup/restore via iTunes (I don't use iCloud) but would appreciate the exact steps if you can point me to a weblink.

    4)iOS 11.x claims it is a 1.5GB install...what exactly does that mean? Is it a 1.5GB download (I'm on wifi so I don't care about the download) or will the OS itself only be 1.5GB once it is finally installed? What will my free storage be after installing 11.x (again, I have 12GB free now)...I'm hoping it's not going to eat more than a few hundred megs more than iOS 8.x

    It would be great to hear from someone who is/was in my exact situation and went through my 3 questions.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. rui no onna macrumors 603

    rui no onna

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2013
    #2
    1. Apple stops signing older firmwares after a while (maybe a couple weeks after the new one is released?). That's why you can only install the latest version.

    2. Personal opinion, iOS 11 is too "heavy" for the iPad Air. If the 5s (also A7 chipset) is exhibiting stutters with its much lower resolution, I highly doubt the iPad Air will fare better. Note, I stopped updating my Air on iOS 9.3.5. There were some stuff that was blocked in iOS 10 (e.g. Netflix screenshots) so I didn't update. That said, I have an iPad 4 still on iOS 6 and both YouTube and Netflix still work. I don't think you'll have a problem with those two on iOS 8 apart from not getting new features.

    3. Afaik, nope.

    4. 1.5GB download. Iirc, there were some storage changes introduced in iOS 10.2/3 so your free space actually might increase after installing the update.
     
  3. LotusLord macrumors 6502a

    LotusLord

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    Location:
    The Capital of the Land of Cheese and Beer
    #3
    I'll admit I don't use it every day, but my wife's Air is on iOS 11 and she's never complained about it's performance. It is quite likely you'll end up with more free space if you update due to app thinning (introduced in iOS 9) and APFS.
     
  4. nephron8 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2012
    #4
    Backup important data and just format it from iPad setting—-general——reset all content setting.
    Don’t go for iOS 11
    --- Post Merged, Mar 2, 2018 ---
    Apfs ain’t their on I devices,nor is app thinking that prominent.
    It’s meant for Apple TV 4th gen.
     
  5. MandiMac macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 25, 2012
    #5
    Ahem. APFS is on iDevices. Apple even started on iOS before beta access for Macs.
     
  6. LotusLord macrumors 6502a

    LotusLord

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    #6
    As MandiMac said APFS was released on iOS devices first. App thinning is prominent- allowing for just the resources for a given device to be downloaded rather than all resources. Why should an iPhone download content needed for an iPad and vice versa?
     
  7. gobikerider Suspended

    gobikerider

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2016
    Location:
    United States
    #7
    When iOS 11.3 releases do a clean install/restore from a computer and see how it does.
     
  8. FeliApple, Mar 2, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2018

    FeliApple macrumors 65816

    FeliApple

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2015
    #8
    I would not update. It has the same processor as the 5s and the same RAM too and I've read it's far slower. Leave it on iOS 8, it's probably flawless speed and performance-wise.
    I do not have neither an Air 1, nor a 5s on iOS 11. I'm just saying what I read. If I were you, I'd leave it on iOS 8 permanently, as YouTube and Netflix won't stop working. Also you CANNOT go back. It's a one-way ticket only. You find it slow? I'm sorry, nothing you can do. It's non-reversible.
    Edit: Are websites that slow on iOS 8? I find it rare. I know iOS 6 sucks for websites (have an iPod Touch 5G on iOS 6.0 and websites crash constantly) but I have an iPad Pro 9.7 on iOS 9 and I use safari a lot. It's flawless, that's why it strikes me as odd.
     
  9. rui no onna macrumors 603

    rui no onna

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    Oct 25, 2013
    #9
    Safari was crash city for me on iPad Air/iOS 8. It would frequently go on a crash-reload loop and I'd have to force close Safari. I couldn't update to iOS 9 quickly enough.
     
  10. FeliApple macrumors 65816

    FeliApple

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    Apr 8, 2015
    #10
    Thanks for clarifying. I still think I wouldn't update... but that makes staying behind more annoying than what already is.
    Why is iOS 9 that much better, though? I am not lying when I say Safari browsing on iOS 9 is flawless.
     
  11. rui no onna macrumors 603

    rui no onna

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    Oct 25, 2013
    #11
    Well, for one thing, you have an iPad Pro 9.7. That's really fast. I think close to the level of Core 2 Duo (yes, that CPU's 10 years old but paired with 8+GB RAM and SSD, still runs like a champ for typical user tasks). What you're seeing is a combination of good hardware and software. I reckon majority of my Safari crashes on iOS 8 were due to out of memory errors. It was, after all, designed for the Air 2 with 2GB RAM and the Air only had 1GB.

    One change Apple made in iOS 9, if a webpage crashes, it wouldn't try to reload it endlessly. I think it tries to reload once but if it still crashes, then it just gives an error message. That's a much more elegant way of handling errors.

    iOS 9 also seems to do more optimizations rather than introducing new features. I know on the iPad 3+iOS 8, I'd be able to write a short paragraph because of the extremely long keyboard delay. That was fixed on iOS 9. Surprisingly, web browsing on the iPad 4+iOS 9 was actually faster than iPad 4+iOS 6 and I was getting less web page glitches on desktop sites. I really like iOS 9 and 10. iOS 11 appears to have notably higher overhead compared to those.
     
  12. FeliApple macrumors 65816

    FeliApple

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    Apr 8, 2015
    #12
    Thanks for the information, I didn't know it changed the reload thing. Yeah iOS 9 was oriented towards improving the performance of older devices, but I do recall reading several times that for example the 4s was awful, and I've read that the iPad 3 was awful as well. So iOS 9 wasn't that bad for the iPad 3?
    iOS 9 has worked flawlessly - still does - on an iPhone 6s and the 9.7 Pro. The iPod Touch 5G... That's another story, though obviously it's stupid to compare directly. I do have to say that it works reasonably well despite of its age. What I mean is, if I compare it with how an iPod Touch 5G "should" work on an early version - say, iOS 6, it is bad. Not that bad, but certainly worse. Now, if I compare it with other devices that were updated to their last supported iOS version, it works well. It's slower, and of course, newer apps's performance is bad by any standards, but the OS itself is surprisingly responsive enough compared to others.
     
  13. ixxx69 macrumors 65816

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    Jul 31, 2009
    Location:
    United States
    #13
    I have an iPad Air (1st gen) and updated from iOS10 to iOS11. It's a disaster... while it's always been short on RAM (e.g. constant Safari page reloading), it was always quick and responsive, even on iOS10. iOS11, it's slow as molasses. As in there's no logical explanation. It's practically bricked.

    Example: Evernote went from opening up in 1 second to taking close to 10 seconds! Literally in the span of the update... one minute, it was quick, fifteen minutes later, it was slow. It's been months of updates, and it's still no quicker.

    For my needs, it's now unusable. Would be fine for a kid's first iPad or someone who's just happy to have one, whether it's slow or not. But now it's completely useless to me.

    I totally get that hardware becomes outdated, and that newer OS versions are going to start to slow down, but there's two issues here that just aren't cool...

    First, it's one thing for things to get a little slower... it's another thing for it to be 10 times slower from one version to the next. If it's going to be that bad, then they shouldn't allow (or at least shouldn't encourage) updates. In my case, it really was "accidental" in that I didn't even mean to update to iOS11 - I got mixed up and thought I was just updating a point release of iOS10.

    Second, Apple NEEDs to allow users to go back to earlier iOS versions indefinitely. You can't release ****** software, practically force people to update (with the incessant daily update reminders), and then not allow them to go back to an a version that worked for them. I guarantee - if left unchecked, this is what's going to lead to Apple's downfall (and I think Apple has at least got the message that they've been releasing a lot of ****** software recently - which is why they recently made a point of focusing on shoring up the bugs and issues rather than features).
     
  14. FeliApple macrumors 65816

    FeliApple

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    Apr 8, 2015
    #14
    Your first issue is the problem with iOS updates. You never know how far is safe to go performance-wise. Maybe one does nothing, but the other one and... For example: as I said, I have an iPad Pro 9.7 on iOS 9. General consensus is that iOS 10 is virtually flawless on the 9.7 Pro, so I lost that chance to gain more time of app support. But as you can never know how it'll be for you, and I wouldn't forgive myself if I repeated the mistake of updating... I didn't.
    As for your second issue, Apple won't do it. The topic has been discussed to death already and there are several reasons - neither with which I agree, because performance is more important than everything, IMO - why Apple won't.
    One question, though. I see you have a 9.7 Pro, too. Is it on iOS 11 as well? If it is, how does it run?
     
  15. ixxx69 macrumors 65816

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    Jul 31, 2009
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    United States
    #15
    I've kept it on iOS10. That's less to do with speed performance and more to do with all the other issues people have reported. I'm now firmly in the "I just want it to work" camp and really don't care for 97% of the new "features".

    Apple (and to be fair, pretty much the entire software industry) is now releasing and practically forcing users to upgrade to what I deem "beta" software.

    It wasn't always like this for me - I used to upgrade all my devices right away. I'm older now, and I like things to "just work"... I wait longer and longer each year. The plan for all my devices was to wait until around August to update to the iOS11 & High Sierra... I have 4 iOS devices and 3 Macs that I use regularly... like I said, I accidentally updated the iPad Air and also an iPhone 5S to iOS11. The 5S isn't as big a deal because I mostly use it as an alarm clock and for siri (stream music, homekit). But that's 7 (well now just 5) devices nagging me every day to update. It really makes me resent Apple and have negative feelings towards their products. Of course, I know all these issues exist on other platforms as well in various ways. Again, not just an Apple thing, but the the whole industry is just seems anti-user these days. You can just go app by app and ask WTF are they thinking?
     
  16. rui no onna macrumors 603

    rui no onna

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    Oct 25, 2013
    #16
    The thing is anything past iOS 7 was awful for Apple A5. To be honest, I personally wouldn't want to use Apple A5 past iOS 6, either.

    I think for devices with less than 1GB RAM, iOS 9 didn't really help. The hardware just couldn't cope. I found the iPad 3 more tolerable on iOS 9 than iOS 8. However, there are plenty of reports of iPad 2 and Mini users saying the keyboard lag was still present. Granted, I only used the iPad 3 for ebooks, HBO Now and Netflix when my Air was charging. Web browsing on the darned thing was just glacially way. Mind, even on iOS 6, the iPad 3 was plenty slow. My mom's iPad 3 was kept on iOS 6 (just one major iOS update) and it was considerably slower than my iPad Air on iOS 9 (two major iOS updates) when comparing side by side.

    My Pro 9.7, I kept on iOS 10 and will be kept there. I'll just buy a new iPad when my apps stop working and I need to update firmwares. :p
     
  17. FeliApple macrumors 65816

    FeliApple

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    Apr 8, 2015
    #17
    You are right. Apple is releasing unfinished software. There are problems even on iPhone X, or so I've read here. That wasn't like this before. Agree on the nagging part, I haven't installed the Apple TV profile yet, and charge with Wi-Fi off to avoid it from downloading. It's not an Apple-only thing, but I am having far more problems than before with Apple. Let me give you two examples: I bought on September 2016 an iPhone 6s that had a display defect and had to be exchanged. I was on a trip to the US, and that's why I could, but my country has no Apple Stores and "Authorized resellers" fix - with paltry reports from customers - but don't replace. Yeah, I won't let you get your hands on my device, sorry. This is useful for my next case: my next - and still current - phone. An iPhone 7+. Extremely bugged, the camera is extremely blurry (I prefer to take pictures with my iPod Touch 5G! 5 years older!) and it works awfully, lags, crashes, restarts. I couldn't exchange it yet, hope to do so shortly. Was bought by a family member who is not tech-savvy. He turned it on, it worked, stashed it in a bag, and it came here. Upon arrival I immediately recognized it was wrong, but there was nothing I could do, so I put up with it. Twice. In a row. It never happened before. Apple told me to take it to the reseller who told me - as I said earlier- they couldn't even fix it now because we don't have the machine, come back later. I told Apple this and they said (of course) to bring it to the US. It's all fine because there's no other possible solution, but the problem shouldn't have been there in the first place.
    I said it on a different thread, they are not all mine, but I have in my household like 5 devices that can run iOS 11 and aren't, and like 5 more that cannot run iOS 11 but aren't in their final versions either. I don't have a single device in iOS 11. I cannot trust updates, and for example, the device I use the most is the iPad Pro 9.7. I can assure you, that it doesn't matter how behind it lags in term of updates, it will be usable. World flawlessly on iOS 9. No issues whatsoever. No amount or quality of features can beat performance, in my case, others' opinion may differ. And I don't buy the security argument because exploits are not used in the wild. So I'm not updating for a proven-but-still-hypothetical attack.
    Some apps will run, the ones I care about are downloaded far before they drop compatibility with my iPad's iOS version. Yes, they cannot be updated, but why should I care? I barely update apps even when I can. For example, Notability has stated that 7.2.5 (the current version) is the last one that supports iOS 9, so I updated it, and it's fine. It won't hurt if it has to stay there. It can still be used.
    PD: Apologies for the length.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 3, 2018 ---
    Agree on the mini, experienced keyboard lag firsthand from friends. Not that much on the iPod Touch 5G, don't know why. As for the iPad 3, it was underpowered to begin with, so it's no surprise.
    Same approach to keeping the Pro on iOS 9 in my case. It works, no need to "fix it" and as ixxx69 said, I couldn't care less about features. I don't trade features for performance, they should be included at no costs. Of course, this is technically impossible, hence why I stay behind.
     
  18. rui no onna macrumors 603

    rui no onna

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    Oct 25, 2013
    #18
    For some apps, that's fine. Other apps (primarily those that rely on online servers) might stop working. For example, financial apps, streaming apps, cloud storage, etc. The banking apps are why I upgraded my mom from an iPad 3 to a Pro 9.7. She was content with the iPad 3's performance otherwise (go figure).

    As for updates, we have a 2017 iPad 9.7 (Apple A9) at home that I plan to use as guinea pig to vet updates. I might even buy a 2018 "basic" iPad if it gets upgraded to A10 while maintaining or dropping the current price point. I've actually tested iOS 11 Beta on the 2017 iPad and found performance to be quite good. Alas, I didn't like the new dock and the new keyboard for the Pro 12.9. Also had an issue with iBooks hijacking epubs via AirDrop (although that seems to have been fixed in 11.2.5). :p
     
  19. FeliApple macrumors 65816

    FeliApple

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    Apr 8, 2015
    #19
    Yeah you are right on online servers. I didn't think of that when I wrote my previous post. There's a point where it really sucks to stay behind. Where almost no apps are compatible, that's the hardest point, and I've seen that's the point where some start to think about updating, even two or three major versions at once. It extends the life of the device as a usable app consumer, but the cost is obviously performance. There's nothing you can do with that iPad if you intend to keep it at its best point in performance. Buy a new one, or nothing.
     
  20. darrylcn macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2015
    #20
    Man I wish we could trade! I have an Air 1 on 10.0.2 that needs a DFU install in the worst way. You could have mine and update as you please and I'd have an Air on 8. This one was given to us after being updated OTA many many times. I'd like to DFU it but we know how that would end...
     
  21. rui no onna macrumors 603

    rui no onna

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    Oct 25, 2013
    #21
    Buying a new one is typically my preferred option. The old one is relegated to reading-watching-listening to side-loaded DRM-free ebooks, comics, videos and music.

    Surprisingly, even on iOS 4, old app versions of Netflix and YouTube still work (albeit missing some features, of course). I think my biggest annoyance is Dropbox support breaking in the ebook reader app I use on iOS 6 due to a change in Dropbox API. Oh well, at least I can still use HTML and OPDS to transfer books.

    That said, I reckon iOS 9 should still be mostly supported for 2018.
     
  22. FeliApple macrumors 65816

    FeliApple

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    Apr 8, 2015
    #22
    Yeah old versions generally work. iOS 9, so far, is really well supported. I hope that lasts. I've encountered no apps I really wanted to download that weren't supported. A few that really made no difference if I didn't download them.
     

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21 March 2, 2018